Son of Robert Bruce Liddle and Jessie Margaret Liddle (nee Walker); younger brother of Edward Campbell Liddle (Service No. 1004086), Herbert William Liddle (Service No. 453072) and Robert Percival 'Percy' Liddle (Service No. 141094), and older brother of Harold Vernon Liddle (Service No. 754543) and Ellis Walker Liddle (Service No. 2529408); husband of Ida Margaret Liddle (nee Paxton) married March 28, 1919
Discharged December 4, 1919 Medically Unfit due to amputation of his left leg above the knee resulting from the wound suffered on August 8, 1918 at Amiens
When war broke out in 1914, Gordon was living with his family in Prince Township of Sault Ste Marie. His father, Robert Bruce, was a prominent member of the community, and his mother Jessie Margaret had borne eleven boys and three girls between 1887 and 1912. All who were able went to war, as members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). The four that were over 17 years at the outbreak of the Great War signed up in early 1915 at Niagara (Gordon, Edward, Herbert and Robert 'Percy'); Harold 'Vernon' signed up in December 1915; Ellis in 1917 upon reaching min. age, despite the death of this brother Herbert, killed in action around the time of Vimy Ridge.
Gordon signed up on 6 January 1915, giving his profession as farming. He is described as being healthy, 5'7'', with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. He started off in the 27th Battalion, sailing out on 27 Nov 1915, and arriving in the UK on 11 December 1915, but upon arrival in England, became a Private in the 3rd Battalion. Gordon was repeatedly wounded during his service: in June 1916, May 1917, and August 1918 when he lost his leg.
The first injury seems to have happened during the last action in the battle of Mont Sorrel, near Ypres, on 14 June 1916. Gordon was hit by shrapnel from an exploding bomb, causing penetrating wounds on this left forearm and left foot. He was treated in the Canadian Stationary Hospital in Boulogne (France), and 1st Canadian General Hospital in Cambridge (UK), before being admitted to a convelscent hospital in Woodcote Park, Epsom (near London, UK). He rejoined his unit on 2 June 1917, and took part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge April 9-12 where over 10,000 Canadian soldiers were injured or killed. He was appointed Lance Corporal around this time, but was wounded again shortly afterwards with a gunshot wound to his left thigh on 4 May 1917. He was treated in the Stationary Hospital in Calais, and sent to the rest area for one month, rejoining the Battalion on 2 July 1917. He was also hospitalized for a week in November 1917 with tonsillitis.
The battle of the Last 100 Days began in Amiens on 8 August 1918. 4,000 Canadians were injured or killed on this first day, including Gordon. He was wounded by another gunshot wound to his left leg, this time fracturing a condyle of the tibia and fracturing the femur. He was patched up at the 8th Canadian General Hospital at Rouen, where they removed fragments of bullet and bone, loosely sutured and splinted the leg. His family received word that he was severely unwell. His condition steadily improved, and he was transferred to various hospitals in the UK: Taplow in September, Buxton in January 1919, and Kirkdale in March 1919, before being repatriated to Toronto in May 1919. On 5 September 1918 in Taplow, the decision was made to amputate the left leg as the wound was not healing. The notes show 'Amputation through fractured knee, incision supporating'. The stump would need revising once in the UK and once again before discharge in Canada, and the stump measured only five inches in length once healed; but he is reported to have a well-fitting prosthesis by the end of the process.
Gordon also appears to have found love during his time in the UK. On 25 March 1919 he is given permission to marry Ida Margaret Paxton of Packenham Street, Belfast. Although there is a note suggesting she was a nurse at Buxton, this is not substantiated, and she was a milliner before the war. Gordon's wages were paid to her rather than his parents from March 1919, and she joins him in Canada, sailing from Liverpool to Nova Scotia in August 1919, stating her intention to travel to Sault Ste Marie to be a wife.
The medical board for the army considered his case once he was been discharged in December 1919. He was discharged from the army as being medically unfit, and acknowledgement is made that the injury was taken in action and would disable him, making him unable to do the job he had done before the war (farm labour). Gordon appears to have remained 'retired' for many years after this, taking up book-keeping as a profession later in life.