Meet the 102-year-old who dodged a sniper bullet
Monday 13th November 2017 13:34 Longdendale News Posted by Adam Higgins

Gordon Dixon is building quite a collection of birthday greetings from the Queen – and another was popped through the letter box of his Mottram home last week.

Born and brought up in Mossley, Gordon was 102 years old on Tuesday.

“My grand-daughter threw a party,” he said. “I really enjoyed it.”

Gordon has lived in the housing complex for older people for seven years, moving in from his home in Stalybridge.

He has many friends there and at Mottram Evangelical Church, where he’s a frequent visitor.

Still fit and well despite his age, Gordon worked for his local gas board for more than 40 years.

A series of promotions led to him becoming a senior meter inspector, a position that involved him in many prosecutions.

Gordon’s career with the gas board ended when the Second World War broke out. He joined the RAF but it took him two attempts.

His job was classed as a reserved occupation and his bosses wouldn’t let him enlist, so he hopped on the bus to Manchester and enlisted there.

Gordon, who spent five years in the RAF, before he returned to the gas board, said: “It wasn’t just me, we all wanted to join up. We didn’t want to stay at home. We all wanted to fight for our country.”

Brothers in arms

It was a sentiment echoed by his three brothers. One was a Regimental Sergeant Major, the others an armourer and a rear gunner.

Gordon’s job was to equip aircraft for war, although he saw service overseas where he was wounded.

He was in France when the war ended and the allied troops were told to hand over their weapons.

Unfortunately, no-one had told the German soldiers that Gordon and his mates encountered – and a sniper shot him in the wrist.

On another occasion, he was on a troopship that was being stalked by two enemy submarines.

“The captain told us to look over the side of the ship and watch out for them,” he said.

“They chased us all the way to America but the Americans would not let us dock because they were not in the war then, so we had to come all the way back.”

But Gordon survived and almost 80 years later, he is still going strong.

 

Main picture:

Happy family: Gordon Dixon celebrating his 102nd birthday with his grandchildren James Barnes, six, and his 10-year-old sister Emily.

 

By David Jones