b. 23/10/1890 Wollongong, New South Wales. d. 24/03/1934 Newcastle, New South Wales.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 12/03/1925 Newcastle, New South Wales.
Gordon, as he was more commonly known, was one of four children of Cornelius and Mary Ellen Lees (nee Walton). He gained a job as a life saver with Newcastle City Council. He was presented with his AM by the Governor of New South Wales on 25th February 1926. He married Grace Westling in Newcastle in 1928, and they had a son in 1929. Gordon died aged just 43 in 1934 and is buried in Sandgate Cemetery.
A youth named Jack Canning was attacked by a man-eating shark when bathing from the beach at Newcastle, New South Wales, on the 12th March, 1925. A rush was made to launch, the surf boat but before this could be done Gordon. Lees, employed by the City Council to patrol the beach and assist surf bathers in difficulties, put on a belt with a life line attached, and swam out alone to Canning’s assistance. Canning had been attacked three times by the shark and was terribly injured, and Lees reached him just as he appeared to abandon all further effort to save himself. The shark was then only a few yards away from rescuer and rescued. Lees lifted Canning up when he was almost submerged and the two were then immediately hauled in to the beach by the life line. The rescued man, unfortunately, died from his injuries shortly afterwards.
BURIAL LOCATION: SANDGATE CEMETERY, SANDGATE, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA.
Presbyterian; Section 20NW; Plot 87
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.