Private Gordon Charles Naley

Source: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee

1st Australian Imperial Force – World War One 1914-1918

Gordon Charles Naley was the son of William Naley, the station manager of Mundrabilla Station near Eucla WA, and an East Mirning woman whose name is not known.

He was born at Mundrabilla Station on 20 January 1884, and was adopted by the wife of one of the station owners.

Gordon was working as a labourer when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 17 September 1914, less than seven weeks after the outbreak of war.

Posted to the 16th Battalion, Gordon took part in the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915 and the fierce fighting on Pope’s Hill and at Quinn’s Post in the following month.

In late May 1915, he was evacuated with enteric fever, and due to hospitalisation on Malta and in England, could not rejoin his unit in France until August 1916.

Gordon fought in the Battle of Mouquet Farm a few days after rejoining the 16th Battalion, and after a bout of the mumps over the winter, fought in the First Battle of Bullecourt in April 1917 where he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans.

Gordon was repatriated to England in January 1919. Two weeks later he married Cecilia Karsh at the United Methodist Church, Fulham. He had met Cecilia whilst she was working as a nurse’s assistant during his long recovery from enteric fever in 1915/16.

The couple shipped back to Adelaide on 23 July 1919 and Gordon was discharged on 21 September 1919.

Cecilia and Gordon settled at Barmera and had six children. Gordon died at Myrtle Bank on 28 August 1928 aged 44 and was buried in the AIF Cemetery, West Terrace, Adelaide.