David Bell Strathern

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: Clyde Z/2264
  • Rank: Leading Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Collingwood Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Age at Death: 19
  • 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: 28 Lorimer St, Dundee
  • Occupation: Apprentice Engineer, D. J. Macdonald, Dundee
  • Mother:
  • Father:

    David Strathern, 28 Lorimer St, Dundee

  • Siblings:


  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about David Bell Strathern

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

David Strathern was the son of David Strathern, Grocer, Dundee, and grandson of David Bell, woollen manufacturer, Helen St, Arbroath. He was serving his apprenticeship as an engineer, and was not quite 19 years of age when he enlisted in the Royal Naval Division in November 1914. He was promoted leading-seaman, and was afterwards appointed head scout for the Collingwood Battalion on their leaving fro the Dardanelles Campaign. During service there he was killed in action on the 4th of June 1915. Arbroath Roll of Honour, page 27.

David is also remembered on the War Memorial in Strathmartine Parish Church.

David Bell Strathern   CZ/2264   Collingwood Bn   R.N.D.



Leading Seaman David B. Strathern, son of Mr D. Strathern, grocer, 28 Lorimer Street, Dundee, is now presumed to have been killed in action during the Gallipoli operations.

He was posted missing from the 4th June of last year.  Deceased, who was scarcely nineteen, enlisted in the Royal Naval Division shortly after the outbreak of war, and became attached to the Collingwood Battalion.  He was a former pupil of the Morgan Academy, and was in the course of serving his apprenticeship to the engineering trade with D. J. Macdonald when he answered the call to arms.  Deceased was also a student at the Technical College, and had taken several certificates in engineering.

Dundee Courier 16th June 1916

David is believed to be the brother of Lt Robert Strathern, 2nd Battalion, Cameron Highlanders.

David B Strathern was the son of the Mr David Strathern of 28 Lorimer Street Dundee. He worked as an Apprentice Fitter until November 1914 when he volunteered 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 retained there and advanced to Acting Leading Seaman in January 1915. He was in the Machine Gun and Scouts Section of the 4th Battalion until he was sent to Blandford Camp in Dorset in late March when he joined 2nd Platoon, B Company of the Collingwood Battalion. The Collingwood Battalion landed in Gallipoli in late May 1915 and took part in the Third Battle of Krithia on 4 June 1915. This was their first and last action because, as they advanced towards the enemy line, 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. David Strathern was listed as missing and his next of kin asked that further checks be made after a Miss Axford received information from former Collingwood ratings saying that David had been seen lying dead next to the body of Lieutenant Oscar Freyberg, a B Company Officer. A trawl of former Collingwood men produced no definite news until a report was received in May 1916 that Able Seaman Horn from the Howe Battalion stated he saw David Strathern being shot on 4 June 1915 and an Officer, Lieutenant E V Ellis, stated that his body had been found in August. It was not recovered after the war and he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial on Gallipoli. He is also listed on the Morgan Academy Memorial K8. David Strathern also studied at the Dundee Tech College, Student number 2607. New Zealander Oscar Freyberg was the brother of Bernard Freyberg, a Hood Battalion Officer who won a VC on the Somme in November 1916, became one of the most decorated men of the First World War, commanded the New Zealand Division in the Second World War and became a Governor General of New Zealand.

Additional information kindly supplied by Bill Chalmers, further additional information and image kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell.

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