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Major (Chaplain) Alexander MacLennan Gordon, DSO, MC, was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on May 26, 1873, to parents Dr. Daniel Miner Gordon and Eliza Simona Gordon (née MacLennan).

A Presbyterian clergyman, Gordon was serving as a member in the Non-Permanent Active Militia at the time of his mobilization for Active Service with the 5th Regiment, Royal Highlanders of Canada (R.H.C.), in Septemberr 1914. He attested at Valcartier Camp in Québec on September 23, 1914, and was appointed as Chaplain to the 13th Battalion, R.H.C.

Gordon embarked for England with the First Contingent that October, aboard the SS Alaunia. Proceeding to France with the 3rd Infantry Brigade in January 1915, he was then transferred to the No.1 Canadian Field Ambulance. In July of 1916 he was appointed as Senior Chaplain of the 4th Division, Canadian Chaplain Service.

Wounded in August 1918, Gordon was treated in England before being invalided back to Canada in June of the following year. He was demobilized in September 1919.

Content notes:
Gordon’s informative and expressive letters were written between October 1914 and April 1915. The earliest, written during his crossing to England aboard the SS Alaunia, is particularly notable for the amount of descriptive detail conveyed.
Among the family names appearing in the letters are references to Gordon’s brother Major George Huntly Gordon, OBE, (“Hunt”), his sister Wilhelmina Gordon (“Min”), and his father, Daniel Miner Gordon (“the Principal”), who was Principal of Queen’s University at that time. Mentions of “Canon Scott” are to Lt. Col. (Canon) Frederick George Scott, CMG, DSO, FRSC, noted poet and author of the 1922 memoir The Great War As I Saw It.

External links:
Major Alexander MacLennan Gordon’s service record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Major George Huntly Gordon’s service record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) at Library and Archives Canada.
Lt. Col. (Canon) Frederick George Scott's service record (Serv/Reg# not assigned) at Library and Archives Canada.

Collection Contents

Letters (8)
Other (1)