The book ‘Adventure’ was published in 1930 by William Heineman, London and was reprinted many times after. The Rt Hon. The Earl of Birkenhead wrote an introduction. The book accounts for Major-General J.E.B. Seely's (Late Lord Mottistone) life and service during the First World War.
The book was signed with the words:
“To my comrade in arms in France and Belgium from 1915 to 1918 with every good wish from.”
With the book came a picture of Lt. General SirEdwin Alderson which was inscribed on the back in pencil with his name and the words “Mounted Infantry in S. Africa Boer War 1900 –1902” and the phrase: “Having commanded the Mounted Infantry with the Cavalry Division changed the war.”
We found a second Lieutenant named Arthur James Bartram Kiddell, who was mentioned on the officer's roll of the 2nd King Edwards Horse. Arthur Kiddell previous had served with the Northumberland Fusiliers, where he was a Lance Corporal and was later commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery. In 1939, Kiddell was an Auctioneer & Art Expert Manager at Sotheby’s auction house.
The letter was addressed to Charles Inman Bernard, an editor van de New York Herald. Mr Bernard had sent Gordon a letter to which this letter was replied:
My dear Bernard. Thanks for your letter on 8 April. I had heard before I had left Egypt that there was an endeavour to get cadastral under Colvin, but I thought they would have exchanged letters of it. However, as general (?) brought us to pay for the extra work they (?) to make a map of it, it is not to be regretted: ere many months, the present status in Egypt will be significantly 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.
C.G. Gordon (Signature)
C. Bernard Cairo
The letter was sent to Cairo, Egypt, where Mr Bernard was residing. Gordon mentioned Colvin, who is most likely Sir Auckland Colvin, in his response
. Colvin had been holding many secretaryship 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 later became the New York Tribune Correspondent in Paris and was elected president of the Association of the Foreign Press in Paris and held the position of 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.
Private John Wood enlisted with the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. The battalion was formed at Aberdeen in August 1914 as part of K1 and came under orders of the 26th Brigade in the 9th (Scottish) Division. Private Wood most likely got his training at Aldershot, where the battalion was stationed and went to Bordon in February 1915. He landed with the company at Boulogne (Fr) on the 10th of May 1915.
It is unknown when Cpl Wood was transferred to the 9th Gordon Highlanders, but it must have been after July 1915 because the 9th Gordon Highlanders only landed in France. We also know that he must have transferred later to the 5th battalion before January 1916 because the name 5th Bn was only known until January 1916
On the morning of 13 November 1916 an eighteen-year-old British soldier wrote his will in his pay book before going over the top to attack the German positions
. Private John Wood was born into a fishing family in Portlethen, Kincardineshire. Still, at the outbreak of war, he joined the army, along with many other men of this coastal community. Wood and about 60 other ranks of the 1/5th Battalion were lost that day, alongside six officers.
Private A. Dryburch disembarked with the 8th (Service) Battalion Gordon Highlanders in France on the 10th of May 1915. He served with the regiment till 3 April 1919. He is possibly the brother of Serjeant J. Dryburch, who was with the same company and battalion killed in action on 30 May 1916; both men's serial number is sequential. Serjeant J. Dryburch is buried at Vermelles Military Cemetery and was the son of Alexander and Elizabeth Dryburgh.
Private John Hills enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders on the outbreak of the war under the command of Lt. Col. Neish and second in order, Bt. Col W.E. Gordon. He landed on 13 august 1914 in France and suffered the same faith as 500 of his comrades during the battle at Le Cateau, where he became a prisoner of war.
John Hills was born on 9 May 1892 as the first son and second child of Charles Hills and Susan Dick. He had two older and two younger sisters. His older sister Susan was born in Ireland, while the rest of the family was born in Edinburgh. John received 1897 his younger brother Robert and, two years later, his second brother. He studied at Latchmere School in Edinburgh and admission on 10 January 1898.
John enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders and was incorporated in C Company when the battalion left for France. From 19 December 1914 to 26 February 1916, he was registered as a prisoner at Sennelager in Münster on the outskirts of Paderborn.
On 3 January 1917, John was registered as a prisoner at Königsbrück in Dresden. It is believed that Private Hills survived the war and returned to England.
The medal was presented to Thomas Miller. Thomas was born on November 17, 1885, and lived previously to the First World War in Liverpool, where he worked as a chandler.
Two days before Great Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, Thomas Miller joined the Royal Naval Reserve and was enlisted at Mersey headquarters. Here he took training and drill until August 21. On August 22, Thomas was incorporated into the Hood battalion. This Naval battalion was named to the 18th-century admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood, who had participated in the American Revolutionary War.
On October 6, Thomas Miller arrived in a London bus on the outskirts of the Belgian town Lier to reinforce the Marines who had come two day’s prior. Before his embark, Thomas was armed (like all others) with an old charger-loading rifle instead of a more modern Lee-Enfield. The Hood battalion fought the fiercest battles the following days and was, after that, evacuated. This makes Thomas one of the possible members of the group that Major Gordon and Colonel Seely guided to the pontoon bridge over the river Scheldt and afterwards to St. Niklaas and Sint Gilles Waes.
After Thomas returned to Great-Britain, he remained with the battalion in the Royal Naval Barracks at Portsmouth. From there, he boarded a ship called the Victory, transferred to the SS The Ramsay, and remained with it until January 3, 1915. The Ramsay sunk later that year while battling with the German SMS Meteor. Thomas returned to the Victory for three months after his service on The Ramsay. On September 11, 1915, Thomas boarded the Armed boarding steamer HMS Stephen Furness and served on it until December of that year. A German U-Boat torpedoed this ship on December 13, 1917. He served on the HMS Gunner, HMS Gunner and the HMS Pekin. On February 15, 1918, Thomas sent the ribbon of his 1914 star to the HMS. “St. Elivies”, a Scottish-made ship
owned by the Liverpool & North Wales Steam Ship Co.Ltd. and served during the war as a Minesweeper/Patrol vessel in the service of the Admiralty. In April 1919, Thomas received the clasp for his 1914-star (which is no longer attached as the medal's ribbon is replaced).
A board member gave this presentation sword to our president as a symbol of his gratitude. The sword was made by the official supplier, BALP, who manufactures the Belgian military swords for the Belgian Military Academy. The double-etched blade holds the Flemish moto "Voor Vorst en Vaderland" (for King and Country). The monogram of the current King Philip of Belgium has been etched on the back. Beneath the seal and in the open space, the following presentation was engraved (translation): "In honour of Major A. A. Gordon, King's Messenger of King Albert I of Belgium and Queen Elisabeth (1914 - 1922). Left to the engraving, the portrait of King Albert was placed. On the right, the portrait of Major Gordon was placed. The sword is accompanied by its scabbard and original golden sword knot. The is 24-carat gold plated and has a leather handle with goldthread.
Belgian 1889 Pattern Officer's sword
Handforged, 24 Carat Gold plated, dubble etched
Overall length: 81 cm