Sitting on a hill adjacent to the car park, the Monument is a prominent landmark that can be seen from many parts of the Estate and Country Park. It is dedicated to the memory ofLieutenant-Colonel Sir Alexander Gordon, the younger brother of the 4th Earl, who died at the tragically young age of 29 at the Battle of Waterloo. He was carried from the field of battle with a mortal wound to the leg, and was attended by Wellington’s personal physician, who later wrote of the General’s considerable sadness at Lt-Colonel Gordon’s eventual demise. He is recorded to have said the following words: “Well, thank God, I don’t know what it is to lose a battle; but certainly nothing can be more painful than to gain one with the loss of so many of one’s friends”. The Monument was erected by his “disconsolate sister and five surviving brothers”, and another memorial to him can be seen to this day at Waterloo – the only British memorial at the site.
He was Wellington’s youngest aide-de-camp, and was held in great favour by him, as can be seen from the content of a letter that the General wrote to the 4th Earl to inform him that his brother had been killed. It begins with these words: “You will readily give credit to the existence of the extreme grief with which I announce to you the death of your gallant brother, in consequence of a wound received in our great battle of yesterday”. The letter is framed and on display at Haddo House.
A FULL COPY OF THE TEXT CAN BE READ HERE:
My dear lord,
You will readily give credit to the existence of the extreme grief with which I announce to you the death of your gallant brother, in consequence of a wound received in our great battle of yesterday. He had served me most 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 actions. He received the wound which occasioned his death when rallying one of the Brunswick battalions which was shaking a little; and he lived long enough to be informed by myself of the result of our actions, to which he had so much contributed by his active and zealous assistance.
I cannot express to you the regret and sorrow with which I look round me, and contemplate the loss which I have sustained, particularly in your brother. The glory resulting from such actions, so dearly bought, is no consolation to me, and I cannot suggest it as any to you or his friends; but I hope that it may be expected that this last one has been so decisive, as that no doubt remains that our exertions and our individual losses will be rewarded by the early attainment of our just object. It is then that the glory of the actions in which our friends and relations have fallen will be some consolation for their loss.