|Duchess Gordon helps recruit the Highlanders|
Ask an American about the name "Gordon" and they are likely to be reminded of Gotham's Police Commissioner Gordon of Batman fame. Or perhaps they are familiar with General George "Chinese" Gordon who died fighting the Mahdi in the Sudan in 1885 and was played by Charlton Heston in the 1966 film Khartoum...?
But to the British, and particularly the Scots, the name "Gordon" primarily describes one of the greatest military units in history.
|Gordon Highlander Museum|
The Gordon Highlanders were a storied unit in the British Army that was founded (first as the 100th regiment of foot, soon becoming known as the 92nd Highlanders) in 1794. They were created in order to combat the French who were making bloody noises with their Revolution across the channel at the time. The Duke of Gordon was the regiment's first patron. His wife, the beautiful young Duchess of Gordon (see painting above), is said to have offered kisses as an inducement for recruitment to the regiment!
Today in the town of Aberdeen, Scotland a visitor will find the Gordon Highlander Museum (http://www.gordonhighlanders.com/). This museum was founded in 1997 to commemorate their illustrious and valiant history. Here you will discover how the Gordon Highlanders fought in the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The 92nd Highland regiment distinguished themselves at the during the 1815 Waterloo campaign. They received a drubbing and took many casualties defending the crossroads of Quatre Bras two days before the Battle of Waterloo. On June 18 they launched a bayonet charge into the ranks of D'Erlon's French infantry. In this crucial attack they were accompanied by their mounted countrymen -- the Scots Greys.
|Highlander storm the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944|
The Gordon Highlanders served in two World Wars in the 20th century. During the Second World War elements of the Gordon Highlanders were evacuated from Dunkirk during the dark days of 1940, landed on the Normandy beaches in June 1944 and fought against the Japanese in Burma.
During the Cold War Gordon Highlanders distinguished themselves during the counterinsurgency campaign in Malaya where they fought to win hearts and minds. The Gordons served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and on garrison duty in West Germany.
The highest medal for gallantry in the British Army is the fabled Victoria Cross. Over the course of their history nineteen Gordon Highlanders have won the VC and eleven of these are on display at the Gordon Highlanders museum.
|Royal Patronage of the Gordon Highlander's Museum|
Prince Charles has been and continues to be a patron of the Gordon Highlander's Museum.
|Gordon Highlander's Museum Dining Room|
The Gordon Highlanders Museum even has an ornate dining hall that can rented out for events.
|Gordon Highlander's Battle Flag|
After two centuries and many battles in far away lands, the pipes of the Gordons fell silent. Sadly, this legendary regiment was, in 1994, amalgamated into different units of the British Army and has not, therefore, existed as an independent unit since that time. Scots continue, of course, to serve in the British army just no longer as Gordons.
Though they now belong to history and will muster no more, it is important to remember the Gordon Highlanders for their galant defense of liberty over two centuries. They were Celtic Fighters par excellence.
101 Fighting Celts: From Boudicca to MacArthur (from the co-authors of America Invades and America Invaded) is coming soon!
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