Sergeant William Aikman

Private William Aikman, 1st/4th (Border) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action, aged 24, at Gallipoli on the 12th July 1915 during the “Charge” on the Turkish trenches at Achi Baba Nullah.  He had been born in Galashiels and was the son of Henry and Lavinia Aikman of Brooklyn Cottage, Earlston where the family had move to in the early 1900s. He had been employed at the Rhymers Mill, Earlston and was a member of the Territorial K.O.S.B. being mobilised with the Battalion in August 1914 on the outbreak of War. 12th July became known as the “Black day of the Borders” as out of the over 700 Officers and Other Ranks who began the attack only 70 unwounded men answered evening roll call. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that fateful day. The first photo shows the objective, Achi Baba. this “hill” dominated the battlefield but was never captured. The second shows the Borderers “going over the top” at Gallipoli and the third shows the battlefield in 1922. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey.

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