On March 29, Dr. Richard Long gave a resume of the life and career of Gordon of Khartoum. To say he was an unusual character would be a gross understatement. Our speaker described him as a loner, in the current jargon "not a team player". He was a fanatical Christian which led in the end to his becoming a martyr at Khartoum when the reinforcements sent to rescue him arrived two days too late. This caused a political storm at home and earned Gladstone, the Prime Minister, a rebuke from Queen Victoria for delaying the rescue party. This was, of course, the high noon of imperialism and the press was highly patriotic.

Gordon started as an officer in the Royal Engineers and served in many countries both in the Army and as an administrator. In the speaker's view he was not a hero, as popularly portrayed at the time, and was, in fact, a nuisance to Britain in Sudan. Dr. Long was also critical of Britain's action then and subsequently in the Middle East and, looking at the situation today, you can see justification for his viewpoint.

We meet at 10am every Thursday at The Boathouse, Evesham Rowing Club.

In a change of programme, on April 5 our former President George Bourne will be giving an autobiographical talk and on April 12 the title of the talk will be "The Howse that was so Fayre" by Judith Ellis.

Full details can be found on our website www.eveshamprobus.co.uk.