John CAMPBELL


Regiment:               Royal Garrison Artillery, 4th Highland Mountain
                               Brigade  

Rank & Number:
     Gunner, 2756  

Born:                      
28 August 1885; Railway Buildings, Fairlie  

Died:
                        23 August 1916; Harley Hill Hospital, Catterick  

Other:
                      Brother of Archibald, Donald, Duncan, Hugh and
                                James Campbell




JOHN CAMPBELL
was born 28 Aug 1885 in Railway Buildings, Fairlie, to parents John, a railway watchman, and Sarah McLachlan (who married in Appin on 26 Oct 1881).  He died of pneumonia on 23 Aug 1916 in Harley Hill Hospital, Catterick, while completing training with the Bute Mountain Battery. He is buried in Largs Cemetery (inscription reads "2756 Gunner J. Campbell; Royal Garrison Artillery; 23 August 1916, Age 34; Safe in the arms of Jesus, Safe on His gentle breast"), and commemorated on Fairlie War Memorial.  

In the 1891 Census, John, aged 5, is living Railway Buildings, Fairlie with parents John (35, b. Ardnamurchan, night watchman) and Sarah (29, b. Appin) and siblings Edward (7), Archibald (3) and Duncan (9m)  

In the 1901 Census, he is aged 15 and a railway clerk, living Railway Buildings, Fairlie with parents John (43, railway signalman) and Sarah (40), and siblings Edward (18, ticket collector), Archibald (13), Duncan (11), Hugh (9), Sarah (6), Donald (4), James F (3) and Christina (1)  

In the 1911 Census, aged 25 and a railway clerk, he is living Railway Buildings, Fairlie with parents John (53, railway signalman) and Sarah (49, m 29 years, 11 children, 10 living), and siblings Duncan (20, barman), Donald (15, grocer’s messenger), James F (12), Andrew W (9) and Charles (6)    


SERVICE DETAILS

There is no medal index card as he died during training and didn’t serve overseas



Extracts from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-  

13 May 1916  

A splendid record for enlistment, and certainly the record for Fairlie, is provided by the family of Mr. John Campbell, Railway Buildings.  Three sons are serving with the British Army, one with the Canadian forces, while a son-in-law is serving with the Italian army.  In addition, two sons have enlisted under the Derby Scheme and are waiting to be called up, while a seventh son has been rejected three times.  

2 Sep 1916
    
Deaths:  Campbell – At Harley Hill Hospital, Catterick on the 23rd August, 1916, Gunner John Campbell, Bute Mountain Battery, aged 30 years, second son of John and Sarah Campbell, Fairlie.   
Had we but seen him at his last,
Or watched his dying breath,   
Or heard the last sigh of his heart,
Or held his aching head,   
Our hearts, we think, would not have felt, Such bitterness or grief,   
But God has ordered otherwise,
And now he rests in peace. Inserted by his Father, Mother and Brothers.  

2 September 1916

Toll Of War; Military Funeral; Sudden Death, Gunner John Campbell:  The sudden death of Gunner John Campbell, son of Mr John Campbell, Railway Buildings, Fairlie, evoked regret throughout the village and sympathy is everywhere expressed for the sorrowing parents and relatives.  The deceased, who was of a most amiable disposition, and greatly respected, some time ago joined the Bute Mountain Battery and, while completing his training at Catterick Camp, contracted the disease which ultimately proved fatal.    
The body was brought home for interment and on arriving at Fairlie Station on Friday was conveyed to the Parish Church here.  The coffin was wrapped in the Union Jack, and surrounded with a large number of floral tributes.   
In the afternoon a memorial service was held in the church, conducted by the Rev. Mr. Somerville, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Gollan.  Amongst the large congregation that assembled was a detachment of soldiers from Fort Matilda, who came to pay a last token of respect to their dead comrade in arms.  At the close of the service, a funeral procession was formed and preceded by a military piper who rendered music appropriate to the occasion, the carriage proceeded to Largs Cemetery for interment.
After a short religious service, a firing parade fired a salute over the grave, and the bugler sounded the last post.  

9 September 1916
     
Toll of War:  Gunner John Campbell of the Bute Mountain Battery, who, as reported last week, died of pneumonia in hospital at the camp in Richmond, and whose remains were interred with military honours from his parents’ home at Fairlie on Friday, 23rd August.    As supplementary to our report of the military funeral given to Gr. Campbell, published last week, it may be mentioned that the firing party was got through the agency of the Dowager Countess of Glasgow, and by the kindness of Lt.-Col. Agnew, R.S.F., Fort Matilda.  

25 August 1917          
In Memoriam: In loving memory of Gunner John Campbell, Bute Mountain Battery, who died in hospital at Catterick Camp, 23 August 1916.   
In health and strength he left his home, Not thinking death was near,   
It pleased the Lord to bid him come, In his presence to appear,   
The hardest part is yet to come, When the warriors return,   
And we miss amongst the cheering crowd, The face of him we mourn. Inserted by his sorrowing parents, sister and brothers, Railway Buildings, Fairlie.  

24 August 1918          
In Memoriam:  In loving memory of Gunner John Campbell, Bute Mountain Battery, who died in hospital at Catterick Camp, 23rd August, 1916.   
Two years have passed since that sad day, When our dear son was called away;    We loved him then, we love him still, Forget him!  No, we never will.   
This day brings back to memory, Our dear one gone to rest;    
And those who think of him today, Are those who loved him best. Inserted by his sorrowing parents, sister and brothers, Railway Buildings, Fairlie  

23 August 1919          
In Memoriam: In loving memory of Gunner John Campbell, Bute Mountain Battery, who died in hospital at Catterick Camp, 23rd August, 1916.   
Not dead to us who loved him, Not lost, but gone before;   
He lives with us in memory still, And will for evermore.   
Thou canst not come to us again, But we shall go to thee,   
When God’s bright day of glory breaks, And earth’s night shadows flee. Inserted by his sorrowing parents, sisters and brothers, Railway Buildings, Fairlie


Profile picture courtesy Largs & Millport Weekly News
gravestone picture © Jim McGinlay


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Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785