Amongst all those troops of the first Convoy landing at Alexandria in Egypt, was one Gordon Crocker. This name is well known in Ballarat, because of Crockers’ department store on the corner of Armstrong and Sturt Sts, a shop well-loved by many and still family owned right up to recent days.
Gordon was the son (b. 1885) of George Crocker (who began the store) and his wife Clara. They lived in Errard St Nth, and as there were 8 children in the family it must have been a busy household. As well, George Crocker had just completed a term as Mayor of Ballarat, in 1912-1913, and he continued to sit on the Ballarat Council.
Gordon was working as an accountant before he enlisted as a private with the 8th Battalion on 24 August 1914, and on 17 September he was promoted to corporal. The Battalion disembarked on 8th December and proceeded to Mena Camp – where Gordon and the Battalion had desert training to look forward to.
|from Ballarat Courier, March 1915|