Campaign chest of Wellingtons’ right hand man who died in Waterloo to go under the hammer

PUBLISHED: 10:53 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 14 May 2018

The campaign chest, Picture: Holts Auctioneers

The campaign chest, Picture: Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers

The campaign chest of the Duke of Wellington’s right hand man, who died in the battle of Waterloo, will go under the hammer of a Norfolk auction house.

Nick Holt with the campaign chest. Picture: Holts AuctioneersNick Holt with the campaign chest. Picture: Holts Auctioneers

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Gordon was the third son of Lord Haddo joining the army aged only 19 in 1805.

The young soldier travelled to Spain for the Peninsular War during the Napoleonic Wars, before becoming the Duke of Wellington’s aide-de-camp in 1809.

Andrew Orr of Holts Auctions, based in King’s Lynn, explained: “Whilst out on campaigns, Gordon’s man servant would have carried this chest, with Gordon’s name written on it, containing personal effects such as shaving items.

“We cannot prove that this was the chest which went with Gordon to the Battle of Waterloo, but it seems unlikely that he would have two.”

Gordon died in June 1815 aged 29, having had his leg blown off.

The Duke of Wellington held him in such high regard that he offered Gordon his own bed, where he subsequently died.

In a letter to Gordon’s brother, Lord Aberdeen, the Duke of Wellington wrote: “He had served me zealously and usefully for many years and on many trying occasions but he had never rendered himself more useful and had never distinguished himself more than in our late action.

“He had lived long enough to be informed by myself of the glorious result of our action to which he had so much contributed by his active zealous assistance... Believe me.”

Mr Orr continued: “The current owners of the chest are descendents of Gordon, and had been passed down through the generations.

“Campaign furniture is very popular. In later years it became much more ornate, but this is a classic example of plain wood with wrought iron moulded around it.”

Mr Orr added: “People like to buy campaign furniture and have it as an art installation in their living rooms. We’ve estimated the chest will be worth between £200 and £300, but with the Wellington and the Waterloo connection it could go for more.

“We don’t like to get over excited though- you never know what will happen in an auction!”

The chest will be auctioned on June 21 at Holly Hedge House in Blackheath, London.

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