Vale – Major General Gordon Lindsay Maitland AO, OBE, RFD, ED

Gordon Maitland MAJGENGordon Maitland Centenary of AnzacGordon Maitland funeral

On behalf of the Committee and Members of Families and Friends of the First AIF, I extend condolences to the family and friends of FFFAIF Foundation Member Gordon Maitland on his passing on 17 October 2018, aged 92 years.

Major General Gordon Lindsay Maitland AO OBE RFD ED (1926 – 2018) was born in Rockdale on 25 August 1926. He was aged 17 when he enlisted in the 2nd AIF during the Second World War. He learnt Japanese and on the cessation of hostilities was sent overseas and took some of the surrenders. He also did some of the war crimes investigations and interpreted at some of the war trials.

His military career included service in Vietnam and later command of the 2nd Division. At the time of his retirement from the Army, Gordon was Chief of Reserves at Army Headquarters and a member of the Chief of Army’s Advisory Council. Post military, Gordon served as CEO of The Royal Agricultural Society, on various NSW Government Committees and as Chief Manager of the Commonwealth Bank.

 For the past 3 decades, Gordon has devoted his life to commemorative and community activities, particularly assisting veterans and their organisations, a number of which he has led. He has also had a lifelong dedication to military history.

2009 07 23 Pozieres Service Gordon Maitland P1040083Gordon at the Commemorative Service for the Battle of Pozieres at Saint Columba Church, Woollahra on Sunday 26 July 2009.
Photo: Major General Craig D. Williams AM, Commander 2nd Division takes the salute accompanied by Rev. Dr. Alan Russell, Major-General Sandy Pearson AO, DSO, OBE, MC (Retd) and Major-General Gordon Maitland AO OBE RFD ED (Retd) [Jim Munro]

 Gordon Maitland at Pozieres Service 2008

Gordon at Pozieres Commemoration Service at Saint Columba Uniting Church, Woollahra, Sunday 27 July 2008.
Photo: Theodore Arfaras, President, Association Des Anciens Combatants Francais, George Brouet, President, Foundation France Libre, Major General Gordon Maitland AO OBE RFD ED Rtd, Russell Curley, President Families and Friends of the First AIF. [Alan Kitchen]

Gordon was a Foundation Member of FFFAIF (Member 20) and our most senior retired military officer. Gordon has been an authoritative historian and author with the assistance of his late wife Dorothy has had 6 books published. Click here to read an interview Gordon did with NSW RSL Reveille on his interest in military history.

Gordon Maitland passed away on the evening of 17 October 2018 and his military funeral was held at St James, King St., Sydney on Monday, 29 October 2018 at 10:30. This was followed by a by Military Procession along Phillip St with a Tribute Ceremony at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, concluding with a reception at The Westin Hotel, Sydney.

Those participating in the service included:

The Rev Andrew Sempell, Rector of St James
The Rev Robert Sutherland, CSC, Chaplain, Australian Army
he Rev the Honourable Fred Nile, ED, MLC

The eulogy was delivered by Major General The Honourable Paul Brereton, AM RFD, Judge of the NSW Court of Appeal, honorary Colonel Commandant of the Royal NSW Regiment and the University of NSW Regiment, and Assistant Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force.

Pipers of Sydney’s Thistle Highland Pipe Band played a Scottish Tribute

Reflections were given by Gordon’s daughters, Barbara Hodges and Elizabeth Charman and the grandchildren.

Readings were led by:
is Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley, AC, DSC, (Rtd), Governor of New South Wales
Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, AC, DSC, CSM

The poem “Kokoda Pilgrimage” written by Gordon was read by 97 years-old Dick Payten OAM, President of the 7th Division Association and a Kokoda veteran. 

The 4th Battalion Royal New South Wales Regiment Colours were marched into the service.

The Choir of St James, Director of Music, Organist and Altar Servers assisted in the service.

Piper Graham Wood played the recessional piece as the Maitland family and dignitaries left the church.

The following photos show the military procession and Tribute Ceremony.

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Military Procession in Phillip Street, Sydney

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Gordon’s casket arrives at the Cenotaph Ceremony of Remembrance  Graeme Wood of the Sydney’s Thistle Highland Pipe Band, for first time in public, played the Fromelles lament, commissioned by Gordon.  

 FFFAIF member Darren Mitchell significantly supported the Maitland family in the organisation and conduct of the funeral service and Cenotaph Ceremony of Remembrance.

Other FFFAIF members present were Jim Munro, President, Russell Curley past President, Margaret Snodgrass, Jim Braid.

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 FFFAIF Members Margaret Snodgrass OAM and Past President Russell Curley with Member Jim Braid in the background. Senior military officers, Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales, and Gordon’s daughters Barbara Hodges and Elizabeth Charman and members of the Maitland family.

Read Gordon Maitland Obituary SMH Will Davies in the Sydney Morning Herald of 10 November 2018 by Will Davies

Jim Munro


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