COLONEL DUNCAN CAMPBELL
THE Colonel Commandant of the late 1st Lanark Royal Engineer Volunteers, is a
son of the lateColin Campbell, and was born in Glasgow in 1860. He was educated
at the Western Academy and Park School, Glasgow, College Galliard, Lausanne,
Switzerland, and Glasgow University. He is sole partner of the firm of James
Laing & Co., dry-salters, in the city. He was an enthusiastic volunteer, having
joined the force as a private in the 1st Lanark Rifles in 1878, and the 1st
Lanark Engineers as a 2nd lieutenant in 1880, and risen through all the grades
to his present rank. Not being granted an extension of his tenure of command, he
retired, with his rank, and permission to wear uniform, on 28th May, 1904,
greatly to his regret, as he was and still is very keen on volunteering. He used
to do a good deal of rifle shooting in his own corps, being convener of the
shooting committee for a number of years, and winning the officers' prize
several times. He passed examinations in the series of military subjects which
entitle him to the letter Q after his name, and went through a course of
militaryengineering at Chatham which entitles him to theletters P.S. before his
name in the Army List, while he is also a holder of the Volunteer Decoration.
Further, during the Russian scare following the Penjdeh incident in 1885, he
went through a special course of submarine mining at Chatham, with a view to the
defence of the Clyde, before the present corps of volunteer Submarine Miners was
thought of. His volunteer experience has included some memorable incidents. In
August, 1881, he took part in the Volunteer Review before Queen Victoria at
Edinburgh, which cost so many lives. As a captain he took part in lining the
streets during the visits of Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales to Glasgow
Exhibition in 1888; and as Colonel in 1901 he commanded his corps lining the
streets at the opening of the later exhibition by H.R.H. the Duchess of Fife. In
February, 1901, along with 100 men of his corps, he was present to represent the
Engineer Volunteers of Great Britain lining the London streets at the funeral of
Queen Victoria. And in May, 1903, on the occasion of King Edward's visit to
Glasgow, he supplied a guard of honour of 100 men from his corps, which was
mounted at the University; he was on duty himself as colonel commanding his
regiment in lining the streets, and he attended the levee at Holyrood. He
paraded before King Edward as a veteran at the Volunteer Review in September,
1905, at Edinburgh.
As he succeeded to the command of his corps in November, 1899, he held that responsible position during the most eventful period in the history of the force, and, his regular adjutant being withdrawn in January, 1900, and not being replaced in his time, he had to face all the responsibilities and difficulties of the period without expert advice, although the volunteer officer acting as adjutant did very well indeed. In July, 1900, during the Boer War, when volunteer emergency camps were formed, his was the only Scottish corps which camped in England. It was quartered at Chatham, the headquarters of the Royal Engineers, and took its turn of all garrison duties with the regulars and militia. On that occasion Colonel Campbell had the largest number in camp of any Glasgow regiment. At the request of the War Office he supplied two detachments of an officer and 25 men each, which were attached to the 9th Field Company R.E. in South Africa. A large number of men of the regiment also served in other corps in South Africa during the war. Colonel Campbell tried hard for leave to go himself, but was not sent because he was a commanding officer. In December, 1901, when Mr. Brodrick practically asked the Glasgow Volunteer regiments to send a regiment to South Africa he volunteered to go out in command or in any inferior capacity under a senior officer, but this contingent was not sent.
While he was in command his corps was increased from nine to twelve companies, and was at that, time the largest Engineer Volunteer Corps in the Kingdom. A new drill hall also was erected, which is the best and largest in Glasgow, if not in Scotland.
In May, 1900, he was twice member of a deputation of two, appointed by the commanding officers of Engineer Volunteers of Great Britain to wait on the head of the Engineer Department at the War Office. In March, 1902, he was one of a special deputation of Scottish commanding officers of volunteers appointed to meet Mr. Brodrick, Secretary for War, regarding the new Volunteer Regulations which had been issued. A deputation of English commanding officers was received at the same time, and as the only Volunteer Engineer present from either country he had to speak on behalf of his particular arm, and state how the new regulations affected it. He was also specially selected by the Royal Commission on the Militia and Volunteers, and gave evidence before it in November, 1903.
While in Command of his corps Colonel Campbell was a Member of Council of the Scottish Institute of Commanding Officers of Volunteers, Member of Council of the London Institute of Commanding Officers, and Member of the Executive Committee in Glasgow for the promotion of the Queen Victoria School for the Sons of Scottish Sailors and Soldiers. He is still in His Majesty's service as a Captain in the Reserve of Officers, the qualification for which is putting in a month annually at his own expense with the regular forces. He is a member of committee (late Vice-President) of the West of Scotland Tactical Society, and a life member of the National Rifle Association. In other directions he is a Director (late Vice-President) Glasgow Highland Club, a Director Glasgow Celtic Society, a Manager Glasgow Highland Society, Honorary Director Clan Campbell Society, and a past President of the Glasgow Argyllshire Society. He is a member of committee of the Kilmun District Unionist Association, a member of the Executive Council of the Argyllshire Constitutional Association, and Honorary Vice-President of the Dunoon and District Unionist Association. He is a Trustee and Manager of Strone Parish Church, and Treasurer of the West Coast Mission. And as a sportsman, a cyclist and yachtsman himself, he is a steward of the Clyde Corinthian Yacht Club, the Royal Gourock Yacht Club, and the Holy Loch Sailing Club, and also represents Royal Gourock Yacht Club on the Yacht Racing Association, and he is a member of committee of the West of Scotland Football Club.
He is a member of the Conservative and Junior Conservative Clubs, Glasgow, and the Auxiliary Forces' Club, London.
He has travelled in a number of Continental countries, including Greece, Dalmatia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Corsica, Sicily, Malta, and the Balearic Islands, as well as Algiers and Tunis in North Africa.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)