remembered 87 years on
8pm on 19th June 2002, the 87th anniversary of their uncles
death a mile and a half away near Hooge, nephews and nieces
of Pat Gordon were given a central role in the nightly ceremony
at The Menin Gate by the Last Post Committee at Ypres.
A friend of the author of this site who lives in Ypres, Jacky
Platteeuw, met the seven members of the family by the ancient
Cloth Hall and accompanied them to the Memorial where they
laid three wreaths following the sounding of The Last Post
and reading out of their uncle's name and details. Two Flanders
Poppy wreaths were taken from Kennethmont and laid by the
Gordons on behalf of this website and Tap O' Noth Community
Council. The third tribute was from the Gordon Families.
of between 250 and 300 locals, visitors and pilgrims had gathered
unaware that family members of the soldier to be commemorated
were present and witnessed the proceedings. The Gordons later
met, thanked and had photographs taken with the buglers from
Ypres Fire Brigade. The firemen felt particularly honoured
to carry out their nightly duty in conjuction with the fallen
soldier's family. Four buglers in full dress uniform, including
senior bugler Antoon Verschoot with 48 years service, were
present instead of the more usual two man bugle party.
hear Last Post echo through the memorial archway of The Menin Gate.
walk across the Menin Road to lay the tributes.
with panels bearing the names of missing Gordon Highlanders behind
Neices and nephews
Robbie Gordon - Alford, Ethel Aberdein - Torphins, Margaret Ward -
Australia, James Gordon - Alford
The seven members
of the party who travelled to Ypres to witness the ceremony.
Joyce Gordon, Ethel Aberdein, Margaret Ward, James Gordon, Isobel
Gordon, Douglas Aberdein
The Menin Gate
Bugle Party is formed by past and present members of Ypres Fire Brigade.
From left to
right : Antoon Verschoot - Senior bugler (48 years service) ,
Dirk Vandekerkckhove - bugler , Mr Ian Connerty of The Last Post Committee,
Emily Connerty (age 10),
Raf Decombel - bugler, Michel Ghesquière - bugler, Robert Gordon.
is the text of the announcement read out by Ian Connerty of
The Last Post Committee to those assembled at The Menin Gate
on 19th June 2002
day for a year - from 1 November 2001 to 31 October 2002 -
the Last Post Ceremony will draw special attention to particular
soldiers, sailors or airmen, who died near Ypres on the date
men have been chosen because their lives and deaths can tell
us something about the terrible conflict in which they were
involved - a conflict which shaped the course of the 20th
century and which still has an influence on all our lives,
even today. With this aim in mind, the personal stories of
a number of these men can be found in the glass display case
at the entrance to the memorial and also in an exhibition
in the Regional Visitors Centre in the Cloth Hall. These stories
are stories of mud and blood, of unspeakable suffering and
limitless human endurance. However, they are also stories
of courage and devotion to duty, of comradeship and self-sacrifice.
we commemorate in particular;
Private Robert Patrick GORDON, of the 4th Battalion, The
Gordon Highlanders, who was killed during the aftermath of
the British attack at Hooge on 16 June 1915. His entry in
the University of Aberdeen Memorial Register describes his
death as "the falling of unripe fruit."
Robert Patrick Gordon and the soldiers who will be named in
subsequent days stand as representatives of all those who
fought during the First World War. What they experienced was
experienced by all, what they suffered was suffered by all.
The only difference was that fate decreed that some must die,
whilst others might live. We remember with gratitude their
kindly supplied by Ian Connerty
Douglas Aberdein was asked to read out the exortation on behalf
of the family and Last Post Committee
They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old
shall not weary them nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We Will Remember Them "
The name of
Pat Gordon and other missing Gordon Highlanders.
and buglers under The Menin Gate Memorial.
ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
McCrae, Ypres 1915
to main details of Robert P Gordon
of this site is especially grateful to Jacky Platteeuw for liaising
with The Last Post Committee in Ypres
and making the Gordon family visit to the town such a unique and special
on this page appear by kind permission of Jacky Platteeuw
19th June 2002