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William Dickson


S/7854 L/Sgt

2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders, 20th Infantry Brigade, 7th Division

Age: 29

Date of Death: 4.10.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 135 to 136

Family history: He resided with his mother, Janet Dickson, and sister Mary at New Street, Slamannan. William was single and was employed as a miner before he enlisted on 3 December 1914 in Falkirk. Joining the 3rd Battalion Gordon Highlanders.


He embarked for France at Southampton on 25 May 1915 and joined the 2nd Battalion on 30 May 1915. On 12 September he was seconded on ’Special duty’ to the No.1 Trench Battery. On 3 October 1915, he was wounded in action rejoining the battalion on 21 October. On 8 February 1916 he was given seven days leave in the UK. After returning from leave he was taken ill with laryngitis on 4 March and 14 days in 22 Field Ambulance recuperating. He was discharged to duty on 18 March and rejoined the battalion on 6 April. He was appointed to the rank of Lance Sergeant on 12 June 1917 and the following month, on 18 July went on 10 days leave to the UK rejoining the battalion on 28 July. On 4 October 1917 William was killed in action.

The action leading to his death

On the night of the 2/3 October the Battalion moved up to the front line at Polygon Wood, with Battalion HQ in the Butte, in preparation for the attack on the 4 October. To be known as the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge. The ridge was the objective of the 7th Division and the 1st Australian which was located on the left. The first objective was allocated to the 8th Devonshires with the 2nd Border Regiment and 2nd Gordon Highlanders to take the final objective beyond the crest of the ridge the ruined hamlet of Noordemhoek.

At 6am the advance, behind a barrage, began with the War diary recording:


The officers of the Gordons had great difficulty in restraining their men from going on with the Devonshires, and afterwards it was found that some had done so. By 7am the first objective had been taken and at 7.50am the Battalion moved forward. At 8.10am, the barrage which had halted some 200 yards in front he first objective, moved forward again with the Gordons keeping close to it. As they went forward they drove everything before them the War Diary:


The Battalion reached the final objective of Noordemhoek at 9am with only 40 casualties and they began to consolidate their positions. It was now that they began to suffer heavy casualties with the Germans putting down very heavy and continuous fire. By 7pm Battalion HQ had moved forward from the Butte to a Pill Box near the first objective and at midnight rations were brought up under greatly difficulty due to the enemy fire.

The Battalion casualties from the 4 to 7 October, when they were relieved were 3 Officers killed, 9 wounded. Other Ranks killed 50, wounded 236, and missing 26.

(Linesman Map)

Medals Awarded:

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal



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