407110, Sgt Gordon Emerson Levy was born on 3rd November 1894, in Toronto, Canada, the youngest of eleven children known to have been born to William John and Susan (née Torrance) Levy.

When the call came to sign up, Gordon was working as an advertising clerk, was single and had served two years in the Queen's Own Rifles.

Attesting in Niagara on 17th June 1915, Gordon was assigned to 36th Battalion, which had been raised in March, and it is probable that with his experience with the Q.O.Rs, he was immediately attached to the 36th BN, which sailed for England from Montreal two days later, on 19th June, on the SS Corsican. With that rapid deployment, the bulk of Gordon's current training would then have been undertaken in England. With the 36th BN being a reserve battalion, Gordon was transferred to the 2nd CMR, and then immediately to the 6th CMR. Divisional restructuring in December saw the 6th CMR absorbed into the 4th CMR, to which Gordon was transferred on 2nd January 1916.

Seeing action in the area of Ypres, Gordon served without incident until 2nd June 1916's 'Battle for Mount Sorrel', where more than 190 of his comrades were killed and 350 taken POW. Though Gordon survived this horrendous morning, he was wounded in the barrage and subsequently treated for deafness and shell shock.

Treated in Canadian Field Ambulance #10, and requiring time in the #15 Convalescence Depot in Boulogne, he was returned to duty on 23rd July

In August, Gordon was transferred to the 8th Machine Gun Company, and promoted to Corporal, then Sergeant in September. On 9th October 1916, during action on the Somme, he was wounded again, this time sustaining multiple shrapnel wounds to his face, right eye and ear, and right arm, which was broken. However, he was subsequently awarded a DCM, Distinguished Conduct Medal, for his action that day. His citation reads:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He displayed great courage and determination throughout the action. He was wounded."

His injuries required treatment in hospital in Rouen, France, and then in Orpington in England, before being sent back to Canada on 11th June 1917, on the HS Araguaya, where he was treated as an out patient in north Toronto. Operations were undertaken to repair his broken arm and to deal with gas gangrene. His injuries affected his sight in his right eye and left him with numb patches around his mouth and nose. His broken arm took some time to heal and left him with reduced movement in his arm and wrist. He continued to receive treatment though 1917 into early 1918, and was still having corrective operations done on his arm as late as August 1918.

After war's end he was finally discharged unfit for service on 1st March 1919, though it isn't clear why this hadn't been actioned earlier during his active service time. However, he was entitled to wear two gold wound stripes up to this point.

Life after the war must have been a challenge for Gordon, though he did settle down and marry Sadie Malone, in York County, Ontario, on 15th June 1921, and was a partner in a machinery business. The couple had two children, Patricia and Clare. Sgt Gordon E. Levy (by then Gordon Lloyd) passed away in Toronto on 4th November 1946, the day after his 52nd birthday. He lies at rest in Mount Hope Cemetery, Toronto.

4cmr.com note: Gordon's service file is registered on the Library & Archives Canada database with an aka of Gordon E. Lloyd. The file itself carries a note, For documents see Levy, Gordon E, 407110. There is no evidence in the file of Gordon having used an aka of Gordon Lloyd in service, or in subsequent records up to 1940, when he was still Levy, living on Melrose Avenue in Toronto. However, his death certificate shows him as Gordon Lloyd by 1946. An error is noted in the regiment's Nominal Roll book, where his service number was listed incorrectly, showing 406110 rather than 407110.

Biography credit: David Kavanagh, with thanks.

Image credit: Library & Archives Canada, Service File, medical section.

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