Sergeant William Aikman

Sergeant William F. Aikman, “D” Coy. 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action on Gallipoli on 12th July 1915 during the “Charge” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah, aged 24.  He was the son of Henry and Lavinia Aikman of Brooklyn Cottage, Earlston and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. Before the War he had worked at Rhymers Mill, Earlston and had joined the Territorials at age 16 as a bugler. He was a renowned shot and had won several trophies including the “Lady Reay” Punch Bowl He was also a keen bowler, golfer and a supporter of Earlston Rugby Football Club. His two brothers were also serving in the K.O.S.B. That day became known as the “Black Day of the Borders” as at evening roll call only 70 unwounded men answered out of the over 700 Officers and men who had begun the attack. Both the Colonel and his Adjutant were killed. The first photo shows Achi Baba marked with a cross. This “hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. The second shows the Borderers attacking at Gallipoli.

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