PERSONS OF INTEREST
IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE LIFE OF MAJOR A. A. GORDON
Gordon served King Albert I from 1914 till 1922 as the Kings Messenger. King Albert's first request to Major Gordon was, that he always wanted the truth, because he didn't always get it, from others. Both men walked many times over the beach of La Panne during the war and had the most interesting conversations. Major Gordon had the upmost respect en commitment to King Albert and stated the following about him in his book:
"What a splendid man to have at the head of a nation!"
Lord Curzon was one of Major Gordon's best acquaintance and a good friend during the First World War. Major Gordon met him while working for the Duke of Wellington and both men counted on each other many times during the war. After war Lord Curzon, asked Gordon to become his personal secretary, but due to the health of his wife, Gordon had to decline the position.
Major General Charles George Gordon has a role in Major A. A. Gordon's childhood in Swiss. The General's nephews went to the same school as Major Gordon and his elder brother. Major General Gordon, taught the Sunday school in Lausanne and was well respected by the students and adored with his interesting stories. Charles Gordon was stationed mostly in Asia and the southeast during his military career and was killed during the siege of Khartoum in January 1885.
DUKE JOHANN (JOHN) ALBERT OF MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN
Major Gordon met with Duke Mecklenburg during Their Highness' trip with through England and Scotland in autumn 1904 and acted as their cicerone in Scotland. The visit in Scotland lasted about 10 day's in which the Duke and Duchess met Major Gordon's wife and children. On their departure, their Highness' presented him with a large silver Quaich for his hospitality.
Elsie Knocker and Marie Chisholm where two British Nurses who aided over a hundred wounded soldiers and were both decorated with the Military Medal for saving a crashed German pilot in No-mansland. Gordon regularly visits them in the city of Pervuyse during his time off, and provided them mostly with canned food.
Doctor Sir James Young Simpson was a good friend of Major Gordon's fahter. Simpson briefly lived with the Gordon family and he was admired by Major Gordon and his brothers and Sisters, because he always gave them hard physical exercises they couldn't perform, but had a great fun doing them.
Sir Ian Hamilton has a large connection with the Gordon Family, being involved in the service of Major A. A. Gordon, Bt. Col. W.E. Gordon, R.A. Gordon, W.H.E Gordon and C.M.B. Gordon. Sir Hamilton was twice recommended for the Victoria Cross but was declined for his age.
H. V. Morton and Major Gordon met with each other in the early 30's presumably on a cruise to the Holy Land and endorsed a friendship in the later years. Both men wrote to each other between 1936 and 1942.
Gordon most certainly, had an equal relationship to Queen Elisabeth as he had to King Albert as Kings Messenger. Queen Elisabeth asked Gordon to make arrangements in London, for the establishment of her Hospital L'ocean in La Panne. She also made Major Gordon many requests for her overseas friends and family. Queen Elisabeth asked on one occasion in England to meet major Gordon's wife, Lizzie, and they had a wonderful afternoon at Gordon's house afterwards.
Lord Arthur Wellesley was Major Gordon's employer for more than 14 years. Major Gordon became his secretary in February 1906 and resigned in 1920.
Lord Arthur Wellesley had lost also one of his son's in the First World War. Major Gordon visited the frontlines by the end of the war to find the grave and had it photographed.
Lieutenant-Colonel James Clark was a good friend of Major Gordon, and was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers. Both were involved in establishing the 9th Royal Scots. Luitenant-Colonel James Clark was killed in action during the first siege of Ypres while commanding the 9th Argyl and Sutherland Regiment.
Comtesse Ghislaine de Caraman Chimay was a member of the Belgian aristocracy and a lifetime friend of Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. Gordon had met her on various occasions and during Queen Elisabeth's visit to England, they both had the pleasure to meet Gordon's wife Lizzie. Ghislaine later sent major Gordon a gift from Paris.
Mrs. Asquith visited the Belgian and French frontlines with Major Gordon and was invited by Queen Elisabeth to come to La Panne. Later on her journey, she was invited to stay with the Belgian Ministers in St. Adresse, Le Havre. Major Gordon said of her in his book: "I found Mrs Asquith the most delightful and kind travelling companion."
Dr Stahmer was the Civil Governor of Antwerp during the German Occupation. He and his wife lost there only son's during the war, living them with no family hole. During a celebration dinner in 1920, Dr Stahmer and his wife were neglected, and Major Gordon together with his friend Wallace went over to keep them company. This was later admired by the Duke of Connaught.
Major Gordon met with Sir Douglas Haig in 1916, while being part of the company of Lord Curzon, who visited both King Albert I of Belgium and the Field Marshal on an official occasion. At dinner, Sir Douglas Haig was placed next to Gordon and he had a peculiar interest in Gordon's account during the siege of Antwerp. Sir Douglas Haig spoke a great deal about the attack of Loos in which Major Gordon's son William died and kindly condolence him for his loss.
BELGIAN MASTER VIOLINIST
Eugene Ysaÿe was a Belgian master violinist, who was famous all over the world. Queen Elisabeth asked him to come to Belgian in 1916, and play for the wounded soldiers in the hospital L'ocean. Ysaÿe and his comrades accepted and were accompanied by Major Bordon, who had to bring them safely to La Panne from London. This record was later mentioned in Lionel Tertis diary.
Major Gordon met with the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Aspley House, in 1910, during the funeral procession of King Edward VII. The Archduke and his suite were accommodated in Aspley House on behalf of the Duke of Wellington. Franz Ferdinand was a great flower lover and his room was filled with Madame Abel Chatenay Roses. He was so impressed with this flower, that he sent a telegram to his wife, The Duchess de Hohenberg, to tell her about them. Major Gordon later sent the Archduke a dozen plants of the roses to his principal home in Austria, after receiving a golden cigarette case for his services.
GENERAL JACK SEELY D.S.O
ALIAS LORD MOTTISTONE
Former Colonel and Later General Jack Seely D.S.O was the commanding officer of Major Gordon during the siege of Antwerp in October 1914. Both established a lifelong friendship.
Jack Seely wrote the foreword of Major Gordon's book 'Culled from a Diary" in October 1939.
MEETING WITH A 'SYMBOL OF THE FEW'
A WOUNDED ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND FLYING OFFICER
Captain John Aidan Liddell, 3rd Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll- and Sutherland Highlanders), and Royal Flying Corps, was hospitalised in de ambulance L'Ocean when Major Gordon visited him quite often. Major Gordon was informed that Captain Liddell, had an extraordinary deed above Bruges and had mentioned landing in the allied lines, although severely wounded. For his deed, Captain John Aidan Liddell was later awarded the Victoria Cross!
Major Gordon had the pleasure to meet Cardinal Mercier for the first time in the early days of the war. After the war, Gordon had to arrange many meetings between Cardinal Mercier and esteemed British individuals as Admiral Beatty and Lord Curzon. He also was present during the visit of Queen Mary of England to Malines and of course to the Cardinal.
Anna Buchan was a well known Scottish novelist, who wrote under the alias O. Douglas. She assisted Major Gordon in writing his autobiography 'Culled from a Diary'.
Major Gordon met with Baron de Schilde during the siege of Antwerp together with Colonel Jack Seely. Both Seely and Gordon were invited to his house and arrived despite the heavy shelling during the day. Baron de Schilde remained in Antwerp after the retreat and remained in the city for the rest of the war.
Major Gordon accompanied Admiral Beatty to Malines after the war, where Beatty was invited by Cardinal Mercier. The Admiral was not fond of the meeting because he didn't know what he had to do with the church. The party later went on to Brussels for a dinner invitation by Queen Elisabeth.
Prince Alexander of Teck, later appointed as the Earl of Athlone, was a member of the British Royal Family. Major Gordon held a good relationship with him en mentions him many times in his book: Culled from a Diary. Together they established the St. Ninians Chapel in La Panne for the British soldiers.
FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY
Major Gordon reported the events of the siege and fall of Antwerp in 1914 to W. Churchill as soon as he arrived back in London. He later consulted Churchill for the aid to the Russian Refugees in Zeebrugge who granted the request to bring them to England. Winston Churchill was a lifetime friend of Jack Seely so it is not surprising that Major Gordon had a good connection with him.
General Sir Archibald Hunter D.S.O was Gordon's president during the funding of the Scottish memorial for Queen Victoria. Hunter was a memeber of the Gordon relief expedition, that was tasked to extract Maj. Gen. Charles G. Gordon from Karthoum. The expedition arrived just two days, after Gordon was killed.
COUNT DE JONGHE D'ARDOYE
BELGIAN COLONEL AND HOUSEHOLD OFFICER
Major Gordon and Count de Jonghe d'Ardoye both stayed at La Panne and conducted duties for King Albert.
In his memoirs, Major Gordon recounts that Count de Jonghe d'Ardoye was one of the officers who accompanied King Albert to see Emperor Wilhelm II before the war to reason with him, but failed.
Lady Abercromby was a friend to Major Gordon's mother while they lived in Bridge of Allan. Lady Abercromby was a Lady-of-the-Bedchamber of Queen Victoria. She lived in the beautiful castle of Airthrey. She painted the first officiël painting of Queen Victoria in 1883.
Lord Stamfordham gave the task to Major Gordon to bring King Albert of Belgium and his party exactly two past two P.M. to Buckingham Palace on King George V wedding jubilee in 1918. After Major Gordon had managed the task he padded him on the back with the words "Well done! Gordon"
TRUSTEE OF THE FUNDING FOR THE BELGIAN WATERLOO MONUMENT.
Sir Roberts was the General officer of the British army during the Second Boer War and was involved funding set up by the Duke of Wellington to save the Belgian Waterloo Monument together with Major Gordon.
Colonel Tilkins was a Belgian Aide-de-Camps to King Albert I, and later Governor of the Belgian Colony Congo. Major Gordon states in his book that both were present during the visit of King Albert to England in 1918, for the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. Both were doing some administration in a room in Buckingham Palace together with Prince Charles who was drawing and writing on his own until disaster struck.
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 and his family.