Michæl McFarland Campbell

Always telling the story

Archive for the ‘In memoriam’ Category

We will remember them: the Dublin Scouts who died in the First and Second World War

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Each year at Remembrancetide, I try to find some connection with those who served in the First and Second World Wars to make it mean something more to me. This year, I thought that it would be good to see if there were connections with Dublin where I currently am a Scouter with Scouting Ireland.

With thanks to the Scouts Roll of Honour hosted by The Scout Association in the UK, we are able to find out that there were at least eight Scouts/Scouters from Dublin troops who died in the First World War, and at least 16 in the Second World War.

Their names and troop information are listed below, together with information about their service and when they died where it is known.

First World War

NameDate of deathServiceScout connection
Captain G.G. Duggan17 August 19155th Battalion Royal Irish FusiliersHonorary Secretary Financial Committee Dublin Boy Scouts
Able Seaman Robert ValentineHMS VanguardLate Scout, 7th Co. Dublin (Donnybrook) Troop
Private Fred Burrows13 November 1916Royal Dublin FusiliersLate boatman, 1st Port of Dublin Sea Scouts
Trooper Philip de Ruyter13 December 1917South Irish HorseLate Patrol Leader, 1st Port of Dublin Sea Scouts
Bernard FerriesCarpenters’ Crew, HMS VanguardLate Assistant Scoutmaster, 1st Port of Dublin Sea Scouts
Seaman Henry MillsHMS IndefatigableLate Boatman, 1st Port of Dublin Sea Scouts
Private A.W. Fowler4 September 1918Hampshire RegimentLate Scout, 6th County of Dublin (Leeson Park) Troop
Corporal Albert E. Narramore8 October 1918Royal Dublin FusiliersLate Scout, 6th South Dublin (Leeson Park), Troop

Second World War

NameDate of deathServiceScouting connection
Engineer Francis James Burke16 April 1942Royal Navy28th Dublin Group
R. HallRoyal Air Force8th Dublin (Clontarf) Group
Sergeant Observer T.C. HammondSeptember 1939Royal Air Force6th South Dublin (Leeson Park) Group
E. HowleyArmy8th Dublin (Clontarf) Group
Sergeant W.E.B. Jesse DFCRoyal Air Force32nd Dublin Group
Ordinary Seaman Edward Kearney19 September 1941Merchant Navy2nd Port of Dublin (Clontarf) Group
Chief Officer John Knight17 February 1941Merchant Navy3rd Port of Dublin Sea Scout Group
W. LloydRoyal Artillery6th South Dublin (Leeson Park) Group
Flight Sergeant Edward Walter McGrath29 November 1944Royal Air Force1st Dublin (Lord Holmpatrick’s Own) Group
Leading Aircraftman Thomas J. Murray16 July 1940Royal Air Force28th Dublin Group
Gunner Bernard O’Rafferty9 June 1941Royal Navy3rd Port of Dublin Sea Scouts
Sergeant D. OrrRoyal Air Force33rd Dublin (Sandford Church) Group
Sergeant D. RoweRoyal Air Force33rd Dublin (Sandford Church) Group
Horace Savage24 July 1943Army8th Dublin (Clontarf) Group
Lieutenant C. SmallArmy33rd Dublin (Sandford Church) Group
Rear Gunner A. ThompsonRoyal Air Force13th Dublin (1st Blackrock Avoca School) Group

Tomorrow morning, when there is a two minutes’ silence whilst I am at church, I will be thinking of these Scouts and Scouters who died in the service of their King and Country during both the First and Second World Wars. I will also give thanks for the peace that we enjoy in our day and age. I hope that Dublin Scouts will remember their fallen still.

At the going down of the sun,
and in the morning,
we will remember them.

Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen.

Three connexions to my paternal grandparents

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We all have grandparents. Each and every single one of us has grandparents. Some of us are fortunate to have known all four of them. I know that many have not had that fortune, but I did meet all of my grandparents. I even have some items that I was gifted by them.

This afternoon when I was tidying in the house, I found a Parker pen that I thought I had lost. It was the pen that I used when I was at Ballymena Academy. I know that I was given it by my two paternal grandparents. That must have been for my eleventh birthday — the one before I went to the grammar school. It had to have been for that birthday in early May 1989, because by the end of June my paternal grandfather, Hugh Campbell had died. He was the first of my grandparents to die.

Andrew and I have done some research to find out more about this particular pen. It turns out that it is a Parker 25 Mark III. And we know from the date letters on the cap, it was manufactured in the first quarter of 1985.

The other item I have in my possession from my paternal grandmother, Mary Campbell (née Carchrie) is a Red Letter edition of the King James Bible printed by Cambridge University Press. It is bound in black French Morroco leather, and is the Compact C.R. India paper edition, with bold-figure references. As a presentation edition, it has a note in the front saying that it was

Presented to Michael by Gran’ma with love on Confirmation 1-12-91.

This Bible is the only item that I have that has my Gran’ma’s handwriting in it.

When my paternal grandmother died in 1994, I inherited a painting of a middle-eastern woman that my grandmother had painted. It used to hang in the dining room at my grandparents’ flat in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, but now it is with us. I see it every single day, and it makes me give thanks for my grandparents and their lives. It’s just a simple picture but it is rich in colours of reds, golds, and greens, and I love it.

I burst into tears after showing each of these to Andrew. They are the only things that I can connect to my paternal grandparents other than the Campbell part of my surname. It is sometimes quite hard to believe that they both died whilst I was still at school. They were both 84 years of age when they died, albeit five years apart. That means that I am just over half way to their age now.

My usual fountain pens at the moment are my Lamy Safaris and my Lamy Vistas. I suspect, however, that they will be supplemented on occasion by this longlost friend the Parker 25. The memories of Hugh and Mary Campbell will live on for a while longer.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

July 15th, 2021 at 7:50 pm

Remembrance: from War to Peace

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For many nations, November is a time to remember those who have died in military service, in peace time and in war. From the Armistice of 11 November 1918 which ended the First World War, we have Remembrance Day as a time to reflect of the sin of war and conflict. It is a time for Christians to pray for the peace of the world, and through we have often failed in the Lord’s service, through his love, we work for a world renewed through justice and peace.

From earliest times, Christians have served in the military and they are men and women under authority, just as the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant (Matthew 8:5–13). Mindful of the teaching of Jesus Christ, faithful military service is an honourable tradition, which puts the needs of others before oneself and seeks to work for peace, and to defend freedom. Many people serving in the military today are also deployed for humanitarian assistance. They help to work for that peaceable kingdom which the Lord wills for our world.

Please pray for the men and women who serve in the military worldwide, and for chaplains who minister to them.

By The Rev’d Alex Bennett CF, Chaplain, British Army, from the USPG Prayer Diary Nov 2020 to Jan 2021

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

November 8th, 2020 at 11:55 am

Jason Turner MStJ RIP

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When I joined St John Ambulance Ireland as a member of staff, one of my first contacts in the organisation was Jason Turner. Throughout all my time working in the Operations Department, he had been there as an adviser to me in my work, first of all as deputy director of the operations department, then as director, and then subsequently as a district officer of SJAI.

I remember many occasions when he got me to help him with preparation for the Emergency Medical Technician courses for which he was responsible. He even had me having a go at some of the multiple choice questions. I had not done the course, but he did say that on paper I should be able to pass. He even got me in one Saturday to be a patient for the trainee EMTs.

Since December 2018, following the failure of my kidneys, Jason kept in contact with me wishing me well. In recent months, I became aware that he himself was not well. We messaged every so often via WhatsApp or Facebook. Indeed, the day he died, I had been thinking of him when I was on dialysis and had intended to ring him to speak to him that evening. It was not to be.

Today, I watched his funeral mass online via webcam. I was a bit surprised to see pall bearers from St John Ambulance Ireland given the COVID-19 restrictions that we are all living with, but I am sure they were keeping within the restrictions. At least they were showing civic leadership by wearing face masks while still maintaining the black and white uniform of St John Ambulance.

In due course, I hope to get an address for Jason’s widow, so that I can send her a card.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

May 18th, 2020 at 11:53 am