Memorial plans for Gordon war hero

A fundraising campaign to install a memorial in Gordon for a locally-born war hero is under way.

Captain George Henderson, who was born in Gordon and died in battle in Mesopotamia in 1920, and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
Captain George Henderson, who was born in Gordon and died in battle in Mesopotamia in 1920, and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Captain Henderson was born in 1893 at East Gordon, the only son of Robert and Mary, who came from a long line of sucessful Borders farmers.

He served with distinction with the Manchester Regiment throughout the First World War, winning two Distinguished Service Orders, a Military Cross and was mentioned in dispatches five times.

He was awarded his VC, the highest military honour, posthumously, after his bravery in battle fighting the Arab uprising in Mesopotamia.

Wounded, he asked one of his NCOs to hold him up on the embankment, saying: “I’m done now, don’t let them beat you.”

Now, plans are afoot to pay tribute to the man in the village of his birth.

Bruce Brown, secretary of Gordon and Westruther Community Council, said: “Part of the UK Government’s national First World War centenary commemoration campaign was the Victoria Cross Paving Stones program – an initiative which would see commemorative paving stones laid at places of significance for the 628 British servicemen who received the highest military honour for courage while in contact with the enemy.

“ The WW1 centenary is now passed but why should the program end there?

“There have been VC’s won in conflicts since the Great War and it is fitting that stones continue to be laid on the centenary of their award.

“We are therefore looking to fund and site a granite memorial, with inlaid VC flagstone, to what is probably Gordon’s most famous son and possibly Scotland’s most highly decorated officer.”

The community council has started a Go Fund Me page, with a target set at £2,950.

Bruce said: “We aim to have the memorial in place in Gordon for Remembrance Sunday in November this year; the memorial has to be paid for before this date.

“It is proposed any surplus achieved through crowdfunding would go to improving the small area around the memorial, as well as assisting in the renovation of the Gordon Village Hall; all for the benefit of the wider community.”

In addition to the fundraising page, there will be collecting tins in the Gordon Arms pub and the village shop.