CUSTODIANS OF THE KINGS MESSENGER COLLECTION
ORIGINAL SIGNED PICTURE FROM
KING ALBERT I TO MAJOR A.A. GORDON
This original signed photograph was given to Major Gordon during the Belgian Royal visit in 1920. The photo is also mentioned as follows in Major Gordon's book Culled from a Diary:
"Prior to his departure from London King Albert summoned me to his bedroom at the Palace and decorated me with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Leopold II, at the same time handing me his latest portrait, beautifully framed and bearing a charming inscription.
Signed papers from Major Gordon's guestbook with the signatures of Queen Elisabeth and dated 21 December 1915, probably signed during a Christmas occasion. The signature of the Princes Charles en Leopold, later King Leopold III. The dates of the signatures of the princes differ from those of the Queen, which is understandable, because most of their education was done in England during the war, so there were not always around in La Panne. The only signature that is missing is that of Princess Marie-Josée, by which Major Gordon most certainly had contact during the war, as stated in his book, Culled from a Diary. We also have to remind ourselves that the princess was the youngest en was only 12 when the war ended.
MAJOR GORDON'S ORIGINAL WARTIME BRASSARDS
Majr Gordon's original Aiguillette 3th class for military officers, attaché, assistents or Aides-de-Camps.
MAJOR GORDON'S KNIGHTHOOD ORDERS BUTTON'S
The brassards where framed in an old frame, wich had the following note on the back:
"My Royal .... Brassards as used by me, als Belgian King's Messenger, from .... 1914, unitl late in .... during all the Escorts ... (?). I was appointed above, after taking part of the siege of Antwerp, in ... (?) with the staff of the Royal Naval Division"
ORIGINAL VICTORIAN CROSS BELT PLATE OF THE ROYAL COMPANY OF ARCHERS
The Victorian cross belt plate of the Royal Company of Archers holds the motto "in Peace and War". The motto is placed on a Scottish belt. The badge has the Queen's crown of Queen Victoria on the top and has two crossed arrows with a ribbon in the middle. On the back the badge is attached with three loops onto the cross belt.
The cross belt comes not from the personal collection of Major Gordon, but was bought by the society as a genuine and exact example that Major Gordon got in during his service in the Company.
An similar example can be seen worn by another member of the company in the picture on the right.
A very rare officer 9th Volunteer Highlanders Royal Scots shoulder title as worn by officers of the battalion from 1900 till 1908 when the battalion was transferred to the territorial force.
Major Gordon was one of the founders of the battalion and was appointed the first Captain of the battalion on 6 August 1900. He was appointed in May 1905 and became Brigade-Major a month later. He served the battalion until 1906 when he was appointed Secretary of the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley.
There is no doubt that Major Gordon had similar shoulder titles on his uniform while serving the battalion. The title was bought from an esteemed badge collector and dealer.
9TH VOLUNTEER HIGHLANDERS ROYAL SCOTS REGIMENTAL MEDAL
Soon after the foundation of the battalion, many trophies and cups were introduced. One of these cups was called the Captain A. A. Gordon Cup, later Major A. A. Gordon Cup. This cup was for the best volunteer in A-Company under command of Captain A. A. Gordon.
The medals are all silver marked and bear the officers badge on the front. The medal is unnamed and has a plain backside. The date stempel shows the year 1908.
OFFICER SHOULDERTITLE OF THE 9TH VOLUNTEER HIGHLANDERS ROYAL SCOTS
9TH VOLUNTEER HIGHLANDERS ROYAL SCOTS BELT PLATE
A very rare 9th Volunteer Highlanders Royal Scots officers belt plate as worn by Than Captain and later Major Gordon. The belt plate has the makers stamp of Stewart & Sons, 88 George Street, Edinburgh. It has the silvered and gilded die cast fittings. The same belt plate can be seen on Major Gordon's cross belt in his 9th Volunteer Highland Battalion Royal Scots uniform.
9TH VOLUNTEER HIGHLANDERS ROYAL SCOTS SILVER LABEL BADGE
A Silver Label badge of the 9th Royal Scots by the famous Scottish silversmith Henry Tatton. Tatton had his silver shop in Rose Street, Edinburgh from 1909 till 1938. The badge is made in 1916 according to the date letter. The badge measures 2,5 cm in diameter.
MAJOR GORDON'S ORIGINAL OILPAINTING OF KING ALBERT I - EXECUTED BY A. LANGFIER IN 1918
MAJOR GORDON'S BRITISH MEDAL CERTIFICATES
Oil painting from King Albert I of Belgian in the style of Richard N. Speaight by the known British artist A. Langfier. Richard N. Speaight was a British artist who was born in London and was commissioned to make a portrait of King Albert I of Belgium in 1917. The painting was later used for some Belgian stamp series. The painting in the Kings Messenger Collection was executed by A. Langfier also a London artist who inspired the commission on the painting of Speaight, as he states in the left under corner 'Cliché Speaight'. Whether Major Gordon commissioned the painting himself is unknown. The fact that it was found in his personal archive, makes it a great asset in the Kings Messenger London.
The painting is signed and dated 1918. On the back of the painting a label with the following is printed:
The Langfier productiens - 34 36 Oxford St. London WI.
The painting measures: 19 cm x 30,5 cm
CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY QUEEN VICTORIA FOR THE PERMISSION TO WEAR THE FOREIGN FRENCH ORDER, KNIGHT IN THE L'EGION D'HONNEUR .
THE AWARD WAS GIVEN TO A. A. GORDON FOR HIS WORK WITH THE ANGLO-FRENCH SOCIETY IN 1900
CERTIFICATE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF THE RANK OF CAPTAIN TOT A. A. GORDON
ALTHOUGH THE CERTIFICATE WAS MADE UNDER QUEEN VICTORIA'S REIGN, IT WAS SIGNED BY CROWN PRINCE EDWARD VII BECAUSE QUEEN VICTORIA
WAS ILL DURING THE TIME OF THE ISSUE AND LATER DIED ( January 1921) IN THE ARMS OF HER GRANDSON, THE LATER GERMAN EMPORER WILHELM II OF GERMANY.
THE CERTIFICATE IS ALSO SIGNED BY ST JOHN BRODRICK (FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE) AND LATER 1ST EARL OF MIDLETON
CERTIFICATE FOR THE APPOINTEMENT OF THE FORUTH CLASS IN THE ROYAL VICTORIAN ORDER
AWARDED ON THE 28TH OF SEPTEMBER 1908 AND SIGNED BY KING EDWARD VII
CERTIFICATE FOR THE APPOINTMENT TO COMMANDER OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
SINGNED BY KING GEORGE V
4 June 1917
CERTIFICATE OF THE GRAND PRIORY OF THE ORDER OF THE HOSPITAL OF ST. JOHN OF JERUSALEM IN ENGLAND
APPOINTMENT TO KNIGHT OF GRACE
27 November 1900
MAJOR GORDON'S FOREIGN MEDAL CERTIFICATES
This solid silver officers cap badge of the Seaforth Highlanders was donated to the Kings Messengers collection in honor of Edmund Robert Gordon, Major Gordon youngest son, who served in the 7th Seaforth Highlanders. Edmund was entrenched near Hill 60 in Belgium when he became ill of jaundice and suffered from neurasthenia.
After Edmund lost his brother William in Battle of Loos in 1915, he recovered from his illness and was wounded again in August 1917 and evacuated later to England, where his condition became worse and he had to go several surgeries, which resulted in a partially amputation of his hand and several fingers. After his recovery he was sent back to the front and survived the war.
Edmund married after the war with a woman named (Viviene) Roberts and the couple received a child Peter, who died in his infancy. Because of Edmund's illness during the war, his lungs were damaged, which resulted in Tuberculosis. He died from this diseas in 1932.
This solid silver cap badge is dedicated to Edmund Gordon, by one of our members, which symbolizes the sacrifices, courage and his service in the regiment, where he above and beyond fought for liberty, honor and the ones he loved.
This solid silver officers cap badge of the Gordon Highlander was donated to the Kings Messengers collection in honor of William Hyde Eagleson Gordon, Major Gordon oldest son, who served in the 8th Gordon Highlanders. William arrived in France on 10 May 1915 and was mortally wounded in the Battle of Loos, and died afterwards in a field hospital near Etaples on the 30th September 1915. William is buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery among 11.500 other World War one soldiers.
In honor of his sacrifice and service within the 8th Gordon Highlanders we dedicate this silver officers Gordon Highlanders cap badge to Lieutenant William Hyde Eagleson Gordon. The badge must symbolize his strength and admiration while serving with his regiment.
My William Hyde Eagleson make his quiet and peacefull rest in his commonwealth grave in the plains of Etaples.
Elsie B. Knocker and Mairi Ghisholm where two British Nurses during the First World War, who occupied a field hospital in the Belgian city of Pervuyse. Together they nursed over one hundred wounded soldiers, and saved a German pilot from 'No mansland" an action that would be resulted in decorated them with the Military Medal. In 1918 they were both gazed. Gordon visited them in the hospital in England later. During the war, probably during the marriage between Elsie Knocker and Baron T'Serclaes in January 1916, Gordon was given the signatures of the three persons.
Major Gordon met Victor Rousseau after he was assigned by Queen Elisabeth, to contact mister Rousseau for creating the now known Elisabeth Medal. Later on Victor Rousseau made also a design for a badge called: Ouevre du vetement des soldats Belges Londres (1914-1915).
The spoon was sent to Major Gordon on the 22th September 1915 from Paris, by the Comtesse Ghislaine De Caraman Chimay, who was best friends with Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. The gift was probably given after Ghislaine and Queen Elisabeth had met Gordon's wife in England previous that year. The following note came with the spoon: "Dear Mr. Gordon, Please accept this little Parisian Souvenir with my best remembrances."
MAJ. GEN. FORBES MACBEAN
DUNCAN GILLIES FORBES MACBEAN
Major General Forbes Macbean was an army officer en Aide-de-Camp of King Edward VII. He was born in 1857 as son of Forbes Macbean (1825) and Frances Macbean. Forbes married Mary Katherine Macbean en they got a son, Duncan Gillies Forbes Macbean in 1893. Duncan was born on the Royal Military College in Surrey on the 19th July 1893 and was educated at Aysgarth School, Bedale, Yorkshire. Afterwards, he was sent to Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire from 1907 till 1911. The following year he was educated as a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military College of Sandhurst. He has commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders.
On the outbreak of the war, Duncan was sent to France on 7th October 1914. On 28th October 1914 he was wounded in the Gheluvelt, Belgium, during the First Battle of Ypres. On 30th October 1914 he was promoted to full lieutenant and was made Temporary Captain on 16 June 1915. Only two days before he was killed in action at Festubert, Artois, France. Duncan is buried in the Gorre British and Indian Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. He is commemorated on the Camberley War Memorial.
Duncan was the Godson of Colonel Forbes Macbean, 92nd Gordon Highlanders, Sergeant-at-Arms of Queen Victoria. He also was the nephew of Sir Willian Macbean K.C.B., K.T.S, 92nd Gordon Highlanders.
The relationship between Major General Macbean and Major Gordon is discovered in the book: the 9th battalion (Highlanders) Royal Scots by James Fergusson. The then Colonel Forbes Macbean was in command of the 33rd Brigade who had to take a defensive position against the 31st Brigade with the 9th Royal Scots at the training-camp of Stobs in 1905. The 31st Brigade won the manoeuvres and was congratulated by the Scottish command.
Major Gordon states the following in his book 'Culled from a Diary' over Albert de Bassompierre:
"I was met on berthing at a quay at Antwerp by a high representative of the Belgian Foreign Office, Monsieur Albert de Bassompierre - now Baron Bassompierre, until recently Belgian Ambassador to the court of the Mikado at Tokio, Japan - a most charming gentleman and a fluent speaker of English, in fact the most perfect I have ever heard from a foreigner. I am pleased to add that I am fortunate in having this gentleman as a very good friend to this day."
Sabine De Franqueville was born in Paris in 1877. She married with the duke Robert M Léon d'Ursel on the 12th of April 1898 and the couple got three children. The Duke and Duchess where arrested by the Germans in 1915 in Brussel, for furnishing money to Belgians wishing to escape to join the Belgian Army in Britain.
Major Gordon states the following in his book:
"During the afternoon I went to see Colonel Comte de Jonghe d'Ardoye, a delightful Belgian Officer. He drove me to Hazebrouck to call on another Belgian officer, Duc d'Ursel, married to our old friend Comtesse Sabine de Franqueville. We partook of tea before returning to St. Omer."
Francois de Buisseret was the second son of Count Conrad de Buisseret and Caroline Sherman Story, who was the daughter of the American General John Patten Story. His mother died in december 1914 when she was surving as a nurse in a Belgian fieldhospital, when she was infected with diphtheria. Francois' father was the Belgian ambassador in Russia during this time, and couldn't reach Caroline before her death, because of the unrests in that country. Caroline's mother took an heroic journey to europe, in the time of the worst submarine attacks during the war, to take the childeren to America. The American press states that a boy by the age of 16 was enlisted in the Belgian Army, several weeks before the death of his mother. It must be believed that this was François, because he was born in 1899 and his younger brother was to young by the end of 1914. The connection between François and Major Gordon is rather unkown.
The Church of the multiplying of the loaves and fishes is a book edited by A.A. Gordon on behalf of Alfons M. Schneider. The book was printed in 1937 by Alexander Ouseley, LTD. London.
Gordon mentions this book in his final chapter of Culled from a Diary, which was published four years later. The following statement was given of the book:
"If readers care to consult a history of the actual finds and see most beautiful publication entitled "Church of the Multiplying of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha, Lake of Galilee, and its Mosaics" by Alfons M. Scheider, edited by A. A. Gordon (1937). The edition I ordered was a small one and is sold out, but a copy can be seen in the Library of the British Museum and the other National Libraries.
Major Gordon' foreword of the book reads:
"As I am responsible for the publishing in English of Dr. A. M. Schneider's book, he was kindly allowed me to insert the following as a Foreword.
I wish to thank Professor Dr. H. Finke of Freiburg and Dr. A. M. Schneider for allowing the latter's book (brought up-to-date) to appear in English and to use all the original blocks of the mosaics. I am very grateful to my friends Dom Ernest Graf, O.S.B. of St Mary's Abbey, Buckfast, Devon, for translating the German text To Mr. J. A. Meyer, of Bridge of Allan, for expert help regarding technical terms, and to the Reverend J. Todd, M.A., late professor Semitic Languages, Toronto University, for correcting, and arranging, the proof sheets.
Finally, I would offer my profound thanks to all those who have so generously helped with their donations to save the precious mosaics at Tabgha. Any profits arising from the sale of this book are to go Father Tapper at Tabgha Hospice towards the upkeep of the building covering the mosaics and the newly laid out garden, and enclosing wall surrounding same.
Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, January 1937
A. A. Gordon.
The book Culled from a Diary was written by A. A. Gordon on the request of his many friends. Gordon thanks in his preface the famous Scottish novelist Anna Mesterton Buchan, who published under the alias O. Douglas, for her support. The second person Gordon thanks in his preface is his old friend and supreme commander during the Battle of Antwerp, Lord Mottistone. Lord Mottistone also wrote the foreword for the book in October 1939. The last person Gordon thanks is Dom Ernest Graf from St. Marys Church in Devon, for his (spiritual)advice and support for writing this book.
Gordon let his readers know, that the book was written on the basis of his personal diaries, other than from memory. The book contains 17 chapters with the appendix of Gordon's rapport to Winston Churchill over the Battle of Antwerp. In total 214 pages here written and published. On the paper jacket of the book mentions Gordon many world famous people he had the pleasure to meet and serve with.
The book was published in 1941 with Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh. The original price for the book was 8 pounds, 6 shilling.
How many editions where published is still unknown to us.
EDITION WITH COMPLIMENTS SLIP OF SIR DENYS LOWSON
Our organization is always looking for editions from 'Culled from a Diary' and found an edition that was given by Sir Denys Lowson, former Lord Mayor of London in 1950-51. Sir Denys Lowson was born as the second son of James Cry Flowerdrew Lowson, a Scottish papermaker and Adelaide Louisa Scott. Adelaide was the daughter of Col. Courtenay Harvey Saltren Scott who commanded the Bengal Staff Corps. Lowson's older brother was killed in the First World War and his sister married with Maj. Gen. William Revell Revell Smith. Denys was educated as a lawyer and became an important financer in Unit-trust's. He became Sheriff of the City of London in 1939, was Alderman of London from 1942 till 1973 and became Lord Mayor of London in 1950. He also was Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Sir Denys Lowson was married to Hon. Ann Patricia Macpherson in 1936 and the couple received three children.
Denys died on 10th September 1975 on the age of 69.
It was pointed out to us by Mr. Gilhooley that James Cry Flowerdrew Lowson, Sir Denys (father) was an officer in the 9th Royal Scots. He was appointed
Captain on 18 Feb 1905 and served with the battalion during the First World War in France.