Brigadier General J. Neil Gordon, DSO, CD was born at Toronto, Ontario and was educated in Toronto schools and at Upper Canada College where he rose to Commanding Officer of the Cadet Corps which was affiliated with the Queen’s Own Rifles.
On 4 September 1939 Neil Gordon joined the Queen’s Own Rifles to serve in Second World War. He first obtained combat experience in North Africa and Italy while on loan to the 1st Battalion North Lancashire Regiment who were badly in need of reinforcements.
Following his return to the Queen’s Own Rifles, in June 1944, on D-Day, Gordon led D Company in landing at Bernieres sur Mer (where they were almost wiped out) and in the attack a few days later, at Le Mesnil Patry, where he received multiple wounds. He returned to lead C Company in Operation Wellhit, the action which resulted in the capture of Boulogne, in mid September.
In October 1944, Gordon was named Deputy Commanding Officer of the North Shore Regiment and later became its Commanding Officer. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for distinguished services in action against the enemy.
During the postwar period, Brigadier General Gordon served as Commanding Officer (1952-1954) and later Honorary Colonel of the Queen’s Own Rifles (1987-1989).
He passed away in October 1995 and was survived by his wife Jean and their five children.