Gordon Marshall

Gordon Marshall

Gordon Marshall was involved in three interviews for the Serving Our Country project:

In the first interview, Gordon, John Watson and Anne Milgin talk about the area around Jarlmadangah, Nookanbah and Derby in the Kimberley during World War 2 - about what people, including Anne’s father, saw and remembered about the army from back then, and about people like John’s father who helped the army through labouring and other work, and people like Gordon’s father who served in the army undertaking coast watch reconnaissance work. John also talks about many of the local men at the time practicing with guns and bayonets seemingly in preparation for fighting should the enemy invade, and the three also tell stories of army trucks and military aircraft in the area during World War 2, and about a bunker near the old Derby airport that was used by the army for storage back then. There is also a more general discussion, with Gordon primarily, about why aboriginal men and women, including his father, signed up to serve for Australia in the first place, something which he has done some research on.

In the second interview Gordon discusses his National Service during the Vietnam War, including the rigorous and extreme training he underwent and then the disappointment at his tour of duty being called off at the last minute when Australia pulled out of the war. Gordon also talks about the service of some of his mates who did fight in Vietnam, including the problems they experienced when they returned home. Gordon is very proud of his service, and is very keen to recognise all indigenous servicemen and women, and explains his extensive community service since leaving the army, his involvement in many Anzac Days and his current work with the Derby RSL sub-branch. Gordon also talks about his childhood and family history, including the story of how his mother and cousin were taken away as children to Sister Kate’s Children’s Cottage Home in Perth.

In the third interview, Gordon and his wife Glynis Marshall discuss the service of John Marshall, Gordon’s father, in World War 2. John Marshall worked at the airfield in Broome during the war, assisting with planes. He didn’t talk about his experiences very much, but Gordon is pleased to have a new headstone on his father’s grave that recognises his father’s service. Gordon and Glynis also discuss their feelings on service in the defence forces now, and explain that their great-nephew is currently serving in the army. This recording was made by John Marshall’s grave in Derby.

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Updated:  16 July 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Serving our Country/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team