Published: 00:00, 24 January 2014
| Updated: 14:31, 24 January 2014
More than 125 years on from his death, crowds turned up to remember one of the town’s greatest philanthropists.
A memorial service was held in honour of Charles George Gordon, commonly known as General Gordon, in Fort Gardens, Milton Place, Gravesend, today.
Staged around the statue erected in his honour, the brisk conditions did not deter people from paying their respects.
Amongst those gathered were pupils from Chantry Community Academy, cadets from Gad’s Hill Combined Cadet Force, Armed Services veterans and many others.
Music was provided by the band from the Gravesend regiment of the Salvation Army.
Hymns were sung and prayers read as attendees huddled around the monument and spared a moment for a person who did so much for the town.
Gordon came to Gravesend in 1885 and served as the commandant of the Thames Forts, when the government at the time was concerned about a possible invasion by the French.
Although a decorated war hero for his work during the civil war in China – efforts that earned him the nickname “Chinese Gordon” – he will be remembered mainly by the people of the town for his generosity.
Passionate about opportunities for young people to gain a decent education, he worked at the Gravesend Ragged School and set up schools at Fort House and East Terrace in Gravesend as well as teaching at St Andrew’s mission, now St Andrew’s Church, in Royal Pier Road.
Not content with just giving up his time, he also helped financially and visited workhouses to give the poor tobacco, food and tea.
Gordon was killed on January 26, 1885 during a revolt in Khartoum, Sudan.