Gordon was the son of Emmanuel and Mary Anne Priestley of Fell Houses, Cockfield. Emmanuel was born at Lane Heads, Woodlands and Mary Ann was from Northumberland.
The 1901 census lists his older brothers as George, Fred and Andrew and gives their place of birth as Wackerfield. the 1911 census lists a younger brother, Oliver, and two younger sisters, Isabella and Hilda Mary. Their place of birth was Sun Cottages, Staindrop (most likely to be cottages at the Sun Inn, Wackerfield). Oliver, went to Ingleton C of E school and family members presume that Gordon did the same because they lived at Sun Cottages for many years. But Emmanuel and Mary had at least nine children, 5 of whom died: 2 young daughters died of whooping cough within a few moths of each other in 1891 and 1892 and are buried in Ingleton churchyard; Thomas drowned aged 2 in 1884; Andrew was killed in a car crash aged 21 in 1909; and Gordon died in 1917.
In 1916, Gordon had a girlfriend called Louisa Armstrong, a cook at Barnard Castle County School. On the cold and snowy night of 1st March 1916, she left her aunt's house to walk to Cockfield Station but never arrived. She was found on 30th March at the bottom of Summerson't Fell Hill Quarry. A report of inquest and and article in the Northern Echo are available from the Bowes Museum.
Men in family all miners.
Little is know of Gordon's service. He was a Sergeant by February 1917 when he was mentioned in Staindrop, Cockfield and Ingleton Parish Magazine. He must have has some leave in August because the magazine records a send-off of veterans from Cockfield (copy available at the Bowes Museum). Not long after returning to the trenches, he was reported wounded and missing recorded as killed in action. Miss A Gooding, his brother's girlfriend, received a letter from a Sergeant Henderson describing Gordon'd bravery. His death was reported in the magazine and the family received his medals. Letters available from the Bowes Museum.
Gordon's parents put a headstone in Cockfield Cemetery, which says Gordon was killed in France, probably without realising it was Belgium.
Various pictures available from the Bowes Museum.