The Cheltenham Gordon Boys Brigade 1890-1925

By Audrey Dingle, 01242 573381.

The Gordon Boys’ Brigade was formed in 1890. They are seen here on parade in the grounds of their Headquarters. This was in Liverpool Place, just off the High Street next to the Royal Hotel. The photograph was taken in the late 1890s.

The organisation was founded by the Colonel Thoyts, the Mayor, Colonel Griffith and General Pringle, with others, in memory of General Gordon the hero of Khartoum. The aim of the Brigade was to bridge the gap between boys leaving school aged about 14, until they were strong enough and old enough to be a wage earner, and placed as pupils in various trades, become apprentices or work for the railway or the Post Office.

They aimed to do this by teaching them to be disciplined, respectful and thrifty, giving the boys a uniform and a daily dinner. Usually they joined for two years from age 14 to 16 and they were given opportunities for drill instruction, gymnastics and swimming. The Brigade band provided boys who were musical a chance to play an instrument.

The boys were employed by the public to do a variety of work for which they were paid by a fixed tariff. One penny in the shilling earned was saved for each boy in the Post Office Savings Bank to help their start in life. The committee and friends provided money for the annual dinner in January and the bi-annual outing.

Superintendent and Mrs. Morse (matron), were in charge of the day to day running of the brigade and when Superintendent Morse died in 1906 Superintendent Slade took over his position. Mrs Morse was matron for 35 years until the Brigade closed.

The Brigade had many excellent honorary officers over the years such as Mr Carrington, Colonel Blaxland, Major Dudgeon and Major General J.F.Willoughby who was chairman for about 25 years until his death. In 1897 a Gordon League was formed for Old Gordon Boys’ and they played cricket, rugby and whist matches against local teams for many years. They also held an annual dinner in the town until 1914. Many of the old boys emigrated and had successful careers but sadly in World War I fifty boys died.

See the accompanying pages on the drop down menu for a biography of each individual.

Surnames A-C

Albert Charles AMES (1887-1917)
Private (22916) 10 South Wales Borderers.
Albert Edward BATES (1896-1917)
Private (23817) 10 Gloucestershire Regiment
William Thomas BATES (1891-1914)
Private (10020) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment.
Herbert Edward BERRY (1896-1918)
Private (20391) 2 Gloucestershire Regiment.
Frederick J W BLOXSOME (1886-) GB
William John BLOXSOME (1889-1918)
Sapper (149284) Royal Engineers
Arthur Ernest BLOXSOME (1894-1917)
Private (202719) 2/4 (Territorial) Battalion, Gloucestershire
William Joseph BOWLES (1896-1918) GB
L/Cpl (11747) 9 (Queen Alexandra’s Own Royal) Hussars
Albert Victor BRACHER (1887-1916)
Sgt (38) 25 Battalion (AIF)
George William James BROOKER (1895-1917) GB
Private (10310) 7 Gloucestershire Regiment
Harry Frank BROOKES (1894-1916) GB
Bugler (9825) 17 Kings Royal Rifle Corps
William Ernest Frank CARTER (1888-1916) GB
Private (241169/3431) 1/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
Frank CASEY (1878-1915) GB
Private (2543) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment
Sidney Albert CAUSON (1895-1916) GB
Private (2473) 1/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
George Ashley CHAPMAN (1890-1914) GB
Sgt (540) 1 Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
Thomas CRISP (1879-1917) GB
Pte (57276) Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)

Surnames D-L
Charles DUTTON (1884-1918) GB
Pte (36798) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment
George Frederick EDWARDS (1896-1915) GB
Pte (9931) 7 Gloucestershire Regiment
Frederick Thomas FAULKNER (1888-1916) GB
Pte (6395) 2 Royal Welsh Fusiliers
James Harold Gilbert FENNELL (1896-1918) GB
Pte (24662) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment
James Christopher Lipscomb GAPPER (1898-1915) GB
Lance corporal (13363) 10 Gloucestershire Regiment
Albert Henry GARDNER (1896-1918) GB
Lance corporal (10067) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment
Frederick Robert GEGG (1897-1917) GB
Pte (20331) 7 Gloucestershire Regiment
George Stanley GRENOW (1898-1918) GB
Pte (28185) 1 Prince Albert’s (Somerset Light Infantry)
Frederick GRINNELL (1883-1915) GB
Pte (18947) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment
Henry Francis HALLING (1879-1918) GB
Pte (83630/6297/33812) Labour Corps
Henry John JAMES (1897-1917) GB
Rifleman (24731) 16 Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)
Jesse JONES (1887-1915) GB
Pte (7802) 1 Gloucestershire Regiment
Thomas Charles JORDAN (1896-1918) GB
L/Cpl (23259) 8 Gloucestershire Regiment
Frederick John “Jack” LOVESY (1891-1917) GB
Sgt (17185) 9 Gloucestershire Regiment

Surnames M-Z

Sidney Albert MAHON (1895-1916) GB
Pte (24715) 10 Gloucestershire Regiment
Graham Wilfred MATTHEWS (1891-1915) GB
L/Cpl (281) Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (CEF)
Alfred Rowland MATTHEWS (1893-1915)
Pte (13330) 10 Gloucestershire Regiment
Raymond MILES (1897-1918) GB
Spr (358887) Royal Engineers
Montague “Ernest” MORTEN (1885-1918) GB
Pte (202700) 2/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
William Edward MULHEARN (1883-1917) GB
Spr (504105) Royal Canadian Engineers (CEF)
John PAGE (1878-1917) GB
Pte (102314) Labour Corps
George Edward RANSOM (1891-1914) GB
Pte (8961) Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Ernest William George RIVERS (1889-1916) GB
Pte (9387) 1 Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
William James SMITH (1878-1915) GB
Band Cpl (1882) 1/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
Arthur Edward SMITH (1894-1917) GB
L Cpl (43667) Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
George Edward TURNER (1894-1916) GB
Pte (240177/1723) 1/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
Henry “Harry” TURNER (1881-1914) GB
(AB Seaman) Stoker 1st Class Royal Navy (HMS Good Hope) 293608
Charles Henry WARD (1885-1916) GB
L Cpl (3227) 2/5 Gloucestershire Regiment
Frederick A WARD (1889-1916)
Pte (25401) 12th Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
Harry St Clair Clifford WEBB (1877-1918) GB
Band Sgt (34991) 3/6th  Gloucestershire Regiment
Frederick J WHITTINGHAM (1890-1914) GB
Drummer (L/8356) 2 The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regt)
Albert John YEATES (1888-1918) GB
L/Cpl (240270/1879) 8 Gloucestershire Regiment


All brigade records are lost but I believe about 1,200 boys were members over the 35 year period. I have not been able to find all the Gordon Boys who died in WWI and I would be very grateful for any information so that all the boys can be remembered.

By Audrey Dingle, 01242 573381.


One thought on “The Cheltenham Gordon Boys Brigade 1890-1925

  1. Pingback: Cheltenham Gordon Boys Brigade | World War One Cheltenham

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