1939-1945

The Service Roll is different from the Roll of Honour in that it shows the names & a short statement of service of all members of staff of the RBGE who, at the call of duty, joined H.M. Naval & Military Forces for the war which began in September 1939. It was never published, and was recently discovered during the move of archive material after water ingress in July 2021. The names with an asterisk belong to those killed during the conflict.

The WW2 Memorial at RBGE Reception, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh.

Allan, Frank        Probationer Forester, 12th December 1938. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, 24th November 1939 until 29th February 1944.

Anthony, John, M.A., B.Sc., F.R.S.E.         Lecturer in Botany, 1934. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, January 1940. District Officer, Stirling area until December 1943.

Armstrong, Samuel John              Probationer Gardener, 8th April 1935, Gardener, 11th April 1938. Joined Royal Air Force, 10th January 1941. Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Service in Egypt, Palestine, the Western Desert, Malta, Sicily and Italy, 5 years. Demobilised 19th April 1946.

Beach, John Edward Gordon      Probationer Forester, 8th March 1937. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, 19th October 1939 as Operations Foreman. Served in the West of Scotland, Woodhall, Arduaine, Glen Etive, until 20th June 1945.

Boyd, John Markey         Labourer at Benmore, 20th July 1938, Probationer Gardener, 12th January 1946. Mobilised 3rd September 1939, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Rank – Private. Service in France. Taken prisoner on 5th June 1940 and spent 5.5 years in prison camps in Germany. Demobilised 24th April 1946.

Burrough, Walter James              Park Keeper, 23rd June 1936. Mobilised 2nd September 1939, 5th Field Training Regiment. Rank – Quatermaster Sergeant. Service in England, 6 years. Demobilised 16th August 1945.

Callen, Eric O., B.Sc., Ph.D., F.L.S.             Assistant lecturer, October 1938. Joined A.A. [Anti-Aircraft] Command (Radar) 15th May 1941; R.A.S.C. [Royal Army Service Corps.] in October 1941 and Intelligence Corps, Rank – Captain in October 1942.  Released, 6th November 1945.

Cannon, William George              Time Keeper, 18th February 1935, Hall Attendant, 23rd September 1935. Mobilised 12th September 1939, Royal Navy, Rank – Chief Petty Officer. Service in Malta. Demobilised 26th July 1945.

Cowan, John Macqueen, M.A., D.Sc.       Assistant [Regius] Keeper, June 1930. To Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, 18th September 1939. Divisional Officer, Scotland (West). Resumed duty Royal Botanic Garden, 1st January 1946.

Crouch, Alphonse George            Probationer Gardener, 27th April 1936, Gardener, 10th July 1939. Joined Royal Air Force, 20th December 1940, Rank – Flight Lieutenant. Service in England.

Curry, James Andrew     Probationer, 1st April 1938. Joined Royal Air Force, 29th August 1940, Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Service in Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland, Fife, West Africa, 5.5 years. Demobilised 10th January 1946.

Dalrymple, James            Labourer, 13th September 1938. Mobilised 1st September 1939, Cameron Highlanders, Rank – Private. Reported missing as on 5th May 1940, and later reported Prisoner of War, Germany. Service in France. Demobilised 16th February 1946.

Dalrymple, William         Probationer Gardener, 17th September 1940. Joined Palestine Police [a British Colonial police service that became a military force at the end of May 1942], 13th May 1942.

Day, George Edward      Park Keeper, 3rd June 1937. Mobilised 2nd September 1939, 1st Royal Dragoons, Rank – Quartermaster Sergeant. Service in England, 6 years. Demobilised 19th September 1945.

Dick, William Dooes       Probationer Gardener, 12th December 1938. Joined Royal Army Medical Corps, 3rd April 1940, Rank – Private. Service in Britain. Demobilised 19th September 1945.

Dingwall, Ieuan George Philips  Probationer Gardener, 15th November 1937. Joined Royal Air Force, 23rd October 1940, Rank – Air Craftman. Service in Malaya, Sumatra, Ceylon. Demobilised, 22nd March 1946.

Dodds, James George    Probationer Gardener, 6th April 1938. Joined Royal Air Force 14th May, 1940, Rank – Corporal. Service in Palestine, Syria, Transjordan, Egypt, Tripolitania, Tunisia, 6 years. Demobilised, 12th March 1946.

Dykes, David Oswald      Labourer, 18th September 1939. Joined 141st Officers Cadet Training Unit (Royal Engineers), 10th October 1939, Rank – Second Lieutenant

Elliott, Joseph John         Probationer Gardener, 17th August 1936. Joined Royal Air Force, 28th August 1940, Rank – Corporal.  Service in Ceylon and Central Mediterranean Forces.

Evans, Alfred     Probationer Gardener, 4th December 1939. Joined Royal Air Force, 20th June 1940, Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Service in Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, 6 years. Demobilised 23rd July, 1946.

Harvey Oswald Fairbairn, RBGE Archives

*Fairbairn, Harvey Oswald             Probationer Gardener, 3rd April 1939. Joined Royal Scots, 14th January 1940, Rank – Sergeant. Transferred to Royal Air Force. Killed in Action.

Feachen, Thomas Robert             Stoker, 28th September 1936. Mobilised 25th August 1939, Royal Scots, Rank – Lance Bombardier. Service in England. Demobilised 19th August, 1945.

Feaks, John H.   Probationer Forester, 28th March 1938. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, 19th October 1939.  Served as Operations Foreman, West of Scotland, until 18th February 1941.

*Fernie, James McMillan               Probationer Forester, 25th March, 1940. Enlisted Royal Air Force, 4th June, 1941, Rank – Air Craftman. Service in India. Died of malaria in India, 20th-24th August 1942. [18th August 1942]

Foley, Patrick John          Labourer, 7th August 1933. Joined Royal Artillery, 14th November 1940, Rank – Gunner. Service with 51st Division in Algiers, North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Channel Islands, 5 years. Demobilised 19th February, 1946.

Geddes, Alexander          Time Keeper, 30th September 1935, Hall Attendant, 11th January 1937. Mobilised 3rd September 1941, Royal Navy, Rank – Chief Petty Officer. Service in England. Demobilised 17th August 1945.

*Grieve, Thomas Steel Greenshields          Probationer Gardener, 9th August 1937. Joined Royal Air Force, 29th August 1940, Rank – Sergeant Pilot. Killed in Action, 4th or 5th August, 1942.

Howe, James     Gardener, 3rd December 1934. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, 22nd October 1939 as Operations Foreman. Served at Braco, Perthshire until 4th May 1946.

Hudson, Arthur William                Park Keeper, 20th October 1930, Sergeant Park Keeper, 1st August 1936. Mobilised 23rd August 1939, 162nd Heavy Battery, Royal Artillery (Territorial Army), Rank – Battery Sergeant Major. Service in Britain. Demobilised 5th April 1941.

Kemp, Edward Edmund, D.Inst.P.A.        Probationer Gardener, 18th January 1932, Assistant Curator, 28th October 1939. Joined Royal Artillery, 14th November 1940, Rank – Lieutenant. Service in France and Norway. Demobilised 23rd February 1946.

Kennedy, John  Probationer Gardener, 24th September 1938. Joined Royal Air Force, 14th June 1940, Rank – Corporal. Service in France. Demobilised, 28th January 1946.

Lauener, Lucien André   Labourer, 18th January 1937. Joined Royal Artillery, 3rd September 1939, Rank – Lance Bombardier. Service in India, Assam and Burma. Demobilised 5th May 1946.

Lee, Francis        Probationer Gardener, 2nd September 1937. Joined Royal Navy, 27th November 1940, Rank – Able Bodied Seaman. Service in Gibralta, Oran, Algiers, Corsica and Italy. Demobilised 11th February 1946.

Lee, John M.      Stoker, 27th October 1924. Mobilised 2nd September 1939, Royal Artillery (Territorial Army), Rank – Lance Bombardier. Service in England. Demobilised 23rd July 1940.

Lisle, Henry Stuart           Probationer Gardener, 17th August 1937. Joined Royal Air Force, 29th August 1940, Rank – Corporal. Service in Middle East Forces.

Photograph of a man at RBGE in 1939 identified as Bill McInnes, RBGE Archives.

*McInnes, William Thomas Henderson    Probationer Gardener, 12th December 1938. Joined Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, 16th May 1940, Rank – Lance Sergeant. Killed at El Alamein, 24th October 1942. Buried in El Alamein Cemetery.

MacKenzie, Robert Dunsmore    Probationer Gardener, 3rd April 1939. Joined Royal Air Force, 10th May 1940, Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Demobilised 18th March, 1946.

MacTier, Henry Bayley  Probationer Gardener, 23rd August 1937. Joined Royal Artillery, 10th September 1940, Rank – Lieutenant. Service in India and South Africa.

Masterton, John Scott   Probationer Gardener, 21st March 1938. Joined Royal Air Force (Signals) Recruit Centre, 18th July 1940, Rank – Corporal. Service in India and Middle East. Demobilised 7th July 1946.

Photograph of a man at RBGE in 1939 likely to be Bejoy Mitra, RBGE Archives.

*Mitra, Bejoy Krishna        Probationer Gardener, 18th July 1938. Joined Royal Air Force, 30th October 1941, Rank – Sergeant (Pathfinder). Killed in Action, 25th January 1944.

Moffatt, James Anderson R.       Probationer Gardener, 3rd April 1939. Joined Royal Air Force, 20th June 1940, Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Service in Central Mediterranean Forces.

Morris, John McGill        Park Keeper, 21st December 1936. Mobilised 1st November 1939, Infantry Training Centre, Rank – Sergeant. Service in Ireland. Demobilised 1st June 1943.

Harry or Bill Moseley, in the RBGE Palm House, RBGE Archives.

*Moseley, Henry William               Probationer Gardener, 7th July 1936, Gardener, 18th September 1939. Joined Scots Guards, 10th September 1940, Rank – Private. Service in Italy. Died of wounds in Italy, October 1944.

Muir, James Kennedy    Probationer Gardener, 12th April 1937. Joined Royal Artillery, 15th August 1940, Rank – Gunner. Service in North Africa, Italy and Austria. Demobilised 4th June 1946.

Neil, William Simpson   Probationer Gardener, 26th April 1937. Joined Royal Air Force, 24th June 1940, Rank – Corporal. Service in Palestine and Iraq.

Nicholson, Robert           Skilled Labourer, 18th March 1929. Joined City of Edinburgh Fortress, Royal Engineers, 25thAugust 1939, Rank – Corporal. Service in Central Mediterranean Forces. Demobilised 7th February 1946.

Patey, William George   Time-Keeper, 15th January 1937. Mobilised 24th August 1939, Royal Marines, Rank – Corporal. Service Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships. Demobilised 19th September 1945.

Robb, James      Probationer, 30th December 1935, Gardener, 4th September 1939, Assistant Curator, 11th February 1946. Joined Royal Air Force, 22nd January 1941, Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Service in England. Demobilised 24th August 1943.

*Roberts, James  Labourer, 13th May 1927. Mobilised City of Edinburgh Fortress, Royal Engineers, 25th August 1939, Rank – Sergeant.  Went down with the S.S. [Benalbanach] off Tunisia during the African landing on 7th January 1943.

Robertson, David Adamson        Probationer Forester, 3rd April 1939. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, as Operations Foreman. Service at Lochgilphead and Luss until 30th March 1946.

Rogers, John Marshall    Labourer at Benmore, 2nd April 1938, Probationer Gardener, 10th December 1945. Mobilised 3rd September 1939, 8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, Rank – Private. Service in France. Reported missing 5th June 1940. Prisoner of War in Germany for 5.5 years. Discharged 19th December 1945.

Rose, Robert John           Probationer Gardener, 12th December 1938.  Joined Royal Air Force, 18th March 1941, Rank – Corporal. Service in Sierra Leone, Gold Coast, France. Demobilised 12th April 1946.

Scott, Robert     Probationer Gardener, 12th December 1938. Joined Royal Navy, 3rd February 1941, Rank – Wireless Operator. Service in Mediterranean. Demobilised 29th December 1945.

Smith, Sydney Pillans     Probationer Gardener, 20th September 1938. Joined Royal Air Force, 4th November 1940, Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Service in Central Mediterranean Forces. Demobilised 1st April 1946.

Sutherland, Frederick George    Probationer Gardener, 6th April 1937. Joined Seaforth Highlanders, 17th October 1940, Rank – Private.  Service in Africa, Sicily and Italy.  Taken prisoner by Italians, October 1943. Mentioned in Dispatches. Demobilised 12th December 1944.

Thomas, David James    Probationer Gardener, 28th March 1938. Joined Royal Air Force, 20th March 1940, Rank – Leading Air Craftman. Service in North Africa, Italy, Palestine and Egypt. Mentioned in Dispatches, 1944. Demobilised 24th February 1946.

Urquhart, Alan  Probationer Gardener, 30th September 1940. Joined Black Watch, 70th Battalion, 24th February 1941, Rank – Private. Believed to have been Prisoner of War.

*Vaughan, Kenneth F. Herbert Aynge       Probationer Gardener, 26th September 1938. Joined Royal Air Force, 2nd November 1939, Rank – A.C.2 later. Reported missing on way to Mediterranean, 15th March 1941 and later presumed killed.

Wallace, James Gordon                Probationer Gardener, 15th March 1932. Joined Royal Air Force, 12th November 1940, Rank – ? Service in Malta.

Wallace, Marjory Joyce                Temporary Woman Gardener, 16th October 1944. Joined Wrens 12th April 1945.

Watson, Alexander         Probationer Forester, 20th September 1938. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, 20th January 1940.

Webster, William             Probationer Gardener, 4th January 1937. Joined Royal Army Service Corps, 21st November 1939, Rank – Corporal. Service in France and Central Mediterranean Forces.

Wells, Joseph Lawson Anderson               Probationer Gardener, 27th December 1935, Gardener, 15th May 1939. Joined Ministry of Supply, Home Grown Timber Production Department, 1st November 1939 as Operations Foreman. Served at Largs until 18th November 1942. Later joined Royal Air Force.

White, John Thomas      Labourer, Temporary Stoker, 3rd August 1936. Joined Royal Artillery, 25th August 1939, Rank – Sergeant. Service in Central Mediterranean Forces. Demobilised 27th January 1946.

Whitehead, John Dennis              Probationer Gardener, 24th July 1944. Joined His Majesty’s Forces, 19th July 1945, Rank – Private.

The WW1 and WW2 memorials at the RBGE Reception at 20a Inverleith Row.