Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Chinese Gordon

Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB
(28th January 1833 - 26th January 1885)

A great set of 10min videos on Youtube...

Some background...

Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB, known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British army officer and administrator.

Gordon was born in 1833 at Woolwich, the son of an artillery officer and received a soldiers education at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and the Royal Engineers School in Chatham. He first served, as a lieutenant, in the Crimean War of 1853-1856 where he distinguished himself for his bravery at the battle of Sevastopol and was promoted to captain. Gordon then volunteered to join the British forces fighting in China in the Opium Wars.

In 1860, he was in the company that captured Peking and it was Gordon who personally ordered the burning of the emperors summer palace. The Chinese emperor was obliged to admit defeat and signed a peace treaty, the Convention of Peking, allowing British trading rights and legalising Christianity in China. This treaty caused an upheaval in China and a revolt against the Ching dynasty. Gordon found himself propping up the Chinese government, forming a coolie force known as the Ever-Victorious Army. This group was well named for it successfully defended the trading centre of Shanghai in several assaults on the city. In 1865, when the rebellion had been quashed, Gordon returned home to a heros welcome by an enthusiastic public who had dubbed him Chinese Gordon.

In 1873, Gordon received a commission from the ruler of Egypt as governor-general of the Sudan. Gordon was successful in crushing rebellions and suppressing the slave trade until illness forced him to return to London.

In 1884, Gordon was sent to the Sudan by the British government in order to evacuate British and Egyptian forces from the city of Khartoum, which was under threat from a mystic rebel known as the Mahdi. A month later the Mahdis troops laid Khartoum under a siege, which lasted ten months. Before British forces arrived to free the city, the besiegers broke through the city walls and killed the entire garrison.

Back in Britain, Gordon, now known as Gordon of Khartoum, was acclaimed as a hero and a martyr and the government were reviled for not sending relief forces in time.

I found this by complete accident on Youtube...I didn't even know it existed!

Robert Hardy narrates and recounts Gordon's life and times with his own special energy and enthusiasm. The content is excellent - with some great images and some fanciating facts; simply a wonderful insight to a complex man living in a complex time in history

It is by far not a one sided story either...hope you all enjoy it as much as I did...

Gordon of Khartoum - Part 1

Gordon of Khartoum - Part 2

Gordon of Khartoum - Part 3

Gordon of Khartoum - Part 4

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