8 November 2018
William Henry Gordon was born on 31 March 1895, the son of Dr Charles Gordon of Pietermaritzburg, Natal. William attended Grantham Grammar School prior to studying at Harper Adams from 15 Jan 1912 to 20 Dec 1913, with the intention of following a career in farming in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Tracing William’s family has proved difficult: his father apparently married several times and died in 1904. We have not identified William’s mother.
His next of kin recorded at Harper Adams in 1912 is Miss E Brown and the 1911 census for that address, 2 Church Street, Grantham, lists Emily Mary Elizabeth Blakely Brown, age 28, a resident of Pietermaritzburg, Natal, possibly a family friend or relative.
His next of kin at Harper Adams was later changed to c/o Mrs Beasley, 16 Crescent Road, Kingston Hill, Surrey. A Mrs E Beasley (at 6 [sic] Crescent Road) also registered the details for his headstone.
[A family named Beasley were living at 41 Queens Road Kingston on Thames in 1911, including Eleanor Mary and Margaret Alice, both born in Grantham in the 1860s – this may be another family connection].
His father, Charles, died in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa on 31 October 1904. Records show his address as living at “Lyne Grove House”. William’s memorial is at Lyne, Chertsey in Surrey so there may also be a historical family association with this place.
William served with the South African Infantry Regiment (2524). He was in action at Delville Wood on 15 July 1916 and was reported wounded on 29 July 1916. He died of his wounds on 4 August and is remembered with honour at Lyne (Holy Trinity) Churchyard, Surrey.