William Gordon Dickson, a Gardens Labourer at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (RBGE) in 1914, enlisted as a Private 5th Royal Scots and was killed in action at Gallipoli 28 June 1915.
The same day, ‘ Bay’ Balfour, the son of Isaac Bayley Balfour, RBGE’s Regius Keeper throughout the war, was also killed as part of the same Battle of Gully Ravine in Gallipoli on 28th June 1915. He was serving as a Lieutenant with the 1st King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) and is buried in Twelve Tree Copse cemetery.
Private William Gordon Dickson, No. 2170 died aged 44 at Gallipoli on 28 June 1915 whilst serving with the 5th Battalion Royal Scots 5th Bn. (Queen’s Edinburgh Rifles), a regiment in which many of the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh staff served and several were also killed at Gallipoli.
See: Leonie Paterson’s excellent botanics stories blog for Dickson’s story: http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16027
and for ‘Bay’ Balfour: http://stories.rbge.org.uk/archives/16015
Unlike Balfour, Dickson has no known grave and is remembered on Panel 27 of the Helles Memorial to the Missing of the Gallipoli Campaign.
CWGC lists him as the “Husband of Margaret Dickson, of 85, Hanover St., Edinburgh.” Dickson was born and enlisted in Edinburgh on 4th September 1914. He began work at the Botanics only on 3 August 1914. The following day, Britain’s ultimatum to Germany ran out and it became involved in the First World War.
Dickson is also remembered on the staff memorial at the ‘Botanics’ in Edinburgh, erected in memory of the RBGE men and Isaac Bayley Balfour who died c. 1922 http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic4114.html
Two very different men, one young, one old, one an officer, another a gardens labourer, strangely linked in memorial by a workplace and a grieving Balfour family.