David Melville Osler

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: September 1914
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn, Dundee
  • Service no: Clyde Z/435
  • Rank: Able Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Drake Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Age at Death: 20
  • Date of Death: 04.12.1915
  • Burial Country: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Cemetery: Redoubt Cemetery, Helles
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Sp. Mem. B.36.

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 15 Shamwell Road, Tayport
  • Occupation: Grocer, William Low & Co, Tayport, Fife
  • Mother:

    Jessie Osler

  • Father:

    James Osler

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about David Melville Osler

David M Osler was the son of Mr James and Mrs Jessie Osler of Rustic Cottage, Tayport and Dundee and c/o Mrs Beaton, 15 Shamwell Road, Tayport and worked as a Grocer. He had sisters at 38 Blackness Road and 16 Baffin Street, both Dundee. In September 1914 he was one the first of local men to volunteer to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve onboard HMS Unicorn for service in the Royal Naval Division. After initial Naval Training at the Crystal Palace in South London he was sent to Blandford Camp in Dorset for advanced military training. In January 1915 he was drafted to A Company of the Drake Battalion and sailed with it at the end February for service overseas. In March the Battalion landed at Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos. Over the next few weeks the men practised landing techniques and then re-embarked for the Naval assault to force a passage through the Dardanelles. This failed and a decision was taken to land troops on Gallipoli. The Battalion embarked for Alexandria to reform and prepare for the landing. Once on Gallipoli the Drake Battalion took part in two major attacks, Second and Third Krithia and suffered heavy casualties. Regular spells in the frontline trenches followed but David Osler remained uninjured except for a period when he was hospitalised in October with illness. David Ostler was killed in action on 4 December 1915 along with four other members of the Drake Battalion. He was buried by the Rev C M G Moore on 4 December in the Brigade Dump Cemetery. After the war bodies were exhumed from many small cemeteries and his remains were reburied at the Redoubt Cemetery at Helles, Gallipoli, Grave Reference Special Memorial B 36.

Believed to possibly be the brother of Pte James Osler, 808826, 10th Battalion, Canadian Infantry.

David Osler  CZ/435 Drake Bn Royal Naval Division


Official intimation has been received of the death in action of A. B. David Osler, of the Drake Battalion of the Royal Naval Division.  A. B. Osler, who was 20 years of age, was an orphan, and resided with his uncle, Mr M. Beaton, 15 Shanwell Road, Tayport.  He had been employed for about seven years as a grocer in Tayport with William Low & Co., and enlisted in the Royal Naval Division shortly after the outbreak of war.

Dundee Courier 20th December 1915

Additional information and image kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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