C.M.B. Gordon

COLIN MACKENZIE BLAIR GORDON

MAJOR GORDON'S NEPHEW

Colin MacKenzie Blair Gordon was born on 30th January 1913 as the firstborn son of William E. Gordon and Margaret Katherine Blair. William had married his beloved Irish born wife, Margaret on 6 January 1910. Margaret was born in South Dublin in 1886 and married Gordon on St George Hanover Square, London. When Brev. Colonel William E. Gordon was imprisoned after the Gordon Highlanders surrendered on 27 August 1914 near Le Cateau, Margaret became a single mother. An article of her and her one-year-old son was published in The Sketch in Dec. 1914. After William E. Gordon was exchanged with the German Prince Salm Salm in 1916 he returned to England but was in a critical health condition. Luckily W.E. Gordon recovered well and the family received there second child and daughter Valerie Gloria Jean Blair on 15th May 1917. By now the family was living in Chelsea. Colin MacKenzie Blair was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Gordon

Highlanders. He most definitely served under Gen Sir Ian Standish Montieth Hamilton who was commanding the regiment from 1914 till 1939.


Colin McKenzie Blair Gordon was invited by his good friend 2nd Lt. Edgar John Warren of the 2nd Devonshire Regiment to join him in the race at Dorrington Park as a passenger-Mechanic on 19 August 1933. The car overturned at the Hair Pin bend and 2nd Lt. Gordon was pinned underneath. He was taken to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary but died on the journey. Warren stated later that he found the track in good order while he was having a practice run in his car with Gordon as a passenger and that an error of judgement on his part occurred, resulting in losing his best friend. It was the sixth fatal accident at Castle Donington and the fourth occurred in that year. Mr. Bendle W. Moore said that the Donington track was safe but realises that motor-racing or motor-cycling racing was one of the dangerous sports in which young men of that time embarked. Gordon's mother said that her son had very little knowledge of motor cars. He had never done any motor racing to her knowledge, she saw him the day before he was killed at Castle Donington Park. She also made the following statement: "I have a letter from a mother begging me to do something to stop the racing at Donington in view of the accidents."


Another testimony was made by Leon Alan Barker, who was an ambulance man during the 19th August race at Donington: "When the driver took the turn, he appeared to skid, lose control, pass on to the righthand side of the track, hit a tree, and turn over. Gordon was badly injured and was hurried to the Infirmary." He also stated that an ambulance was on the spot within two minutes and that there were a dozen ambulance men on duty round the track. He believed that this was the first fatal accident at the hairpin bend. The Coroner testified that if Gordon had been wearing a crash helmet it might have helped to save his life because the cause of death was a fracture to the skull. The secretary of the Derby and District Motor Club, Mr F.G. Craner said that he had seen Warren make two practice laps and that nothing out of the ordinary or recklessness was seen. The Coroner asked if Mr. Craner if he had any control or rule regarding the wear of crash helmets. He replied that he could obligate a rule, if desired and make a regulation to govern that sort of thing. Warren and Gordon were driving a 12HP Bugatti with the race number 46 on it. The car belonged to the newly-formed Junior Racings Drivers Club. Warren did not consider a crash helmet because it would interfere with his hearing when changing gears.


Gordon being a Passenger-Mechanic had the sole duty to warn the driver of the approach of other cars which desired to pass, and anyone over 18 years of age who was not a female could act as passenger-Mechanic. E. J. Warren remained in the army and became a Lieutenant on 2 February 1936.

Mary Katherine Blair

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