G.H.W. Nicholson



Ronald Eagleson Gordon, second son of Dr. Robert Gordon of Stragallan, Northern Ireland was born at Uniondale, South Africa on 17 January 1889. During his studies at Berkhamsted School and later at RMA Woolwich he won the King's medal. Ronald has commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant (?) in the Royal Engineers on 23 December 1909 and was posted in India from 1912 in the Rawalpindi-Murree area. On the outbreak of the First World War, he was incorporated in the Railway Sappers and Miners in East-Africa. He took part in the attempted landing on Tanga and later served with the 25 Company where he took part on the construction of the new Voi-Moshi line connecting the Kenyan and German East African railways. The line was under constant local hazards and German mining attacks combined with the attacks of rhino's who attacked the engines and the construction camps. After his work on the Voi-Moshi line, he went to the Tanga-Moshi line to repair the line after the Germans had severely damaged it on there withdrawal. Ronald was later in command of the repair of the central railway from Dar-Es-Salaam and the construction of a narrow-gauge line near the Mozambique border. For his services in the Great War, he was awarded the British Military Cross and was mentioned in dispatches. On 13 July 1918, he married Vera Newcomb at the St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town. The couple received one son and two daughters.

After the First World War, Ronald returned to India and served with the Sappers and Miners in the Khyber Pass during the Afghan War of 1919-1920. Afterwards, he became second in command of the Indian railways and held this position till 1940, by spending time as a Divisional Engineer with the North Western Railway in Lahore and Karachi. He carried out special studies of grain elevators for Sind and Punjab, the electrification of suburban railways in Bombay and Calcutta and the designing large modern marshalling yards. From 1937 till 1940 he was senior government inspector of Railways for South India, with headquarters at Bangalore and later at Wellington, Nilgiris. After a short tour as commander of a railway group a Basra in 1940, he commanded the Transportation Training centre at Jullundur, where he remained until 1945. He retired in 1947 after commanding a railway group at Hamburg. and took up residence at the Old Vicarage, Bekesbourne and later moved to the precincts , Canterbury.

Ronald E. Gordon died peacefully in Canterbury on 4 August 1965. 



THE MAJOR A. A. GORDON SOCIETY, founded in 2019, is the worlds prominent international non-profit educational society for preserving the historic legacy of Major A. A. Gordon.