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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.last updated 21/01/2020
Ipswich Earl Roberts
also traded as as: General Gordon, New Belvedere Innhistorical closure era: late 20th century
opened about 1923
It appears that the license from the adjacent Belvedere was transferred to this pub some time in the mid-1920s, as the Belvedere's entry in the 1910 Ipswich Rate book has been annotated "Late Belvedere - new site General Gordon". We know the Belvedere was still trading at least as late as 1923 from its entry in the Borough Police beat book.
The pub was initially called the New Belvedere when it first opened. The pub was then called the General Gordon until 1980, but not to be confused with General Gordon, 18-20 Upper Barclay Street, which was still open until about 1933. The landlord from Upper Barclay St (E R Webb). seems to have moved to this pub and possibly changed the name at about that time.
In 1998, soon after closure, it was demolished to provide more car-parking; the building had been allowed to deteriorate for several years before demolition. In its later years it was an excellent and popular music venue, despite the fact that the layout of the pub was totally unsuited to this role.
Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts VC, was the 1st Earl Roberts (30-9-1832 to 14-11-1914) a distinguished Anglo-Irish soldier and one of the most successful commanders of Victorian era. He was affectionately known as 'Bobs' by the troops he commanded. He fought in the Indian rebellion, seeing action during the siege and capture of Delhi, the relief of Lucknow, and at Khudaganj, where he won the Victoria Cross. He later distinguished himself in the Second Afghan War, and held various senior military commands including Commander-in-Chief of British forces in South Africa, Commander-in-Chief in Madras (1881-85), Commander-in-Chief of all India (1885-87) and Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Ireland. Later he was the last Commander-in-Chief of the entire British Army for three years before the post was abolished in 1904. He was also a keen advocate of introducing conscription in Britain (heading the National Service League) in preparation for an anticipated Great European War. He died of pneumonia at St Omer, France, while visiting Indian troops fighting in WW1 and was awarded a State Funeral. After lying in state in Westminster Hall (one of only 3 non-Royals to do so in the 20th century) he was buried in St Paul's cathedral.
Major-General Charles George Gordon CB (28-1-1833 to 26-1-1885) was known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum. He was a British army officer and administrator, best remembered for his campaigns in China (Second Opium War and the Taiping Rebellion) and northern Africa. After some time as Governor-General of the entire Sudan he was eventually murdered and beheaded by Mahdi Mohammed Ahmed's army of 50,000 soldiers in Khartoum during the cities bloody seige, his head being delivered to the Mahdi and later displayed on a pike to much public outcry back in Britain. The whole garrison of 7,000 Egyptian and loyal Sudanese troops was also killed. Field Marshal Garnet Wolseley led a 5,400 strong (Canadian soldiers) Nile Expeditionary force in a failed attempt to relieve the city. The Mahdi died less than six months later. Lord Kitchener later led a British campaign to re-conquer the Sudan (1895 to 1898).