Bayonet attack on a machine gun post

Australian James Gordon won the Victoria Cross for an attack on a French machine gun post .

Fierce fighting continued against the Vichy French in Syria even as they made approaches for a cease fire. Another soldier of the 7th Australian Division was to win the highest award for gallantry:

On the night of 10 Jul 41, during an attack by “D” Coy on “GREENHILL”, the Coy came under intense M.G. fire and was held up in its advance. Movement by even single individuals seemed almost impossible as in each case when this was attempted that person became a casualty.

At this juncture in the effort to advance, Lieut. M.G. Davis and Cpl. POLLARD were killed, Sgt. SMITH, Pte SCOTT and Pte LUFF seriously wounded (Pte Luff dying of wounds after being taken to hospital) The further advance of the two forward pls involved was impossible whilst the enemy M.G. post existed. The enemy position was fortified and completely covered the area on which Pte Gordon, and the remainder of the two pls were located.

Pte Gordon, noting the situation, and on his own initiative, crept forward under fire, including grenades, and succeeded in approaching close to the post. He then charged it from the front and with the bayonet killed the four enemy machine gunners. His action completely demoralised the enemy in the area and was a magnificent inspiration to his comrades.

The Coy, due to the gallant action of Pte. Gordon was able to advance and took the position. During the remainder of the action that night and the following morning, as on all previous occasions, Pte. Gordon fought with equal gallantry being constantly in close fighting with the enemy.

The action of Pte. Gordon is considered worthy of the highest decoration that award of the Victoria Cross is strongly recommended. Recommended.

Brigadier John Lararack’s recommendation for the Victoria Cross for Private Jim Gordon. The recommendation was endorsed by the Middle East Commander, Claude Auchinleck, in September and the award was made in October 1941.

Later in the war Gordon was considered for another medal for a very similar attack on a Japanese machine gun post in New Guinea, but no award was made.

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