Gordon Homes and Orphanages





In the late nineteenth century, General Gordon of Khartoum was a hero.


He saw action in the Crimean, China, Egypt, the Sudan and finally Khartoum, where he was killed. He was known for his extreme bravery although some commentators have suggested that it may have been less about bravery and more abouthaving a death wish.


In the 1860s, after his time in China, he was based in Gravesend for a while during which time both his father and his brother died. Gordon threw himself efforts to help local people. He visited sick and dying people, gave money to people in poverty, and  a pension to elderly people in need. He taught at the local ragged school where poor children could get a free education and also tried to help boys living on the streets to find work and somewhere to live. He put many of the boys up at his own home. 


It is estimated that, at this time, he gave away 90% of his ample income.


When in Sudan, he worked hard to try to put a stop to slavery both on a political level and also physically freeing many slaves and arresting the traders.


When Gordon died in 1885, therewas widespread shock and grief in Britain. People wanting to do something to commemmoratehis life raised a large amount of money. This was used to fund Gordon's Boy's Home near Woking in Surrey.


In the following year, 1886, Gordon's sister funded a boys' home in Croydon which was alsonamed after him.


In the following years, a number of other boys' homes have been given the name 'Gordon', not  always with any connection to the General or his family.







1885 - 1946

Gordon Boy's Home

West End, near Woking, Chobham, Surrey

(initially known as the National Memorial Gordon Boys' Home)


It was initially at Fort Wallington, near Fareham, Hampshire but moved to Chobham in 1887.


In 1946, this became Gordon 's School which is still running.


Some information about the home is held by the London Metropolitan Archives




Gordon Orphanage for Boys

Croydon Grove, Croydon, Surrey

This was funded by Gordon's sister. 


1891 - taken over by the Waif and Strays Society


1903 - moved to Morland Road, Croydon


Looking for information?







Contact The Children's Society's Post Adoption and Care Service






Gordon Boy's Home

Dover, Kent


This was funded by someone unconnected with Gordon's family but was nonetheless given his name.


The 1900 census records this as being based at

7 Biggin Street, Dover


We're very grateful to the Royal Collection Trust for allowing us to include the photo below.

The Gordon Boys at the Orphanage, Dover 
July 1892

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020


Looking for records:








Annual reports, financial records, and correspondence from between 1882 and 1938  are held by the Kent Archives.


Telephone: 03000 413 131

Visit website

Email: archives@kent.gov.uk






Gordon Home for Orphans

Birchington, Kent (Thanet)

(This home is recorded in the1891 census)






Gordon Boys' Home

St George in the East (this parish is esentially modern Wapping/docks area), London


(This home is recorded in the1891 census)






Gordon Boys' Home

Chorlton upon Medlock, Manchester 

It was given the name ' Gordon' after the General's death.


The home was based in Cornbrook.


While the orphanage started as an independent initiative, it was taken under the auspices of The Manchester and Salford Boys and Girls Refuges and Homes organisation which is now know as the Together Trust.


Looking for information?







Contact the Together Trust





Gordon Home for Destitute Boys

Argyle Terrace, Nottingham


(This home is recorded in the1891 census)