Gordon’s Staff Officer
C. Chenevix Trench describes how, assigned to the Sudan in the time of the ‘Mahdi’, Colonel Stewart led an enterprising officer’s life in Asia and Africa.
In the extraordinary drama enacted at Khartoum in 1884-5 the limelight has naturally been on Gordon; but his principal staff officer was a remarkable man who, had he not been killed at the age of thirty-nine, would surely have attained eminence in the fascinating borderland between soldiering, diplomacy and colonial administration. John Donald Hamill Stewart was born in 1845. He inherited a modest estate in County Down, but his widowed mother lived in Dublin. Educated at Cheltenham, he passed first out of Sandhurst and was posted in 1865 to the 11th Hussars in India.