William Balbirnie

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: October 1914
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: Clyde Z/334
  • Rank: Petty Officer
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Collingwood Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Age at Death: 26
  • Date of Death: 04.06.1915
  • Burial Country: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Cemetery: Helles Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 8 to 15

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 10 Brown St, Dundee
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:
  • Father:

    William Balbirnie, 67 Seagate, Dundee

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:

    Jane Balbirnie, 8 Brown St, Dundee

  • Children:

More about William Balbirnie

William has no known grave but is remembered on the Helles Memorial.

William Balbirnie   CZ/334 Collingwood Bn R.N.D.

BALBIRNIEKilled in action at the Dardanelles, on the 4th June, William Balbirnie, Bugle Major, Collingwood Battalion, Royal Naval Brigade, aged 26 years, eldest son of William Balbirnie, 67 Seagate, Dundee. – Inserted by his sorrowing Mother and Father.

Dundee People’s Journal 3rd July 1915

William Balbirnie was one of the first Dundee men to volunteer for service in the Royal Naval Division in October 1914. He was married to Mrs Jane Balbirnie of 10 Brown Street and later 67 Seagate, Dundee. After initial Naval Training at the Crystal Palace in South London he was sent to Blandford Camp in Dorset for advanced military training. On completion he was drafted to the Collingwood Battalion which was reforming at Blandford after losing almost all of its men as prisoners of war or interned in Holland after the Antwerp intervention in October 1914. Many Dundee men served in the Collingwood and he was drafted to the 2nd Platoon of A Company. The Collingwood left Blandford in early May 1915, landed in Gallipoli in late May and took part in the Third Battle of Kithira on 4 June. This was their first and last action because, as they advanced towards the enemy lines, they were caught in heavy Turkish artillery and machinegun fire. The number of dead and wounded was very high and the Battalion was disbanded two days later. The survivors were distributed to the other RND battalions to replace their losses. William Balbirnie’s body was not recovered and he is listed on the Helles Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey as well as the Dundee City Roll of Honour in which he is listed as a Bugler.

Additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell

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