The story of Francis Gorin

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The story of Francois Gorin


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Francois Gorin, later known as Frank Gordon, was born in St Peter and baptised in St Helier, Jersey, and emigrated to Australia and New Zealand, where he lived an eventful life, apparently twice marrying bigamously. This timeline of his life is taken from a family history.


1864, Jersey

Abandoned by his French father, Brandan Ollivier Gorin (1831-1875) at the age of four months.

Francois Gordon's Haut de la Garenne admission record

1874, Gorey, Jersey

Ten-year-old Francois Gorin went to school until age 16 at Jersey Industrial School, Haut de La Garenne, which took in orphans and boys from poor families. It also had Naval training. He went on to join the Royal Navy in Plymouth, Devon

5 February 1879, Gorey

At the age of 15 Francois was bound to Captain John Wright in Gorey for five years as an apprentice in the Merchant Navy.

27 August 1880, Stoke Dameral, Plymouth

From August 1880 to Juyl 1883 Frank Gordon/ Francis Gorin worked on four ships between England and the Caribbean. At 16 yrs old he was only 5 foot 2¾ inches, with black hair, dark complexion and hazel eyes. His character was described as "very good".

August 1880, Impregnable, Plymouth

Frank trained/worked on four ships, Impregnable, Assistance, Duke of Wellington and Dido. In 1883 he went to the Caribbean on this ship and was discharged on health grounds to the Goslar Naval Hospital, Portsmouth (he told family he lived in Panama).

1881, East Stonehouse, Devon

Relation to head of house: Patient. Royal Naval Hospital. In April 1881 Jessie Earl, living in 19 Pym Street, Stoke Dameral, was Frank's girlfriend, who he wanted to Marry. His parents forbade it. He eventually named his daughter Jessie Gordon after her

15 October 1886, Hong Kong

Frank Gordon was on the ship Whampoa that departed Hong Kong in mid-October, taking about seven weeks to sail to Melbourne via Darwin and Sydney. The Whampoa was of London (E W Molesworth Customhouse Agents) so may have Departed England about 7 September 1886

23 June 1890, Victoria, Australia

Deserter from the Volgar, possibly at Williamstown, Melbourne.

25 March 1891, Aratapu, Kaipara, Northland, New Zealand

Frank worked in a Kauri Timber mill in Aratapu near Dargiville. A boat was built there that he later worked on as ship's cook in 1895. He met Mabel Robson on shore leave in Napier, Hawkes Bay, NZ.

1896, New Zealand

33-year-old Frank Gordon Married Mabel Robson, an 18-year-old Napier girl, at St Augustine's Anglican Church, 19 Edwardes Street, Napier.

25 March 1913, Wellington, New Zealand

A newspaper report said Frank Edward Arthur Gordon was seen leaving NZ on the Ulimaroa to Sydney, Australia. This was one week after he lost a Court case in Napier Supreme Court which was widely publicised. He was to pay thousands of pounds.

'Frank Gordon' with first wife Mabel, nee Robson, and family

7 May 1913, Petersham, Sydney

A Police Gazette showed that Frank put out a search for the arrest of Euphemia Hutchison for stealing from him. He said she took a tea service, gold and pearl brooch, umbrella and revolver and cartridges.

1914, Waverley, Sydney

Frank bigamously married Euphemia Hutchison, a 25-year-old lass, stocky build with dark hair and a broad Scottish accent, the same woman he told the Police to search for when he accused her of stealing from him the year before.

1914, Queensland

51 year old Frank Albert Ernest Gordon bigamously married 18-year-old Dorothy Monaghan, who had a one-year-old daughter, Doris Monaghan, who was conceived when Frank lectured on poultry in Australia between Court trials in Napier, so she may be his daughter.

5 July 1924, Morey Road, Cheltenham, Melbourne

Frank Albert Ernest Gordon died of a heart attack at the relatively young age of 60. His son died aged 64. Daughter Doris was 10. His third wife Dorothy married three years later. His first wife Mabel and five children had no idea

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