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.



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.


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.


To find an originally signed example with its original dust jacket is naturally a treasure for the Kings Messenger Collection. The book was found in America two months ago and was bought afterwards. The Kings Messenger collection contained already a copy without the dust jacket so it was not until now that we actually had the chance to see the original dust jacket. The dust jacket mentions ‘Schneider/Gordon, Church of the Multiplying’ on the spine and holds a photograph of possibly one of the first discoveries of the mosaic. It also contains a wonderful introduction on the inner side. The back of the dust jacket is plain.

The book was signed by Major A. A. Gordon on 5 March 1937 with a dedication of possibly a city name or area (which we are unfortunate to read) followed by the area of Galilee where the church is located. Although the signature is not dedicated to a specific person we know that is was owned by M. Menzus whose name was written on top of the dust jacket. Unfortunately, we have not discovered a connection between both persons yet.


The letter was addressed to Charles Inman Bernard who was an editor van de New YorkHarrald. Mr. Bernard had sent Gordon a letter to which this letter was replied:

My dear Bernard. Thanks for your letter 8 April. I had heard before I had left Egypt that there was an endeavour to get the cadastral under Colvin but thought they would have exchanged letters of it. However as general (?) got us pay for the extra work they an (?) to make a map of it it is not to be regretted: ere many months, the present status in Egypt will be greatly altered. The Turkish Empire will move in 1881 and I am mistaken if they see (?) more than six months. I was glad to hear from you. Give my kind regards to all my friends.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Gordon (Signature)

C. Bernard Cairo

The letter was sent to Cairo, Egypt, where Mr Bernard was residing. In his response, Gordon mentioned the name Colvin, who is most likely Sir Auckland Colvin. Colvin had been holding many secretaryship’s in the Indian Civil Service and was appointed to the International Commission for Egyptian ‘Debt’Liquidation in 1880 by which he replaced Sir Evelyn Baring. Later that year he succeeded Major Baring as English controller of Egyptian finance. Charles Inman Bernard became later the New York Tribune Correspondent in Paris and was elected president of the Association of the Foreign Press in Paris and held the position as Chairman in the Havard Club in Paris and author of the book Camilla, and Paris War Days. Bernard was later decorated with the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.


The book ‘Adventure’ was published in 1930 by William Heineman, London and was reprinted many times after. An introduction was written by The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Birkenhead. The book gives an account of Major-General J.E.B. Seely (Late Lord Mottistone) life and service during the First World War. On page 189 he mentions Major Gordon for the first time: “Meantime, Major Gordon, the Duke of Wellington’s private secretary, who was Chairman of the Belgian Refugees’ Committee had arranged for me to stay at the house of the Civil Governor.”

The second mention of Major Gordon is given when Colonel Seely returned from the trenches to Baron de Werve de Schilde’s house: “... and found the Baron and his household in refuge in the cellar. Major Gordon, who was with me, and to whose unselfish devotion I owe a debt I can never repay, volunteered to sleep or rest by the telephone on the ground floor, while I went to bed, Smith sleeping on a rug at the door of my room.” eventually the third mention of Major Gordon was made: “It was at this time that Major Gordon bethought him of an excellent idea to buy £120 worth of chocolate for the 2,500 marines and naval volunteers, whom I had been commissioned to accompany in the event of a retirement being ordered. He bought it and distributed much of it to the troops, to which fact in great measure they owed their safety.

Who was A. J. B. Kiddell ?

We found a second Lieutenant with the name Arthur James Bartram Kiddell who was mentioned on the officers roll of the 2ndKing Edwards Horse. Arthur Kiddell previous had served with the Northumberland Fusiliers where he was a Lance Corporal and was later commissioned as a 2ndLieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Arthur James Bartram Kiddell was born in Bengal, India on 17 December 1894 as the son of Harry Bartram Kiddell and Agnes Harrietta Eborn Edmonds.Kiddell arrived on the battlefield in France on five May 1915 and survived the war.He married Audrey Madeline Schofield in July 1922 and the couple took up residence at Sevenoaks, Kent. In 1939, Kiddell was an Auctioneer & Art Expert Manager of Sotheby’s auction house. It is possible that Sotheby's auctioned the letters of Sir John French and Kiddell was involved with the sale or just kept the extract from the auction catalogue. At the age of sixty, he returned with the Cunard Steamship Saxonia from Montréal, Québec, Canada. On his 65thbirthday, Kiddell was presented with a drawing from Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) which was presented by his partners at Sotheby's. Sotheby's ironically sold the drawing for 11.250 USD on 28 January 2015 in New York. Arthur J. B. Kiddelldied on 5 February 1980.

Mentions Major Gordon

The book ‘Albert en Elisabeth –Mijn ouders’ was published by the Belgian publishers Lannoo in 2016. The book is the translation from the French book ‘Albert et Elisabeth –Mes Parents’ which was published in 1971 by the French publisher Plon. However, both books are identical and represent the personal memoirs of Princess, and later Queen of Italy, Marie José van België(Savoie –Savoye). Because the book was re-published, it peaked our interest if any events of Major Gordon and the Princess would be recorded. While reading the book we found five mentions of Major Gordon and were delighted and surprised because it was the first time we actually found a member of the Belgian Royal Family (of King Albert I of Belgium) speaking about Major Gordon.

The first mention is given on page 134 under the chapter ‘Het beleg van Antwerpen’ (the siege of Antwerp): 17 September: ’18.30 pm, Major Gordon, Secretary to the Duke of Wellington’The quote means that Marie José had received Major Gordon during this time.

The second mention is given on page 161in the chapter ‘De strijd in Vlaanderen’ (The battle in Flanders): 7 November: ‘Major Gordon and Miss Rossignon arrived from England.’

The third mention is given on page 168 in the chapter ‘Leven in Engeland’ (Living in England)2 December: ‘at 8.10 am departure to Folkstone. Lord Curzon, the Belgian AmbassadorLalaing and Gordon accompanied me to the station'

The fourth mention (and most touching) is given on page 181 in the chapter ‘Een flard vaderland, De Panne’ (A patch of fatherland, De Panne). The kindly Major Gordon,former secretary of the Duke of Wellinton, who was detached to my parents, was present at every journey. He always brought delicious boxes of fudge and shortbread with him, specialities from Scotland his country of birth.

The final mention is given on page 192 in the chapter ‘Een flard vaderland, Hospitaal L’Océan (A patch of fatherland, Hospital L’Océan) ‘... Depage has returned from England and is coming over. He together with Major Gordon has made all arrangements to get the needed necessities, especially the heating. Depage is marvelous’


‘A book of Belgium’s gratitude’was published in 1916 and contained comprising literary articles by representative Belgians, togetherwith their translations by various hands, and illustrated throughoutin colour and black and white by Belgian artists. Major Gordon was mentioned in the book as a translator. The book was published in recognition of the help and hospitality given by the British Empire and of the relief bestowed by the United States of America during the Great War. A committeewas formed with King Albert of Belgian as Patron and Belgian Minister H.E. Paul Huysmans as president. In the committee we found two the two famous Belgian artists Emile Claus and Emile Cammaerts as well as Paul Lambotte, former Director of the Museum of ‘BeauxArts’. The profits of the book were placed at the disposal to her Majesty Queen Mary.

The first two letters in the book were written by King Albert and Queen Elisabeth in their original handwriting. The letter of King Albert was translated by the Right Hon. The Earl of Curzon of Kedleston. While the letter of Queen Elisabeth was translatedby none other that Major A. A. Gordon, M.V.O. The translation reads:

“The generosity of Great Britain and her Colonies, and of the United States of America, is a magnificentexample of charity. Moved by this unanimous spirit of touching solicitude for Belgium, I join with all those who have written their names in this book, in order to express my profound gratitude to these two great nations for the help which they have rendered to our countrymen during this time of sore trial.”

On page 28, we found the chapter ‘Le Belgian Relief Fund’which was written by Comte de Lalaing ( ministerplénipotentiaire). The article publishedin French was translated by the author from page 34. In both articles compte de Lalaing thanked Major Gordon in the following words: “Before Antwerp fell several steamers laden with provisions and clothes given to the Belgian Relief Fund were sent to that town and the contents were distributed to the population of Antwerp andits suburbs, before the arrival of the enemy, thanks to the untiring efforts of the Fund’s honorary secretary, Major Gordon, who from the first assisted me in organising the Fund, and accompanied those vessels to Belgium. Major Gordon’s devoted and disinterested help, his large circle of friends, and his great experience were invaluable.

Written by Gen. Van Overstraete


By the end of 2019, the book 'A history of the 9th (Highlanders) Royal Scots was published. The book is written by Neill Gilhooley who did an amazing job to research the history of the battalion from its origin till the end of the First World War. The book mentions Major A. A. Gordon who was one of the co-founders and the first company officer of A company. It also mentions that Major Gordon met his old comrade Quarter-Master Andrew Gordon at the Belgian/French front and that they discussed there somewhat pitty exercises at Tyndrum and Stobs in the 'old day's'. They both agreed to 'bless ignorance'.

Only a few books about the 9th Royal Scots were ever published in history, being the one by its commander James Ferguson in 1909, the only that had mentioned Major A. A. Gordon till this time.

The society bought a number of books with the publisher and had them signed for board members by our member Neill Gilhooley. One of which is dedicated in honour of Major Gordon and his family and will for always kept in the library of the society.

The book is a real must for any enthusiast of Scottish military history.


In 1909 James Fergusson founders of the 9th Volunteer Battalion Highlanders the Royal Scots published a chronicle account of the military history of the battalion. The book holds several photographs of his personal collection, featuring Major A. A. Gordon some 8 times. The book gives all the commissions of the officers and their personal history with the battalion. 

James Fergusson became prior of his commission the Sherriff of Argyll and was graduated as a lawyer. He has commissioned the commander of the 9th Royal Scots on 24 July 1900. Because of his connection with the court, it is not surprising that many of the officers where also lawyer. One of them being the later famous Captain Alexander Taylor, who unfortunately died in the Scarpe Valley on 27 April 1917, after having fought in the most gruesome fights of the First World War.

Standing order of the 9th Battalion (Highlanders) the Royal Scots is not a reference work but an actual guide for the men of the battalion to follow instructions accurately. This edition was written by Lt. Colonel A. S. Blair, commanding officer of the battalion, in august 1913. Alexander Stevenson Blair was commissioned as a captain in the battalion on 12 December 1900. Prior to his commission, he was a colleague of Ferguson and of course a lawyer. From 1915 till 1917 he served in France during the First World War and was mentioned in dispatches twice.

The guide holds 14 sections and several appendixes. On the front page, the name D. Bell was written together with the date 1914. From Mr. Gilhooleys index we found an officer David Bell who was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the battalion on 31 March 1909 and served as a captain in the First World War, where he was wounded and his leg had to be amputated.


This book was written by W.E. Gordon's archenemy and former commander Lt. Colonel F. H. Neish. Unlike the title would suggest it does not give a personal account of Neish experience in the battalion but it gives the most important entries of the battalion from its existence.

Lt. Colonel Neish commanded the 1st Gordon Highlanders during the first stages of the First World War and was captured in August 1914 when some 700 Gordon's surrendered and was interned until 1917 when he was released and repatriated to Switzerland suffering from bad illness.


This book about the history of the Gordon Highlanders is written by the grandson of Brevet Colonel William E. Gordon VC. The book gives a wonderful account of the full history of the battalion and their achievements. The edition holds also a black and white photograph of the painting of William E. Gordon which was painted during his captivity in the First World War and is now in the collection of the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen.

We were unfortunate enough to find a flat signed edition of the book.




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.