General Charles GordonPrint Page
Statue commemorates General Charles Gordon, hero of Khartoum, Sudan, and depicting relief scenes from his life.
Major-General Charles Gordon, that very unusual British officer who died as Khartoum fell to the forces of the messianic Islamic leader, Mohammed Ahmed, the Mahdi, on 26 January 1885. Melbourne`s grief was intense. The public appeal to pay for the statue was so over-subscribed that enough remained to build a boys` home
The bronze statue depicts Gordon holding his cane and Bible. In heroic style, the general stands over a shattered cannon, presumably to symbolise his ultimate triumph over the trials and tribulations of military victory and defeat.
Four bronze bas-reliefs feature on the limestone base, each depicting one of four key stages in Gordon’s life: his victories in China, his charitable activities in Gravesend, his governorship in Sudan and his death in Khartoum.
Gordon, the ‘Great Christian General’, was one of the most popular Englishmen of his day, and his reputation was forged on the battlefield and through his Christian activities at Gravesend. During his appointment as secretary to the viceroy of India in 1880, Gordon became unpopular with the government of the day for passionately campaigning for native rule in countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Ireland. Gordon met his death 1885, when as governor-general of the Sudan he refused to evacuate Egyptian forces from Khartoum, believing this to be unsafe.
Gordon’s death was mourned throughout the British Empire. So great was the Australian public’s response that a fund to produce a copy of Thornycroft’s London monument for Melbourne was heavily oversubscribed. Perhaps due to oversubscription, Thornycroft produced the four reliefs for the limestone base, which are not found on the London statue. Although Gordon did not set foot on Australian soil, the monument is of great historical importance; his death prompted the dispatch of the first Australian troops overseas, a regiment from New South Wales
|Address:||Spring & Macarthur Streets, Gordon Reserve, East Melbourne, 3002|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -37.812727|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Monument Designer:||Hamo Thornycroft|
|Approx. Monument Dedication Date:||1889|
Erected by the people of Victoria to honour the memory of Charles George Gordon Major-Gen Royal Engineers who fell at Khartoum January 26-1885
"I Have Tried To Do My Duty"
"This is the happy warrior - this is he
That every man in arms should wish to be."
" He sought for little children, to feed and clothe and train."
Soudan 1874-80 "He sought to save the lost, and bid the oppressed go free"
"warrior of God, man`s friend, not laid below. But somewhere dead far in the waste Soudan, thou livest in all hearts, for all men know, this earth hath borne no simpler, noble man."
Khartoum 1885 "He would not desert those dependent on him while life remained"
China 1963-4 "He rescued provinces from anarchy but would accept no reward"