Gordon Road, TW9

Place Name

General Charles George Gordon (January 28, 1833 – January 26, 1885), an adventurer killed in Sudan. Gordon came to public attention in 1864 when he was sent to suppress a rebellion against the Qing dynasty in China, which threatened British trading interests. In 1884, as the governor of Sudan, he was sent to evacuate loyal Egyptian soldiers trapped in Khartoum following a revolt by Sudanese Muslims. Instead of yielding the city to the Mahdists, Gordon organised a city-wide defence with a small band of soldiers and civilian men. This decision infuriated his political masters in London but gained wide-support across the UK. After holding out for nearly a year, the Islamic forces overwhelmed the defences and Gordon was killed. His body was never found. Gordon’s upright character and faith maintained his popularity with the public and the name was a popular choice for streets with developers at the time. James Green, Judith Filson and Margaret Watson in The Streets of Richmond and Kew write that, laid out in 1912, this was part of the last group of roads to be developed on the Selwyn Court estate. The name was apparently picked after the Selwyn family and librarian Alfred Barkas  suggested it to the local authority. They suggest: “Perhaps the Council wanted to make up for the reluctance of the Old Vestry to contribute even £5 to the Gordon Memorial Fund raised by Gravesend, but there was a Selwyn connection.” Charles William Selwyn who died in 1893 had served as a captain in the Royal Horse Guards during the Egyptian campaign which had preceded the Khartoum disaster. He stood for the Conservatives in the elections losing in 1885 but becoming MP for Wisbech the following year. In both elections he campaigned against the Liberal William Gladstone’s record on Ireland and the Sudan and General Gordon. His brother Harry Jasper Selwyn inherited the land following his brother’s death.



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