Gordon, Robert Wilson

    Date of birth:
    March 3rd, 1915
    Service number:
    96687
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Robert Gordon was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst Military Academy. Being commissioned with the Royal Ulster Rifles as 2nd Lieutenannt on August 23th, 1939: only a few days before the war broke out. He was sent with the regiment to France where The Rifles had first face to face contact on May the 13th and from then on was continuously was in action until the retreat from Dunkirk. He served as an instructor at Staff College in 1943-1944 and did not see any action until D-Day. The RUR were made part of the 6th Airborne Division and landed on the evening of D-Day near Ranville by glider.
    Gordon was appointed Brigade Major of the 3th Parachute Brigade during the battles of the Bois de Bavent and tha advance on the Seine.
    He partook in the Ardennes operations of winter 1944-45 where his Brigade was heavily engaged and was a leading planner during the
    Brigade Airborne assault; Operation Varsity. Dropping by parachute in the first assault wave with HQ and 8th Para Battalion on 24th March 1945, he would have been one of the first British soldiers to land in Germany. Gordon would go on to participate in all the engagements that the Battalion saw through to the moment the 6th Airlanding Brigade reached Wismar on the Baltic Sea.
    It is unclear whether Gordon remaind in the Army after the war but he joined on one point a a firm of stockbrokers and even became the Deputy Chairman of the London Stock Exchange.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Action:
    Awarded for Dunkirk
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Major
    Unit:
    1st Battalion, The Royal Ulster Rifles
    Awarded on:
    January 24th, 1946
    Action:
    Recommendation:
    'Major Gordon landed by glider in Normandy on D-Day and was in charge of the Royal Ulster Rifles 6-Pounder Anti-Tank guns, who were responsible for the anti-tank defence of Longueval. During the early days the village was repeatedly attacked by strong armoured forces from 21st Panzer Division. These attacks were driven off and several enemy tanks knocked out. His inspiring leadership and courage during these battles contributed to a great extent to the successes achieved by his Battalion. In early August 1944 Major Gordon assumed the appointment of Brigade Major, 3rd Parachute Brigade, and carried out his duties with outstanding success during the battles in the Bois de Bavent and the Brigade's advance to the Seine which concluded in September 1944. He was with the Brigade throughout the Battles in the Ardennes in the Winter of 1944-45. After playing a leading part in the Brigade planning for the Rhine offensive, he dropped with them over the Rhine on the 24th March 1945. His complete disregard for danger and imperturbable disposition contributed in no small way to the great successes achieved by the Brigade immediately on their re-organisation at the conclusion of their drop. After the breakout from the Rhine bridgehead until the Brigade reached Wismar on the Baltic, Major Gordon's outstanding staff work, calm judgement, and advice contributed largely to the success of the Brigade's operation. Throughout the campaign in France and Germany from 6th June 1944 to 10th May 1945 Major Gordon's great devotion to duty and complete disregard of danger have proved an inspiring example to all ranks in the Brigade'.
    Military Cross (MC)

    Sources