List of important persons in Major Gordon's lifetime
King Albert I of Belgium
Major Gordon met King Albert I of Belgium at Antwerp. After the evacuation, Major Gordon was asked to do a task for King Albert in London and then travell to La Panne. At La Panne, Major Gordon was offered the position of Belgians King's Messenger. From 1914 to 1922 Major Gordon served the King of the Belgians with great honour.
Elisabeth of Bavaria, Queen of the Belgians
During his time as King's Messenger. Major Gordon held a close relationship with Queen Elisabeth. The Queen gave him many official and personal tasks, like the arrangements to establish the Queen's hospital L'océan in La Panne. While in England, Queen Elisabeth asked to meet Gordon's wife, Maude, and they had a wonderful afternoon at Major Gordon's house.
Prince Charles, Count of Flandres
Major Gordon escorted the prince many times from England to La Panne. While at Buckingham Palace, during the visit of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth to England in 1918, the prince sat down in Major Gordons's room and made sketches and drawings. While Major Gordon came to check on him, he saw that the prince had used a wax stick to press the crest of England into a paper but did not use any protection underneath, ruining the antique table.
Princess Marie-José of Belgium
Major Gordon escorted the princess many times and was reprimanded by her when he called her rabbit "Soult" instead of "Marshal Soult". The Princess explained that if she asked for 'Gordon,' no one would know who she mends. But if she asked for "Major Gordon", everyone would know because everyone knew who Major Gordon was. On the announcement of the princess' wedding date with Umberto II, Major Gordon sended a nostalgic gift for her to the palace of Laken and was returned with a warm response.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Major Gordon met with Franz Ferdinand at Apsley House during the funeral ceremony of Edward VII. The Archduke's room was packed with Madam Abel Chateny Roses, and the Archduke - a great flower enthusiast - admired the rose so much he sent a telegram to his wife to inform her he had seen the best smelling and most beautiful rose. After his stay at Apsley House, the Archduke presented Major Gordon with a golden cigarette case. Later, Major Gordon received permission from his boss to send a dozen p...
Prince Alecander of Teck, Lord Athlone
Major Gordon met many times with Lord Athlone during the prince's position as head of the British Mission in La Panne. At Lord Athlone's request, Major Gordon established a protestant chapel for the British soldiers in La Panne. Later, Lord Athlone received Major Gordon at Buckingham Palace when Major Gordon announced the visit of King Albert to England and later travelled with the King to Scotland.
Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg
Major Gordon was asked to guide Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg and his wife during their seven-day trip through Scotland. One day the Duke and his wife had tea at Major Gordon's house in Edinburgh. Here the Duke met with his wife and children. At the end of his stay, the Duke presented Major Gordon with a large Scottish silver quiach that is now kept in the King's Messenger Collection.
Major General Charles George Gordon AKA Chinese Gordon
After Major Gordon's father unexpectedly died at 51, his mother took the family for a one-year stay in Switzerland. At Lausanne, Major Gordon met Chinese Gordon, who taught Sunday School and told many of his stories to the children at Lake Geneve. In his later years, Major Gordon met with a native who had witnessed Chinese Gordon's death in Khartoum.
4th Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesly
From 1906 onwards, Major Gordon held the position of Private Secretary to the Duke of Wellington. At Apsley House, Major Gordon mainly took part in the social duties of the Duke and his wife, the Dutchess Kathleen Emily Bulkeley Williams. Major Gordon also curated the Duke's museum and the Waterloo Gallery. After the war, Major Gordon guided his boss to the grave of Captain Lord Richard Wellesley, who had been killed during the First Battle of Ypres.
Major General Jack Seely, Lord Mottistone
Major Gordon met with Jack Seely at the hotel St. Antoine in Antwerp during the First World War outbreak. Once Major Gordon was relieved from his task as the organiser of the Belgian Relief Fund, he was asked by Seely to become his Orderly Officer. Together they surveyed the frontlines around Antwerp and reported to the British and Belgian headquarters. Later, they took part in evacuating the troops towards Bruges and Ostend. Lord Mottistone wrote the foreword for "Culled from a Diary."
Field Marshal Frederick S. Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts
Major Gordon and Lord Roberts participated in funding to save the surrounding fields of the Waterloo monument in Belgium in 1913. A year later, Lord Roberts assisted in getting Major Gordon's sons into the units they had laid their hard upon. Major Gordon was informed of Lord Robert's death at British headquarters in France.
William Tecumseh Sherman
During his world tour, Major Gordon had the pleasure of meeting William Tecumseh Sherman in New York. The former general showed a great interest in Major Gordon's family and was delighted to hear that Major Gordon's brothers had enlisted in the British Army.
Major Gordon met Winston Churchill through Jack Seely - a lifelong friend of Churchill - at the hotel St. Antoine in Antwerp in 1914. Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, asked Major Gordon to make several copies of the two maps he had given him. Despite making much effort, Major Gordon could not deliver the number of documents and was reprimanded by Churchill. However, Major Gordon managed to deliver the missing copies. Churchill later thanked and congratulated him for his work....
Baron Gaston de Werve de Schilde
Major Gordon was invited by the Civil Governor of Antwerp, Baron de Werve de Schilde, to stay with him at the Governor's palace in Antwerp in 1914. Later, Major Gordon was entrusted with three guns from the British manufacturer Purdey's and brought them to the store in London for safekeeping.
George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Major Gordon held a close relationship with Lord Curzon before, during and after the war. In 1913, Lord Curzon and Major Gordon were involved in funding the saving of the Waterloo Monument in Belgium. During the First World War, Lord Curzon was entrusted with the Belgian Princes and the Princess at Hackwood, where Major Gordon visited them frequently. In 1915, Major Gordon guided Lord Curzon over the front to La Panne. Here Lord Curzon was unaware he would become decorated by King Albert. After...
Admiral David Beatty
In 1918, while King Albert visited the Grand Fleet, Major Gordon met with Admiral David Beatty. Major Gordon guided Admiral Beatty after the war through the battlefield's and cities of Belgium. At Malines, they met with Cardinal Mercier. Previously the Admiral had expressed his doubts about why he had to meet the Cardinal as he had nothing to do with the Catholic church. However, Major Gordon convinced him to meet with the Cardinal as he was seen as one of the Belgian heroes.
In December 1914, Major Gordon escorted Mrs Asquith to La Panne upon the invitation of Queen Elisabeth. Mrs Asquith had previously expressed her desire to visit the frontlines and envied Major Gordon's adventures stories. While in France, Major Gordon and Mrs Asquith went to see Major Gordon's brother-in-law Graham Nicholson. While having tea, four German shells landed near the farmhouse. Luckily no one was harmed because of the wet grounds. The Prime Minister later thanked Major Gordon for the ...
Arnold Henry Savage Landor
Landor was the British photographer, Queen Elisabeth had asked to come to La Panne by the end of 1914. When Major Gordon arrived at La Panne, he was tasked to take Landor to Ypres and photograph the grave of Prince Maurice of Battenberg. Afterwards, they drove to Boulogne but were halted at a checkpoint when one of Landor's cameras fell out of the car. Landor was later detained for three days, and the camera was confiscated.
Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm
Major Gordon visited Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm during the war in his spare time at Pervijze. He always brought them canned food and became a dear friend. Later, he was entrusted with the couple's diaries so they could get published. When Elsie Knocker married the Belgian aristocrat Baron Harold de T'Serclaes, a pilot in the Belgian Flying Corps, she took her honeymoon in London where they visited Major Gordon in his home and signed his guestbook.
Captain John Aidan Liddell
The pilot Captain John Aidan Liddell, was severely wounded during a survey over Bruges but managed beyond human strength to land his plane in allied territory. He was hospitalised at L'ocean in La Panne, where Major Gordon visited him frequently. Unfortunately, Liddell's condition worsened, and he died of his wounds. Just before his passing, he was informed he had been awarded the Victoria Cross.
General Auguste Tilkens
While at Buckingham Palace during King Albert's visit to England in 1918, Major Gordon and then Colonel Tilkens fulfilled their daily duties in a room. Prince Charles seated on a table near the window, making sketches and drawings. When Major Gordon discovered that the prince had used a wax stick to stamp the crest of England into a piece of paper, he saw that the antique table was ruined. Colonel Tilkens spoke angrily to the prince and said that the King had to be informed. After a suiteable pu...
Sir Archibald Hunter
While serving in the 9th Royal Scots, Major Gordon met with General Sir Archibald Hunter, the man who contributed significantly to revenging Major Gordon's childhood hero Chinese Gordon. Hunter asked Major Gordon to participate in establishing the Scottish National Monument for Queen Victoria, resulting in the establishment of the Queen Victoria School in Dunblane. Major Gordon applied and was later decorated by Edward VII with the Member in the Royal Victorian Order, 4th Clas,s for his involvem...
Lieutenant-Colonel James H. Clark
Major Gordon's good friend and fellow archer was commissioned in the 9th Royal Scots on August 18, 1900, and took up the command of B-company. Later, Clark became the second commander of the regiment when Lt. Colonel Ferguson resigned from his commission. During the First World War, he arrived in France with the 9th Argyll and Sutherland battalion. On May 10, 1915, Clark was killed in the Second Battle of Ypres and was buried at Brandhoek Military Cemetery, Belgium and is on the Rolls of Honour...
General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton
On August 31, 1901, Sir Ian Hamilton received the rank of Honorary Colonel of the 9th Royal Scots. Hamilton played a massive part in the service of Major Gordon's family while being the commanding officer of his brothers William and Robert, his children William and Edmund and his nephew Colin.
James Young Simpson MD
In his early years, Major Gordon's father invited his colleague Dr Simpson to stay with him and the family at their new home Homehill in Bridge of Allan. All the Gordon children were very fond of Dr Simpson because he was always entrainment with challenging physical exercises young children could not perform.
Lieutenant General Victor Deguise
General Deguise asked Major Gordon to become his liaison officer during the Siege of Antwerp. Major Gordon was denied this request because the army needed him. However, when the situation became critical, Major Gordon was entrusted with an important message from Deguise for General Rawlinson in which an arrangement with the First Lord of the Admiralty was stated. Major Gordon reported many times to Deguise until he led the evacuation of the British marines later on.
The famous Belgian sculptor Victor Rousseau was contacted by Major Gordon in London on behalf of Queen Elisabeth. The Queen wanted him to make a design for the Queen Elisabeth Medal. Rousseau draw many sketches, and after the Queen's approval, she gave Major Gordon the task of finding coloured silk samples for the ribbon. Later, Victor Rousseau travelled with Eugene Ysaÿe and Major Gordon to La Panne.
Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig
Major Gordon met Sir Douglas Haig during his trip with Lord Curzon to La Panne. The Field Marshal was previously informed of the death of Major Gordon's oldest son William in the Battle of Loos. Haig spoke some comforting words to Major Gordon and gave an extensive account of what had happened during the battle.
During his childhood, Major Gordon's parents had a close relationship with Lord and Lady Abercromby, who was in the service at Buckingham Palace. Major Gordon was very fond of Lady Abercromby because she always brought sweets from London for him and his siblings. On her visits, Lady Abercromby informed the family frequently of the condition of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII).
Dr Stahmer, German ambassador in London
During the Belgian State Visit to London in 1920, Dr Stahmer and his wife were invited and present at a ball. Major Gordon, who was in the company of Sir Edward Wallington, saw that the ambassador and his wife seemed lonely, and Major Gordon suggested going over and talking to them. Later that evening, Major Gordon was spoken to by the Duke of Connaught, who said he saw the initiative he and Wallington took to go and talk to the ambassador and his wife, and he felt glad they did.
Major Jean Dujardin
In 1918, Major Jean Dujardin, Major Gordon and the French commander Martin were given the task of finding a new headquarters for King Albert near Bruges. They found Loppem Castle in due course. Afterwards, Major Gordon and Major Dujardin drove toward Bruges and had great difficulty reaching it. When entering the outskirts they were overrun by the civilians who thought the King had arrived.
Anna Masterton Buchan aka O. Douglas
The British writer Anna Buchan, who wrote under the pseunonym O. Douglas assisted Major Gordon in his writting of 'Culled from a Diary'.
Robert, 7th Duke d'Ursel
Major Gordon had a close friendship with Duke d'Ursel's wife, Sabine Franquet de Franqueville, since his involvement with the Franco-Scottish Society. Major Gordon's oldest, Wiliam, stayed with the family d'Ursel in 1914 but had to return during the First World War outbreak. Major Gordon and Lord Curzon visited Duke d'Ursel on the frontlines in 1915.
Arthur Bigge, Lord Stamfordham
During the visit of the King and Queen of the Belgians to London in 1918, Major Gordon received orders from Lord Stamfordham to arrive precisely at 2.02 PM at Buckingham Palace on the day of the Silver Jubilee of the wedding of George V and the Queen Consort. Major Gordon managed to do so and was later given the ecplantion that because of King Albert's long posture, the King wanted the guard to switch with a detachment of the Scots Guard in a two-minute change.
Henry Vollam Morton
Major Gordon met with the famous British writer Henry Morton in the 1930s. Morton congratulated Major Gordon with his book Culled from a Diary but wished the book had contained a picture of the author. Both men wrote letters to each other between 1936 and 1942.
Comte Albert de Bassompierre
Comte Albert de Bassompierre was one of the first Belgian officials Major Gordon met on the quay in Antwerp. Together they visited the frontlines at Antwerp and built a long-lasting friendship. In his book Culled from a Diary from 1939, Major Gordon said he maintained the friendship with de Bassompierre.
Cardinal Désiré-Joseph Mercier
During the early stages of the First World War, Major Gordon and de Bassompierre made a visit to Cardinal Mercier in Malines. Here they witnessed how the cathedral and the palace were shattered. During the visit, Cardinal Mercier promised Major Gordon two stained glass windows. After the war, the windows Major Gordon had chosen vanished, but he received two new ones. Major Gordon had them framed and installed in his home Jessamine in Bridge of Allen, until his dying day. Major Gordon's nephew Re...
The violinist Eugène Ysaÿe was the music teacher of Queen Elisabeth and was invited during the war to come to La Panne and perform for the wounded soldiers in the Queen's hospital. Major Gordon picked him and his entourage up in Victoria Station and escorted them to La Panne. Ysaÿe's bandsman Lionel Tertis wrote his experience down in his journal, which was later published.
Prince Maurice of Battenberg
During the war, Major Gordon, at the request of Queen Elisabeth had the grave of the prince photographed. Later, he installed a large metal sheet on the coffin when the grave was heavily disrupted.
General Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson
General Rawlinson was the commander-in-chief of the British forces during the Siege of Antwerp. His headquarters was set in the Belgian town of Vieu-Dieu. Major Gordon and Colonel Jack Seely reported many times to the General and later coördinated with him the evacuation to the railway stations Sint Niklaas and Sint Gilles Waas.
Sir Louis Leisler Greig
During the Siege of Antwerp, Major Gordon drove on a deserted road, stopped, and surveyed the surroundings. On the road, he found a fresh loaf and walked to the side to get a bite. While doing so, he spots a British officer in the distance who was also surveying the surroundings. When Major Gordon approached him, he saw that the officer was of the Medical Corps. When the officer turned around, Major Gordon could not believe he was standing in front of the international Rugby player, Louis Greig,...
Ghislaine de Caraman Chimay
Major Gordon met with the lady-in-waiting of Queen Elisabeth numerous times in La Panne and London. De Caraman was present during Queen Elisabeth's visit to Major Gordon's wife and later sent him a silver and enamelled spoon from Paris.
General Sir Neil Methuen Ritchie
General Neil Richie was a good friend of Major Gordon and the commanding officer of his son's William and Edmund. After the Battle of Loos, Ritchie informed Major Gordon of Edmund's illness.
Major General Thomas Tait Pitman
Major Gordon met with General Pitman on the German war cemetery of Kruiseik while looking for the grave of Captain Lord Richard Wellesley, the second son of his boss, the Duke of Wellington. It was Pitman who found the tomb of the Lord. He was looking for a young relative who had been in the Royal Air Force but could not find him and moved on to the next cemetery.
Field Marshal Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, 1st Baronet
Major Gordon, Field Marshal Henry Wilson and his Aide-de-Camp travelled together to Belgium on 21 November 1918. The general was anxious to visit Furnes, Pervijze and the front, which Major Gordon explained on the way. After arriving at the Château Laken, Major Gordon mentioned to King Albert that he had been in the company of General Wilson priorly but that the General had decided to go to Bruges and Ostend. King Albert dispatched a motorcyclist to Bruges, asking him to join him in entering Bru...
Marquis de Villalobar
During the Belgian ceremonies of the Armestice Major Gordon was present at a banquet at the Spanish Embassy given by Ambassador Marques de Villalobar. Major Gordon knew him well from his days as Councillor of the Spanish embassy in London. It is believed that Major Gordon received the Spanish knighthood order of Isabel of the Catholics in 1908 from him.
Admiral of the Fleet Roger John Brownlow Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes
Major Gordon met Admiral Roger Keyes many times during and after the war. He and Keyes awaited the arrival of the King and Queen of the Belgians in 1918 in Dover. After the war, he escorted Keyes and his wife to Château Laken, where they spent several days. Between 1918 and 1919, Major Gordon received a signed portrait of Admiral Keyes, which is now kept in the Imperial War Museum in London.
Prince Xavier of Bourbon Parma
When Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma and his brother visited Queen Elisabeth of Bavaria in la Panne in 1915, they asked for passes to go to England to see their sister. Major Gordon accompanied the Princes to England and was sorry to depart from them in London.
Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
When Major Gordon escorted Johan Albrecht of Mecklenburg and his wife through Scotland, the latter was invited to Gosford. Major Gordon knew that the Duke of Connaught and his wife were there on a visit as well, and he knew that Mecklenburg was not fond of the British Royal Family. While entering the great hall, Major Gordon saw that two figures hid behind pillars. Later, he found out it was the Duke and Duchess trying to avoid contact with Duke Mecklenburg.
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