The Bridge of Allan

Early Life

In 1857 Major Gordon's father, William Eagleson Gordon M.D., resided in Bridge of Allan in a house on Fountain Road. Five years he became a widower when his wife, Marian Hay Forbes, died on 21 November 1862. Until 1 January 1865, Dr Gordon travelled back and forward to Ireland. The same year he married Emilia Maryanne Dick and, together with his wife, his mother-in-law (Isabelle Dick) + her servant Fanny Anderson and his brother-in-law (Alexander Mackenzie, sixth of Mountgerald) moved to Haymounthouse on Henderson Street. Colonel William Eagleson Gordon, VC CBE, Major Gordon and their oldest sister were born here.

In 1869 the family moved to Homehill (now Ben Loyal) on Kenilworth Road. Soon after, Sir James Young Simpson stayed as their guest. Frequent visitors were also Lord and Lady Abercromby and Alexander Keith. In 1870 William E. Gordon, MD, petitioned with seven other progressive men to the Sheriff of the County to declare Bridge of Allan a Burgh under the terms of the Burgh Police Act. In 1872 Fanny Anderson, the loyal servant who had voluntarily followed her mistress (Isabelle Dick, Major Gordon's maternal grandmother) from Jamaica to Scotland, died and was laid to rest at Logie Cemetery by Major Gordon's father, Major Gordon and his oldest brother. In his memoirs (1939), Major Gordon stated that the grave was marked with a tablet that reads: "In memory of Frances Anderson. Died 1872." and still maintains it. The same year Major Gordon's grandmother died and was buried next to her husband, Archibald Dick, at Elgin Cathedral cemetery near Moray.

On 15 January 1873, Major Gordon's father died unexpectedly at 51 and was laid to rest at Logie Cemetery. 

In early 1874 the local celebrations for the wedding of the Duke of Edinburgh, Alfred Hertog van Saxen-Coburg and Gotha and the Russian Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia were held in a field in Kenilworth Road, Bridge of Allan. Major Gordon, who was little, was upheld by a strong nurse and saw fireworks for the first time.

The Gordon family left the Bridge of Allan in 1878-1879 and left Homehill in the care of the Remy(?) family. Their daughter Aggie sketched a picture of the house and presented it to Major Gordon's mother. Homehill was sold by Colonel William Eagleson Gordon in 1904 to a Mr Galloway.


Haymount House anno 2023 (wondering how it looked in during Major Gordon's time?) click here

Homehill (now Ben Loyal) anno 2023 (wondering how it looked during Major Gordon's time?) click here

In 1924 Major Gordon and his Maude had a holiday at Bridge of Allan and discovered that the climate was very good for Maude's health issues. Major Gordon found out that the waiting list for a property was very long, and a suitable property came on the market early in 1925. It was the home where Major Gordon's younger brother Robert was born on 7 February 1871 when the family suffered from Scarlet fever at Homehill. Major Gordon bought the home on Robert's birthday and moved in on 9 June 1925. He and his wife refitted the entire garden and lived joyfully until Maude's passing on 13 July 1929.

Major Gordon lost his youngest and only surviving son Edmund two years later

on TBC. From 1932 onwards, Major Gordon joined the Hellenic Travelers Club and travelled the meditteraiing sea and Palestine often. In 1937 he edited the book "The Church of the Multiplying of the Loaves and Fishes", and two years later, he authored his biography Culled from a Diary here. During the Second World War, he remained home until he died in 1949. However, Major Gordon did not pass away here while visiting his youngest sister Helene.

After his wife's death, Major Gordon's servant was Miss Fraser. She remained with him until his passing. Jessamine was passed down to Major Gordon's cousin General Sir Cameron Gordon Graham Nicholson, who sold the house immediately after Major Gordon's death. Major Gordon bequeathed his heirlooms, war souvenirs and Royal gifts to his cousin Colonel Ronald Eagleson Gordon.

Jessamine once belonged to James Fairlie, who resurrected the Glenturret distillery in 1957. The current owners maintain and preserve the property very well. 

Jessamine anno 2023 (wondering how it looked during Major Gordon's time?) click here

Major Gordon Serving the community

1930: Presided over the annual meeting of the local British Legion branch

          Supported the presiding of Col. H.B. Spens, DSO, during the Armistic dinner and brought the toast "The Burgh of Bridge of Allan"

1931: Took part in the eighth annual exhibition and international salon held by Bridge of Allan and District Photographic Society, opened in

          the Royal Halls by Lady A. Kay Muir of Blair Drummond

1933: Presided over the annual meeting of the 11th Troop of Boy Scouts

1934: Elected as a representative member and as honorary secretary of the Bridge of Allan Curling Club

          Attended the Stirling Garden Party at Stirling Castle

1938: Elected a Vice President of the Bridge of Allan Rugby Club

Saint Saviour's Church

Saint Saviour's was the church where Major Gordon worshipped every Sunday. After his passing the following memorial was given at St. Saviour's:

Major A. A. Gordon

A great gentleman and Churchman was laid to rest on 16th August, and we in St. Saviour's miss that familiar figure, who Sunday by Sunday, with rarely a miss, worshipped amongst us. His voice, with commanding clarity, was always a great inspiration, ringing with purpose, for it came from one who worshipped with great conviction. His services to St. Saviour's were legion, especially during his years as Vestryman, and we owe him a tremendous amount for the smooth running of Church affairs for many years.

I am not writing as Rector so much as on your behalf, as most of you knew Major Gordon longer and more intimately than I. As a result of many requests, it is proposed to perpetuate the memory of Major Gordon by subscribing towards a new Lectern. The present one is very insecure, and a new one will have to be got, and what better or more fitting memorial than a lectern in his memory? He was one who read and knew his Bible - both its history and its message, and to remember him in that which carries the Bible is something both appropriate and worthy of his memory, and beneficial as well as necessary to our own Church.

Logie Cemetery 

Logie Cemetery holds the bones of Major Gordon, his wife, his parents and his sister, and Fanny Anderson, the servant of Major Gordon's grandmother who voluntarily followed her from Jamaica to Scotland and died the same year as her mistress.

William Eagleson Gordon MD

Major Gordon's father, a well-known and respected Medical Doctor in Bridge of Allan, died unexpectedly at 51 on 15 January 1873.

Emily "Emmy" Mackenzie Black (born Gordon)

Emily was Major Gordon's oldest sister. She married Adam Rimmer Black on 26 December 1890 and received three children. She died unexpectedly at 9 Sombers Place London on 18 June 1909 and was buried beside her father.

Emilia "Emily" Maryanne Gordon (born Dick)

Major Gordon's mother died on 14 February 1917. Major Gordon described unrest and grief as too much because most of her sons and grandsons had gone to war and returned wounded. Mother Gordon was a huge philanthrope in the community.

Maude wife of Archibald Alexander Gordon

Major Gordon's wife Maude, born Lizzie Maude Smith, died on 13 July 1929 at Jessamine in Bridge of Allan. She rests not far from the tomb of William E. Gordon, MD, and Major Gordon placed the following phrase on her Celtic tombstone: "I thank God for every memory of you".

Archibald Alexander Gordon, Aka Major Gordon

Major Gordon died on 12 August (tombstone inscribed with the date 9 August) while visiting his youngest sister. He was later cremated, and the "small casket" was placed in the tomb of his wife.