1900, Krugersdorp

GORDON, WILLIAM EAGLESON, Captain, was born on 4 May, 1866, son of W E Gordon, MD, of Homehill, Bridge-of-Allan, Stirlingshire, and joined the 1st Gordon Highlanders, then in Malta, as Second Lieutenant from the Militia, 6 June, 1888, and became Lieutenant 1 September 1891. His first active service was with the Chitral Relief Expedition in 1895, when he was present at the storming of the Malakand Pass, etc. He received the Frontier Medal and clasp. Lieutenant Gordon was promoted to Captain 19 June, 1897. He took part in the operations on the North-West Frontier of India, 1897-8, with the Tirah Expeditionary Force, and received a clasp to the Indian Frontier Medal. From 21 January 1899 to 20 January 1903, Captain Gordon was Adjutant to the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, and as such he served throughout the South African War of 1899-1902. He took part in the advance on Kimberley, including the action at Magersfontein (dangerously wounded); operations in the Orange Free State, February to May, 1900, including operations at Paardeberg, 17 to 21 February 1903 (slightly wounded); actions at Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Houtnek (Thoba mount), Vet River (5 and 6 May), and Zand River; operations in the Transvaal in May and June, 1900, including actions near Johannesburg and Pretoria; operations in the Tranvsaal east of Pretoria, July to 29th November 1900, including actions at Belfast (26 and 27 August), and Lydenberg (5 to 8 September); operations in the Transvaal west of Pretoria, July to 29 November 1900; operations in Cape Colony south of Orange River 1899-1900; operations in Cape Colony north of Orange River; operations in the Transvaal 30 November 1900 to 31 May, 1902. Three times mentioned in Despatches; Queen's Medal with five clasps; King's Medal with two clasps; Brevet of Lieutenant Colonel on attaining rank of Major. He was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 28 September 1900]: "William Eagleson Gordon, Captain, Gordon Highlanders. Date of Act of Bravery: 11 July 1900. On the 11th July, 1903, during the action near Leehoehoek (or Doornboschfontein, near Krugersdorf), a party of men, accompanied by Captains Younger and Allan, having succeeded in dragging an artillery waggon under cover when its horses were unable to do so by reason of the heavy and accurate fire of the enemy, Captain Gordon called for volunteers to go out with him to try and bring in one of the guns. He went out alone to the nearest gun under a heavy fire, and with the greatest coolness fastened the drag-rope to the gun, and then beckoned to the men, who immediately doubled out, to join him, in accordance with his previous instructions. While moving the gun Captain Younger and three men were hit. Seeing that further attempts would only result in further casualties, Captain Gordon ordered the remainder of the party under cover of the kopje again, and, having seen the wounded safely away, himself retired. Captain Gordon's conduct under a particularly heavy and most accurate fire at only 603 yards' range was most admirable, and his manner of handling his men most masterly; his devotion on every occa­sion that his battalion has been under fire has been remarkable". Captain Gordon was presented with his Victoria Cross by Lord Kitchener at Pretoria, on Peace Thanksgiving Day, June, 1902. He was Staff Captain, Highland Grouped Regimental District, 6 June 1905, to 31 March 1908; was promoted to Major on 1 January 1907, and gazetted Brevet Lieutenant Colonel 2 January 1907. From April, 1903 to 5 June, 1903, he was DAA and QMG, Highland Division, Scottish Command, and on 9 October 1913, he was appointed ADC to the King, with Brevet of Colonel. Colonel Gordon served in the European War from 1914; he was taken prisoner, and was released by exchange, unconditionally, in 1916. From 15 September 1917, he commanded No 1 (Midland) District, Scottish Command.

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