Sidney William Gordon

Date of birth: 1882
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: H.M.T. Aragon
Rank / Service No: Printer
Died: 31st December 1917, aged 35 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial


Sidney was the oldest of 5 siblings born to William and Julia Gordon (nee Barnes), who married in Southampton in 1881.


Both parents were born in the city in 1860 and both died relatively young. William, a seaman, died in 1894 whilst Julia passed away in 1910.

Julia remarried in 1903, to Charles Topp, in Southampton.



Sidney William 

George Archibald   b. 1885 Southampton   d. 1940 Southampton   Married Constance Gertrude Pitman in Southampton in 1910. Both died as a result of a German air raid on the city.

Alfred Edwin   b. 1886 Southampton   d. 24 June 1915 Gallipoli   See separate story.

Elizabeth Beatrice   b. 1887 Southampton   d. ??   Married Walter John Redding in Southampton in 1908. Married William H. Sadler in Southampton in 1929.

William Frederick   b. 1894 Southampton   d. 1966 Southampton


Sidney married Florence Clark in Southampton in 1903, and they had 6 children…..


Sidney Archibald   b. 1904 Southampton   d. 1969 Christchurch   Married Hetty A. Boyland in Southampton in 1930.

Reginald Alfred   b. 1906 Southampton   d. 1980 Southampton   Married Annie L. May in Southampton in 1927.

Ivy Muriel   b. 1908 Southampton   d. 1992 Bournemouth   Married Victor Charles Eli House in Southampton in 1927.

Albert Edward   b. 1911 Southampton   d. 1941 Southampton   Married Mary C. Hayes in Southampton in 1938. Probably died as a result of an air raid on the city.

John William   b. 1913 Southampton   d. 1975 Southampton   Married Elsie M. Payne in Southampton in 1936.

Florence Margery   b. 1917 Southampton   d. 1977 Southampton


Florence remarried in 1925, to William A. Burnett, in Southampton; she passed away in 1956 in the city.


Aragon was originally a Royal Mail ship, built in Ireland in 1905 and worked routes between Southampton and South American ports.


In 1913, Aragon became Britain’s first “Defensively Armed Merchant Ship” (DAMS) of modern times. She took part in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, used as a troop ship, prior to returning to UK waters.


In December 1917 Aragon departed for Alexandria, loaded with 2200 troops bound for the Palestine campaign against the Ottoman Empire.

Moored about 10 miles outside Alexandria on the morning of 31 December, the vessel was hit on the port side aft by a torpedo fired from UC-34.


Her escort (HMS Attack) and HMS Points Castle rescued who they could, prior to the vessel sinking within 20 minutes.

HMS Attack was then herself torpedoed, breaking into two pieces…she sank within 7 minutes.


Survivors were picked up by the lifeboats from Aragon that hadn’t been damaged by the original torpedo.


610 personnel lost their life on Aragon, 19 of them crew.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 4th August 2016


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