Roll of Honour


Robert Jardine Walker


Captain Robert Jardine Walker was born on 16 February 1891 in Jordanhill, Glasgow to Drawing teacher, John Allan Walker and Agnes Jardine Walker. He attended Allan Glen’s School before enrolling as a day student of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College (now the University of Strathclyde) in session 1908-1909. Walker completed two years of full-time study at the College, following the general first-year Engineering course in session 1908-09 and specialising in Mechanical Engineering in session 1909-10. However, he did not qualify for the Diploma or Associateship of the College.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow

Walker later went on to study engineering at the University of Glasgow from 1912 to 1914. During this time, Walker was living on St. George Street which remains a popular student area.

When Britain declared war on Germany on the 5th of August 1914 and appeals for volunteers to expand the army were issued a mere two days later, Walker would have been amongst the first men to volunteer and at the age of 23, he would have been the prime soldier age since the army expressed demand for volunteers between the ages of 19 and 35. After being commissioned in 3rd (Reserve) Battalion The Gordon Highlanders, Walker later transferred to 1st Battalion The Gordon Highlanders.

Sadly, Walker never returned to University to complete his engineering course, as one of the earliest volunteers, he might have been led to believe like so many others that the war would only last till Christmas of 1914. This was the assumption made popular by the British government (Lord Kitchener not included) which was effectively used to encourage volunteers. Walker and 1st Gordons were on the fringes of 2nd Ypres and witnessed the destruction of the town by German artillery. The men did not take part in any attacks, nor repel any enemy attacks, yet they still suffered significant casualties due to enemy shelling. 1st Battalion The Gordon Highlanders took part in the diversionary action at Hooge, north of Loos, on 25 September 1915. The battle was over within the day for 1st Gordons. Heavy German shelling and intense enemy counter-attacks forced the men out of any gains that they had initially made. Walker was one of many casualties sustained by the Battalion: 6 officers and 36 other ranks were killed; 8 officers and 232 other ranks wounded; 3 officers and 58 other ranks missing. His body was never found. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.

Comments and Citations

With thanks to Jesper Ericsson for the extra information about Walker's war service.