Remembering George Fallow from Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to Gallipoli

19th August 2015 is the 100th anniversary of Sergeant George Fallow’s death in Egypt from wounds received at Gallipoli serving with the 5th Royal Scots. This was very much the local regiment for many others on the staff at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

Leonie Paterson the RBGE archivist has produced another timely Botanics Story and blogpost about Fallow 

Sergeant George Cruickshanks Fallow No.1739, died on 19 August 1915 aged 24 from wounds received whilst serving with the 5th Royal Scots at Gallipoli. He is buried at Grave Reference: K. 4. of Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. Many other Gallipoli casualties are buried here too.

Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt where George Fallow and many Galliopli casualties are buried. (image: CWGC)

Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt where George Fallow and many Gallipoli casualties are buried. (image: CWGC)Buddleia fallowiana

The CWGC holds the additional family information that he was the son of Margaret Fallow, of Rosebank, Carluke, Lanarkshire, and the late Archibald Fallow.

On his headstone is the inscription chosen by his mother “Till The Day Dawns” (and the shadows flee away) based on a biblical inscription from the Old Testament Song of Solomon.

Botanics Stories 

Leonie Paterson the Archivist and colleagues  at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh uncovered in 2014 a strange aspect of Fallow’s story about why he does not appear on the RBGE staff war memorial:

“As a fan of eminent plant collector George Forrest (1873-1932), I’d long known that two of his plant introductions had been named after former RBGE gardeners killed in the First World War; Roscoea humeana, named for Private David Hume and Buddleia fallowiana for Sergeant George Fallow.

What I found curious was that Hume’s name appears on RBGE’s war memorial, now situated in the foyer of the Science Buildings on Inverleith Row, despite him having given up horticulture in 1906, whereas Fallow’s name doesn’t appear at all. Why? What are their stories?

George Fallow’s story is perhaps less mysterious, but no less tragic. The reason for his name not

Buddleia fallowiana from the RBGE plate negative archive.

Buddleia fallowiana from the RBGE plate negative archive.

being included on the memorial is a simple one – he had left the staff of RBGE during the summer of 1914.

The reason for this was recalled by Henry (Harry) Howden Bryce in the RBGE Guild News Sheet, March 1980: “Some of the ‘lads’ joined the Territorials. The ‘Terriers’ were quite an attraction during this time. Apart from the drills and parades there was the big attraction of the Summer Camp”… “In July 1914 the Prof [Isaac Bayley Balfour] supervised the arranging of a demonstration of exhibits in the Laboratory… The whole layout was like a cross-section through the field of Botany.” All this was for a surprise oral examination for Balfour the following evening – the probationers would have to study the exhibits in order to talk about any subject Balfour asked them to. After the exam, “the Prof then asked if anyone would volunteer to talk on any of the subjects… only one stood up and that was George Fallow.

The following morning George was called up to the Prof’s office.” Balfour had been asked to recommend someone for the post of Subinspector in the Horticulture Branch of the Board of Agriculture, London. Fallow was recommended and selected for the position. “Now, George was a member of the Territorials and he decided to go to camp with his fellow students, then after camp he would proceed to his new appointment. Alas, the ‘best laid schemes’…” Fallow was still at camp on the 4th August when war was declared. The ‘Terriers’ were immediately put on active service training rather than return to their jobs.
As Fallow had left his post just prior to the outbreak of war he does not feature on the RBGE memorial nor the Roll of Honour, but the footnote to the description of Buddleia fallowiana states: “The specific name is given to keep in memory Sergeant George Fallow, 5th Batt. The Royal Scots, a former gardener on the staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, who died 19th August 1915, in Egypt, of wounds received in action at Gallipoli.”

The shrub collected by George Forrest is shown in the RBGE negative archive.

There is more about the plant at:


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One Response to “Remembering George Fallow from Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to Gallipoli”

  1. Gallipoli evacuated 8 January 1916 | Worldwarzoogardener1939's Blog Says:

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