Campbell

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This was originally posted in November 2010.

Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell was my Great Grand Uncle. I have written about him before in a previous post. Horace and a few of his brothers immigrated to British Columbia in 1909. Horace and Frank went to Campbell River and worked with the power company while Harold worked in Vancouver.

Horace joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 9 November 1914 and he was part of the Active Militia at the time. He was 27 years 275 days old and his occupation was listed as surveyor.

He was part of the C.E.F., 29th Vancouver Battalion, Second Canadian Contingent, 6th Brigade, Canadian Infantry, British Columbia Regiment. This regiment did a lot of fighting in and around the French and Flemish border.

On 23 Jan 1915 he was promoted to Lance Corporal. On the 20th of May 1915 he embarked for England. He started his trench warfare training on the 25th of February 1916 and finished on the 3rd of March 1916. The Trench Warfare School took place “in the field.”

Horace received the rank of Corporal on the 15th of March 1916 and on May 27th was granted eight days leave. During his leave he went back to visit his family in Glasgow and help his niece, Norah, celebrate her eighth birthday. He left on June 4th to return to the front.

On the 8th of June 1916 Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell was killed in action. His military file does not say where he was killed. A little research has shown that he was probably killed at the Battle of Mount Sorrel in Belgium. This battle was fought from June 2-13, 1916.

Horace was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His military file consists of five pages.

Horace was the subject of many photographs during his leave. There is one photo of Horace and his brother Edwin.

Janet Waddell Ross Campbell was sent a photograph of Horace’s final resting place in Belgium at the Reninghelst New Military Cemetery.

On Armistice Day everyone went to church. There is a photograph of a floral cross. On the back of this photograph is written “Armistice Day 11th Nov Camphill Church (Glasgow) Memorial – Horace’s wooden cross, forms the foundation of the floral one” You can see that the table the cross is standing on is draped with the Union Jack.

The Campbell’s were quite prolific poets. At Christmas in 1915 while on the battlefield in Belgium Horace wrote a letter home which, as was his practice, included a poem. This poem was read during the Armistice Day service and was printed on Horace’s memorial card.

Oh, lead us not home with the flourish of trumpets
With flags and plumes waving and cheers in the air;
Oh, call us not heroes nor crown us with laurels,
But remember the cost — see the tears everywhere.

Give a thought to the men that lie dead over yonder,
With “Unknown” on a rude cross of wood where they lie.
See that woman in black — whose loved ones sleep with them
As sadly she watches their comrades go by.

But think kindly of others and quietly welcome
Your loved ones, your brothers, your husbands, your sons;
And think of the morrow of tears, and the sorrow
Of thousands who have lost their only dear ones.

Six months after he wrote the poem Horace would be gone.

Lest We Forget

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

This was originally posted in November 2010.

The Campbell’s were poets at heart and when Janet Waddell Ross Campbell heard of the death of her son she started writing. This is a transcription of the poem written by Janet.

In Memoriam

Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell

(Written by his Mother – 1916)

Hearts are breaking, tears are falling;
High hopes withered in the dust.
Our dear Land’s in sorrow shrouded
Thro’ oppression, hate and lust.
Raise we then our Holy Standard
“Peace on earth, Goodwill to men!”
As at the Holy Infants birth
Angels sang in concert then.
Christ, the Man, our Valiant Captain
Shall this righteous Peace secure
End the din and strife of warfare
Making holiness endure!

Great Consoler, let us trust thee
Who is our sorrow comfort gives,
In the loss of our dear loved one
May we feel that he still lives!
Bravely he marched back to duty
But – – four days after leaving home,
Struck by shell! He in an instant
Was by cruel death o’ercome
O’erpassing death, his soul soared upward
Through deathless tracts straight to his God
Now we look above and see him
Though his body’s ‘neath the sod.

Laid to rest by dear, brave comrades,
Who twined a wreath of wild-flowers fair,
Emblem of his Captain’s sufferings – –
A wooden Cross they too placed there.
In a cemet’ry in Flanders,
Loving hands these graves attend.
To all those noble, gentle, kind hearts,
Gratefully our thanks we send.
Comfort Lord, our dear, brave soldiers,
Striving, fighting for the right;
Heal the wounded, soothe the dying,
To all bereaved ones send Thy Light.

Calmly then we trust thee Saviour
Who can make glad thoughts arise
As we each on God’s great altar
Lay our precious sacrifice.
Memories dear around us hover
Like Holy incense’ sweet perfume
Pleasant, happy acts of kindness
Which he lives but to resume
Beloved by all, dear son and Brother
A great glad meeting is in store
Each in God’s good time shall greet thee
Where partings cease for ever more.
Lovingly we leave thee dear one
Knowing well thou’rt safe from harm
Lasting peace is now thy portion
No more thou hearest war’s alarm.

Janet Waddell Ross Campbell wrote this poem in honour of her son. She used the first line and every other line to spell out his name, Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell.

After spending his leave from wartime France with his family, Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell left the home of his parents on the night of 4 June 1916. It was the eighth birthday of his niece, Norah Margaret Campbell. He was killed four days later on 8 June 1916.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

This is part two of the divorce of John Sheddens Campbell and Mary Ann McDonald. You can find part one here.

The first part of the package I received was the court records of the proceedings. There were two parts to this package. The first was a printed document and it had the title “Closed Record, in action of divorce John Sheddans Campbell against Mrs. Mary Ann McDonald or Campbell.”

On 3 July 1875 the court said they would hear the case for divorce on Saturday 17 July 1875 at 11 o’clock in the morning. John S. Campbell had to pay the expenses of his wife amounting to 10 GBP. The proceedings were held in Edinburgh and they lived in Glasgow.

Next you find the summons where John S. Campbell is charging his wife with adultery. Then there is the Condescendence for Pursuer which describes his married life and is about three pages long. This document provides the date and place of marriage and who officiated. There are the names of the children and their ages.

One part that I found most interesting was where they had resided during their marriage. They first lived in Glasgow until January 1860 when they moved to Edinburgh until September of 1860 when they moved back to Glasgow. In May 1863 they moved to Greenock and returned to Glasgow in March 1865 where they continued to live until September 1874.

John S. Campbell states that the first 10 years of the marriage her “conduct and habits were unimpeachable.” Things seemed to change in March of 1867 when she “became addicted to intoxication and has ever since persisted in the habit of indulging to excess in drink.” It appears Mary was in the habit of selling anything and everything to get the funds for her addiction.

This would have been a very difficult time for John S. Campbell especially since his father was very active in the Temperance Movement in the Glasgow area. He was part of the committee that in 1837 formed the “Barony of Gorbals Branch of the Total Abstinence Society.”

It is heartbreaking that the drinking started in March of 1867 since Mary gave birth to twins in August of 1867. One of the twins died a month after birth and you wonder how the drinking affected them. There is a family story that they may have been premature.

In order to protect himself and his family he removed her from the family home around 17 September 1874. He provided her with maintenance as long as she did not bother either him or the children.

Mary agreed that all this had taken place but added that John had threatened violence if she did not sign the document for maintenance.

John contended that she has been freely going about with men and constantly in their company. Mary denies the charge of adultery. There was a list of dates provided where it was suggested that Mary had brought men back to her lodgings and she denied all these accusations.

Mary accused John of libel and the court accepted this charge.

The second part of the package is the handwritten transcripts of the court.

The court heard the divorce case on Saturday 17 July 1875 and Monday 19 July 1875. It appears Mary McDonald missed the train from Glasgow and did not make the proceedings on Saturday. The witnesses were shown a photograph of her on Saturday.

There were eight witnesses. The first witness was Mrs. Margaret Cameron or McIntyre who was Mary’s Aunt. She had been present at their marriage. The next witness was Mary McIntyre or Thomson the daughter of the previous witness.

Mrs. Janet Waddell or Johnston was the next witness and she lived at 5 Paul Street in Glasgow which is where Mary McDonald was residing after the separation. She testified that Mary stayed home during the day but always went out in the evenings until 11 o’clock or later. She brought a man home with her one night just before she left the lodgings and said it was her brother. Mrs. Johnston would not let the man in the house.

James Aitken worked for the Private Inquiry Office in Dundas Street Glasgow. He was employed by John S. Campbell to follow his wife. John M. Colton and John Phillips assisted him during his assignment. He referred to a note book to make sure of the accuracy of the dates and times in question. On many occasions he observed her meeting men and drinking.

John Colton and John Phillips also testified. John Phillips said he had only done one or two of these kinds of cases and he was a tailor by trade.

John Sheddens Campbell 1876


When John S. Campbell testified he said he employed Mr. Aitken around March of 1875. He paid him a guinea per day. He thought the price rather high but was told Mr. Aitken needed two men to help him and it could not be done for less.

Thomas Arnot testified. He was the writer for the lawyer of John S. Campbell. He said he gave Mary McDonald 10/- [shillings] for her fare to Edinburgh to be present on Saturday.

Mary McDonald’s testimony mostly consisted of the word “No.” She did not elaborate much on any details.

The divorce was granted in John S. Campbell’s favour on 23 July 1875. Mary’s case of libel was dismissed.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

The feud between the Campbell and McDonald clans in Scotland is well known. So I was more than a little interested to find out that my Great Great Grandfather’s first wife was a McDonald.

When I first started doing family history research about forty years ago I was given a lot of information on the Campbell family by my Grandmother. She said her Grandfather’s first wife had either died or there was a divorce. She was not sure and nothing had ever been said.

It took a while to find the marriage for John Campbell and Mary McDonald. These are very common names.

John Campbell married Mary McDonald on 14 May 1857 in the district of Anderston in the burgh of Glasgow. John was 19 and Mary was 24. Next to this entry is a notation in the left hand margin. It is difficult to read and in part reads “Divorce See Royal … (1875)… 23 July 1875.”

There was no Register of Corrected Entries available for this registration so I emailed ScotlandsPeople and they were able to help me. They also provided some contact information for some Scottish government departments who may be able to help me find out more. I was not able to get any information about how to obtain the actual divorce file from anyone.

I then went on a search for information on divorce in Scotland. There was not a lot to be found. The National Archives of Scotland had a research guide on divorce. It was not helpful and there was very little relating to the time period I was researching.

I have a copy of “Tracing your Scottish Ancestry” by Kathleen B. Cory and “In Search of Scottish Ancestry” by Gerald Hamilton-Edwards and neither of these publications helped me with my research.

Finally I sent an email to the National Archives of Scotland. The reply was that they had checked their indexes and did not find anything relating to the case. This was getting to be a very frustrating process.

There was a light at the end of the tunnel though as I was about to go to Salt Lake City. In the Family History Library I found the “General Minute-Book of the Court of Session.” These are available on microfilm. The library does not have a complete set of the General Minute Books.

I was told by the archives that the divorce records could be found anywhere from the time of the marriage until the last child turned 21 years of age. That was a search of 1857 to 1901 but I started in 1875 because of the notation on the marriage record.

The book that covered the dates 15 Oct 1874 to 14 Oct 1875 provided me with the information I needed to order the record. Here it was recorded that John Sheddens Campbell went before Lord Craighill, MD to petition for divorce.

While going through the books to see if there were other notations relating to the divorce I found other references to John Sheddens Campbell suing people for not paying their bills.

Once I got home these documents were scanned and sent to the National Archives of Scotland. They said the divorce file was found and it would cost me 50 GBP to get a copy of it. The package arrived in a little over a week which was really good.

There were 91 pages and they were divided into two then wrapped up in cotton ribbon. There were 20 pages relating to the divorce proceedings and 71 pages of witness statements which made for very interesting reading. It appears my Great Great Grandfather hired a private investigator to watch his wife.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell was my Great Grand Uncle. I have written about him before in a previous post. Horace and a few of his brothers immigrated to British Columbia in 1909. Horace and Frank went to Campbell River and worked with the power company while Harold worked in Vancouver.

Horace joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 9 November 1914 and he was part of the Active Militia at the time. He was 27 years 275 days old and his occupation was listed as surveyor.

He was part of the C.E.F., 29th Vancouver Battalion, Second Canadian Contingent, 6th Brigade, Canadian Infantry, British Columbia Regiment. This regiment did a lot of fighting in and around the French and Flemish border.

On 23 Jan 1915 he was promoted to Lance Corporal. On the 20th of May 1915 he embarked for England. He started his trench warfare training on the 25th of February 1916 and finished on the 3rd of March 1916. The Trench Warfare School took place “in the field.”

Horace received the rank of Corporal on the 15th of March 1916 and on May 27th was granted eight days leave. During his leave he went back to visit his family in Glasgow and help his niece, Norah, celebrate her eighth birthday. He left on June 4th to return to the front.

On the 8th of June 1916 Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell was killed in action. His military file does not say where he was killed. A little research has shown that he was probably killed at the Battle of Mount Sorrel in Belgium. This battle was fought from June 2-13, 1916.

Horace was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His military file consists of five pages.

Horace was the subject of many photographs during his leave. There is one photo of Horace and his brother Edwin.

Janet Waddell Ross Campbell was sent a photograph of Horace’s final resting place in Belgium at the Reninghelst New Military Cemetery.

On Armistice Day everyone went to church. There is a photograph of a floral cross. On the back of this photograph is written “Armistice Day 11th Nov Camphill Church (Glasgow) Memorial – Horace’s wooden cross, forms the foundation of the floral one” You can see that the table the cross is standing on is draped with the Union Jack.

The Campbell’s were quite prolific poets. At Christmas in 1915 while on the battlefield in Belgium Horace wrote a letter home which, as was his practice, included a poem. This poem was read during the Armistice Day service and was printed on Horace’s memorial card.

Oh, lead us not home with the flourish of trumpets
With flags and plumes waving and cheers in the air;
Oh, call us not heroes nor crown us with laurels,
But remember the cost — see the tears everywhere.

Give a thought to the men that lie dead over yonder,
With “Unknown” on a rude cross of wood where they lie.
See that woman in black — whose loved ones sleep with them
As sadly she watches their comrades go by.

But think kindly of others and quietly welcome
Your loved ones, your brothers, your husbands, your sons;
And think of the morrow of tears, and the sorrow
Of thousands who have lost their only dear ones.

Six months after he wrote the letter Horace would be gone.

Lest We Forget

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

The Campbell’s were poets at heart and when Janet Waddell Ross Campbell heard of the death of her son she started writing. This is a transcription of the poem written by Janet.

In Memoriam

Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell

(Written by his Mother – 1916)

Hearts are breaking, tears are falling;
High hopes withered in the dust.
Our dear Land’s in sorrow shrouded
Thro’ oppression, hate and lust.
Raise we then our Holy Standard
“Peace on earth, Goodwill to men!”
As at the Holy Infants birth
Angels sang in concert then.
Christ, the Man, our Valiant Captain
Shall this righteous Peace secure
End the din and strife of warfare
Making holiness endure!

Great Consoler, let us trust thee
Who is our sorrow comfort gives,
In the loss of our dear loved one
May we feel that he still lives!
Bravely he marched back to duty
But – – four days after leaving home,
Struck by shell! He in an instant
Was by cruel death o’ercome
O’erpassing death, his soul soared upward
Through deathless tracts straight to his God
Now we look above and see him
Though his body’s ‘neath the sod.

Laid to rest by dear, brave comrades,
Who twined a wreath of wild-flowers fair,
Emblem of his Captain’s sufferings – –
A wooden Cross they too placed there.
In a cemet’ry in Flanders,
Loving hands these graves attend.
To all those noble, gentle, kind hearts,
Gratefully our thanks we send.
Comfort Lord, our dear, brave soldiers,
Striving, fighting for the right;
Heal the wounded, soothe the dying,
To all bereaved ones send Thy Light.

Calmly then we trust thee Saviour
Who can make glad thoughts arise
As we each on God’s great altar
Lay our precious sacrifice.
Memories dear around us hover
Like Holy incense’ sweet perfume
Pleasant, happy acts of kindness
Which he lives but to resume
Beloved by all, dear son and Brother
A great glad meeting is in store
Each in God’s good time shall greet thee
Where partings cease for ever more.
Lovingly we leave thee dear one
Knowing well thou’rt safe from harm
Lasting peace is now thy portion
No more thou hearest war’s alarm.

Janet Waddell Ross Campbell wrote this poem in honour of her son. She used the first line and every other line to spell out his name, Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell.

After spending his leave from wartime France with his family, Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell left the home of his parents on the night of 4 June 1916. It was the eighth birthday of his niece, Norah Margaret Campbell. He was killed four days later on 8 June 1916.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

My Great Great Grandfather was John Sheddens Campbell. He lived in Glasgow where he raised his large family, 18 children from two marriages. John Sheddens Campbell started out his working life as a blacksmith as was his father before him. When his working life ended he was the owner of James Boardman Company where he was a die sinker and engraver. He started in the company as a clerk and then a brand cutter and traveler. He took over the company in 1866.

At the end of his life John Sheddens Campbell was blind. Several of his sons had immigrated to British Columbia and he decided to dictate a family history to my Great Grandfather Frederick Thomas Campbell to be sent to his other son Harold Dietz Campbell who was living in Vancouver.

I don’t know when the copy of it came into the hands of my family. I always remember my Grandmother having a copy. It was rolled up with an elastic band around it. When I got it I put it under my mattress to flatten it out so that it could be read and transcribed.

It is doubly special to me as it is the words of my Great Great Grandfather as written by my Great Grandfather.

The document is eleven pages long and on the top is written “To Harold Dietz Campbell from his Father John Sheddens Campbell.” From the handwriting and ink it does not appear to have been written at the time of the documents creation. At the end of the family history is another note “All the foregoing was written from memory in September 1911 by John Sheddens Campbell who died 4th May 1918, aged 78 years.” Now I know that the information after 1911 was added by someone else. The previous part of the message is in the same ink and hand as the document.

The family history covers John Sheddens Campbell’s maternal and paternal sides. It is written with the relationships being described as those to John Sheddens Campbell and Harold Dietz Campbell. So they talk about John and Harold’s Aunt, cousin, Great Grandfather, etc.

John starts with his Great Grandfather around 1700. He mentions that a couple of his sons were killed at the Battle of Culloden under Prince Charlie in 1745. Next is John’s Grandfather who did iron work on the Stockwell Bridge in Glasgow. He built his home and smitty in Goose Dubs and the name is still used in the area today. He married Margaret Graham of the Montrose Graham’s and they had three children. Their son John who was working on sailing vessels had been paid off and was on his way home when he was press ganged into service on the Victory and was killed at the battle of Trafalgar. This fact has yet to be proven.

His other son Walter was a solider and fought under Wellington in 1810. He describes all the battles, his regiment, pension and his medals. Walter was also among the first to become “teetotal and join that movement in Glasgow in 1830.”

Now while he is going through the family connections he says things like “Aunt Mary” “Mrs. Sherriff” and “you know about them so I will not go into detail here” which is very frustrating from a researchers point of view.

John Sheddens Campbell describes first and second marriages and families. Some went to Australia and he says that Harold knows about them as he met them during his visit. When John talks of his half brothers going to Australia he says “they corresponded regularly with home for 9 years – that is to 1857 since then all knowledge of them …has ceased, though for 50 years or more I have tried many ways to discover any of them, but have failed all along the line.”

His maternal side starts around 1740 with the reference to a French refugee called “Guiliamus something?” who changed his name to William Robertson. When talking of his Grandmother and the land she owned he provided the 1911 street names where the land was located.

He describes their attributes, how, when, where deaths, births, marriages and other events happened. At one point he describes how a family member immigrated to South Africa and how “mother,” his wife, corresponds with them. I found this interesting when I ended up corresponding with their Great Great Granddaughter in South Africa eighty years later.

He did make a few errors. He got the name of his maternal Grandfather wrong. He left out several bits of information that during the Edwardian period people would not talk about but have since been discovered.

The document is too long to fully transcribe here but I have transcribed it and it has been published in the “Journal of the Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society” Newsletter No 76, June 2006.

Still when all is said and done this is a wonderful little treasure to have when you begin your family history research. I have referred to it often and reread it many times. Each time finding something new that I either had not noticed or did not remember.

Thank you John Sheddens Campbell.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

My Great Grand Uncle was Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell. Gibson Leitch was the name of the doctor who helped bring Horace into the world. This is a Scottish naming practice that is not heard of very often. Horace was born in Glasgow Scotland and was the ninth child of the union of John Sheddens Campbell and Janet Waddell Ross. He was actually John’s seventeenth child.

In 1909 Horace and his brother Frank left Scotland for an adventure in the wilderness of British Columbia Canada. He is found on the 1911 Canadian census with the occupation “Surveyor in the woods” and was living in the Vancouver Power company camp in Nanaimo Renfrew District.

Not much is known of Horace’s adventures in Canada but when the First World War began he signed up almost immediately. Horace signed up with the 29th Vancouver Battalion in November 1914. The Battalion was part of the Second Canadian Contingent and this in turn was part of the 6th Brigade.

These soldiers did a lot of fighting in and around the French and Flemish borders. Horace went to Trench Warfare School and in the field was promoted to Corporal.

According to his attestation papers Horace was 6 ft 1 ½ in tall and weighed 173 lbs. He had a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

Horace never returned from the war. On June 8, 1916 he lost his life as a result of the Battle of Mount Sorrel in Belgium which was fought from 2-13 of June 1916. June 3rd must have been an active day because a lot of his comrades lost their lives on that day. Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

All that was left for his mother was a picture of his grave in Belgium. Horace is buried with the other soldiers who lost their lives in Belgium at the Reninghelst New Military Cemetery.

A search for Horace on the internet provides his information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Canadian Great War Project Database and The Book of Remembrance. The original Book of Remembrance can be found on Parliament Hill in Ottawa one page is turned everyday.

As with so many men of that time period Horace’s life was cut short as a result of the First World War. They will not be forgotten.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research