General Charles Gordon was an extraordinarily principled officer during the height of the British Empire, who accepted several very challenging assignments, both in China, during the Tae-Ping Rebellion, and in Africa where he opposed the slavers, and tried to bring order and civilization to the Sudan. He was tragically killed during a siege of Khartoum, when the British forces failed to send a relief party to his aid.
HE WOULD LEAD THE TROOPS ONWARDS WITH THE LITTLE CANE HE NEARLY ALWAYS CARRIED.
Dear Archie and Bertie,
When boys read the old fairy tales, and the stories of King Arthur's Round Table, and the Knights of the Faerie Queen, they sometimes wonder sadly why the knights that they see are not like those of the olden days.
Knights now are often stout old gentlemen who never rode horses or had lances in their hands, but who made much money in the City, and who have no more furious monsters near them than their own motor-cars.
Only a very few knights are like what your own grandfather was.
"I wish I had lived long ago," say some of the boys. "Then I might have killed dragons, and fought for my Queen, and sought for the Holy Grail. Nobody does those things now. Though I can be a soldier and fight for the King, that is a quite different thing."
But if the boys think this, it is because they do not quite understand.
Even now there live knights as pure as Sir Galahad, as brave and true as St. George. They may not be what the world calls "knights"; yet they are fighting against all that is not good, and true, and honest, and clean, just as bravely as the knights fought in days of old.
And it is of one of those heroes, who sought all his life to find what was holy, who fought all his life against evil, and who died serving his God, his country, and his Queen, that I want to tell you now.