Gordon, James Hamilton (No. 43157)

Gordon, James Hamilton

Pilot Officer (Air Gunner)

No. 43157, 15 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Killed in action on Saturday 25 May 1940 (aged 30)

Buried:

St. Inglevert Churchyard, Pas de Calais, France (Collective Grave)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Stewartstown and District War Memorial, Co. Tyrone

Stewartstown (St. Patrick’s) Church of Ireland Church, Donaghendry

Holywood and District War Memorial

First Holywood Presbyterian Church

Cookstown’s War Dead compiled by Cookstown District Council (Page 317)

BIOGRAPHY

James Hamilton Gordon was born on 16 September 1909 in the townland of Donaghey, Stewartstown, Co. Tyrone and he was the only son of James and Matilda Gordon (nee Hardie).  James Gordon Senior worked as a grocer and then as a bookkeeper and he and Matilda Hardie were married on 2 October 1901 in Stewartstown (St. Patrick’s) Church of Ireland Church, Donaghendry.  James Gordon, a grocer from Comber, Co. Down, was a son of John A. Gordon, a linen lapper.  Matilda Hardie from Donaghey was a daughter of Joseph Hardie, a farmer.

James Hamilton Gordon and Virtue Olive Musgrave (born in 1914) were married on 2 June 1937 in First Holywood Presbyterian Church.  During the Second World War James Hamilton Gordon served with the Royal Air Force in Bomber Command and on 25 May 1940 he was one of a crew of three aboard a Bristol Blenheim Mark IV aircraft (P6913).  They took off at 10.27 am from RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire on a bombing mission and their aircraft was shot down near St. Inglevert (between Calais and Marquise) in France.  The other crew members who died that day were:

  • Pilot Officer Douglas Sidney Reeve Harriman (aged 20) from London
  • Sergeant Peter Bloomer (aged 22) from Tottenham, Middlesex

All three were buried together in a collective grave in St. Inglevert Churchyard, Pas de Calais, France.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

HE HELPED TO MAKE THE ROAD

FOR US TO FIND THE PATH OF PEACE

Peter Bloomer’s brother Charles served with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Hebe and he was killed on 22 November 1943.  Families react to tragedy in different ways; after Charles and Peter Bloomer died, it was reported that their father destroyed all photographs of his two sons, and family members were forbidden from ever mentioning their names again.

Pilot Officer James Hamilton Gordon (No. 43157) was 30 when he died on 25 May 1940 and he is commemorated on Stewartstown and District War Memorial, Co. Tyrone; in Stewartstown (St. Patrick’s) Church of Ireland Church; on Holywood and District War Memorial; in First Holywood Presbyterian Church and on page 317 in Cookstown’s War Dead compiled by Cookstown District Council.