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

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 Scott enlisted with the 7th (Service) Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders. 


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.



Thomas Miller was born on November 17, 1885, and lived 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 days 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).

Princess Mary Christmas 1914 Gift Box

On 14 October 1914, Mary, Princess Royal, daughter of King
George V and Queen Mary inaugurated the ‘Princess Mary’s
Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Christmas Fund’ so that a Christmas gift
could be sent to all at the Front. The present was an embossed brass box, which bore a profile of Princess Mary with the initial ‘M’ on either side, within a decorative border containing the Allies' names at the beginning of the war and the words.’Christmas 1914’.

Princess Mary was no stranger to Major Gordon. While working at Apsley House, he was tasked by the Duchess of Wellington to bring the royal children to the strong room to see the magnificent silver collection. A metro drove by while descending the stairs to the cellar making an intense noise. Mary grabbed Major Gordon’s hand for comfort.

Belgian M1915 Adrian Helmet 

introduced into the French Army in July 1915 and credited to Intendant-General Louis Auguste, many other countries, including Belgium, later adopted the 'Adrian' Pattern steel helmet during the First World War. The first batch were regular French (bleu) army helmets which were painted khaki and featured a lion-faced crest attached to the front.

It is unsure if Major Gordon was ever presented or ever wore an Adrian helmet while visiting the front. However, he was presented the (now extremely) rare Anglo-Belgian helmet designed by John MacIntosh and produced by Sankey Ltd of Wolverhampton, it was fitted with a ballistic visor at the express request of Queen Elizabeth of Belgium to protect the eyes of her troops. Major Gordon donated this helmet after the war to the Tower of London where it's kept on display today.

Official Belgian M1889 army officers sword with dedication

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