–by Kevin Gordon
TODAY please remember a teenager who died in England 100 years ago.
Henry Staunton Gordon was born at Sooke, Vancouver Island, Canada on 20th September 1900. He was the son of John and Matilda Gordon. (They later moved to 1116, Yates Street, Victoria.)
Henry was known as ‘Harry’ and was a Labourer in Sooke but joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 10th April 1917 at the army recruitment office in Victoria. He was 16 years old but lied about his age and said he was 18. The enrolment papers show he was fair, blue-eyed and just 5 feet 6 inches tall.
He was shipped to England and was posted to the Canadian Army Camp in Seaford, East Sussex for training.
Harry died in Seaford, probably due to illness on 13th July 1917. Young Harry must have been popular with his colleagues as they provided him with a proper headstone as opposed the wooden crosses for the other soldiers buried in the cemetery. The grave is inscribed ‘We asked life of thee and thou gavest him life forever.’ Unlike the wooden crosses, the gravestone was not replaced with a Commonwealth War Grave in the 1920s. He is one of the youngest soldiers buried in Sussex.
I would be grateful if anyone could provide any further information about this young man who died so far away from home.
-Kevin Gordon (contact via Facebook)