The Territorials

Commanding officers of the Bankers’ Company, 4th Royal Scots, 1915.

Commanding officers of the Bankers’ Company, 4th Royal Scots, 1915.

This photograph shows the commanding officers of the Bankers’ Company of the 4th Royal Scots. On the left is Lieutenant James Gray of the Edinburgh-based British Linen Bank. To his right is Captain John Robertson, an agent (manager) of the National Bank of Scotland. Beside him is Second Lieutenant Charles Paterson of the Royal Bank.

The Bankers’ Company of the Royal Scots was a territorial unit whose origins date back to the volunteer movement of 1859. Many Scottish bank staff, including these three men, were serving with the Company before the war. They were among the first to engage in military action with the outbreak of hostilities.

On 28th June 1915, the Company was involved in one of the many battles of the Gallipoli campaign. It took part in an assault on Turkish positions in Gully Ravine. Four thousand allied troops died that day, including Robertson and Paterson. Despite the huge loss of life, only half a mile of territory was gained.

Staff records of the British Linen Bank show that Gray was mobilised on 5th August. At that point he was a clerk at the Bank’s head office. Gray survived the war, but resigned on 23rd November 1919, after 27 years’ service.

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