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Alford, Gordon Beresford (1885–1916)

Gordon Alford, c.1915

Gordon Alford, c.1915

from Bank of NSW Roll of Honour

Gordon Beresford Alford was born at Toowoomba, Queensland, on 18th February, 1885, the son of Mr. Chas. Geo. Alford, Chief Inspector of the Bank of New South Wales, and descendant of a well-known English family which included Dean Alford, a distinguished scholar and author, Bishop Alford, of Hong Kong, and Canon Alford, of Bristol Cathedral, who was a chaplain-captain during the war.

Gordon Beresford Alford was educated at the Fort Street School, Sydney, and joined the Bank’s staff at Head Office in July, 1902. In the following month he was transferred to the Sussex Street, Sydney, Branch; on 1st January, 1903, to Eden. New South Wales; in June, 1905, to Goulburn, where, later on, he was appointed teller. In August, 1910, he went back to Eden; was transferred to Wellington, New South Wales, in May, 1911; and in November, 1913, was sent again to Goulburn as accountant.

He enlisted in September, 1915, and went into training at the military camp, Liverpool, New South Wales, and was gazetted second-lieutenant in the 16th Reinforcements of the 1st Battalion of the A.I.F.

On reaching France Lieut. Alford went straight to the front and was engaged in the battles of the Somme. On 23rd July, 1916, he was with his battalion at a position near Pozieres, and while leading his company during the night was hit by enemy shrapnel and badly wounded. After treatment in the hospital at Rouen he was sent to England, and while a patient at the Empire Hospital, London, he died from the effect of his wounds on 12th August, 1916.

The following letter was received by Lieut. Alford’s father from the Private Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia:—

“I am desired by His Excellency the Governor-General to transmit to you the following message from their Majesties the King and Queen: ‘The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.’

“In addition to the above message I am desired by the Governor-General to express their Excellencies’ heart-felt sympathy with you on the death of this gallant officer who fell fighting for his country and the Empire.”

Lieutenant Alford’s commanding officer also wrote:—

“I want you to know of the sympathy of his brother officers and myself in your loss, and trust that the knowledge that your son had done his duty well, both in his work in the battalion and especially when he led his men in the attack on Pozieres where he was wounded, will help you to bear your loss.”

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'Alford, Gordon Beresford (1885–1916)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 October 2020.

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