Posts Tagged ‘Royal Scots’

Remembering Munro Briggs Scott of Kew Gardens Herbarium killed 12 April 2017 WW1

April 13, 2017

Munro Briggs Scott of Kew Gardens Herbarium Staff was killed in action  in the Battle for Arras on 12 April 1917.

Munro Briggs Scott, 12 April 1917
2nd Lt. Munro Briggs Scott, 12th Battalion, Royal Scots, died 12 April 1917. Scott is commemorated on Panel Reference Bay 1 and 2 of the Arras Memorial.


R Jones Faubourg

Scott’s name is one of the first panels on The Arras Memorial at the back here. (Image Source: CWGC)


M.B. Scott was  killed in the major Battle of Arras offensive planned for April-May 1917. The Arras Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and August 1918 and have no known grave.


Munro Briggs Scott of  Kew Botanic Gardens Remembered on the WW1 section Kew Gardens staff memorial (Image Source: Mark Norris, World War Zoo gardens project, Newquay Zoo)

Born in 1889 at East Wemyss, Fife, Scotland, Munro Briggs Scott was on the Herbarium staff at Kew around the outbreak of war.

He joined Kew ‘s local regiment, the East Surrey regiment in February 1916, then the Suffolk Regiment before joining the 13th Royal Scots, later attached to the 12th Battalion Royal Scots as an officer.

m b scott medal card crop

Serving first as a Private 18094 in the East Surreys, then Lance Corporal 25909 in the Suffolk Regiment, Munro Briggs Scott was finally gazetted to become an officer on 22 November 1916.

Married in late 1916, he was posted to France on January 9, 1917 and killed by a high explosive HE shell three months later on 12 April 1917 at the Battle of Arras.

The University of Edinburgh alumni site has him listed as:

Buckhaven School. Student of Arts and Science, 1907-14; M.A. 1910; B.Sc. Botanical Expert at Kew Gardens. Royal Scots, Lieut. France. Killed at Arras on 12th April 1917. PI. LXXIII.


m b scott probate crop2

AN OFFICER’S DEATH.—News has been received with feelings of the deepest regret of the death in action of Lieutenant Munro Briggs Scott, of the Royal Scots, who was married in November last to Miss Flora M. Forbes, M.A., daughter Mr John Forbes.

Lieutenant Scott had been wounded and while being attended to by the RAMC was shot dead – presumably by a sniper. Lieutenant Scott, who was a BSc of Edinburgh University and belonged to East Wemyss, had a brilliant scholastic career and thereafter received an important appointment as a botanical expert  at Kew Gardens which he held prior to enlistment.

Printed in the 25 April 1917 edition of  Perthshire Advertiser , Scotland

A slightly different story is told here, relating to how he was wounded, printed in 28 April 1917 – Fife Free Press, & Kirkcaldy Guardian – Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland:
east wemyss officer mbscott

You can read more about Kew Gardeners lost in WW1 on our blogpost here:

Munro Briggs Scott remembered 100 years on.

Blogposted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens Project, Newquay Zoo.


Remembering George Fallow from Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to Gallipoli

August 21, 2015

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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