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Villages of Glasgow

Lord Clyde,
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the late Sheriff Alison, was one, as to the disposal of these papers, he significantly adds: “It may possibly become their opinion that some short memoir should be drawn up. If this should be to their mind absolutely necessary and indispensable — which I should regret, and hope may be avoided — it should be limited as much as possible to the modest recital of the services of an old soldier.”

Young Colin was educated at the High School. In the registers his name appears as Colin M’Liver, 1st, in order that it might not be confused with that of a cousin of his, in the High School also, and bearing the same name. In one of his class-books while there, our youthful hero had written on the title-page the lines from Goethe:—

                              “Durch die Geduld, Vernunft, and Zeit,
                              Wird möglich die Unmöglichkeit.”

                    “By means of patience, sound judgment and time,
                    The impossible becomes possible.”

At the age of ten he was removed from Glasgow by his maternal uncle, the late Colonel John Campbell, who thenceforth took charge of the boy. He was placed by his uncle in an academy at Gosport, where he remained till he was fifteen years of age, when he received his commission, on the 26th May, 1808, in the 9th regiment of foot. The change of name from M’Liver to Campbell at this time has been frequently misrepresented. It has been stated that he was ashamed of the homely name of M’Liver, and intentionally took the more aristocratic name of Campbell. But he had very little to do with it. It occurred in this way. At the Horse Guards, in Whitehall, he had been previously introduced to the Duke of York, Commander-in-Chief of the army, by his uncle. The duke, on seeing the young fellow, cried out, “What! another of the clan?” Supposing he was of his uncle’s name, a note was made of the name as Colin Campbell. The truthful spirit of the boy was about to protest and explain, when his uncle at once checked him, and told him in an undertone that Campbell was a first-rate name to serve and fight under. And thus it was the Duke of York who, unwittingly, was the means of changing the lad’s name!

On the 26th May, 1808, he was gazetted as ensign in the 9th regiment of foot, and sailed with the 2nd battalion of that regiment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel John Cameron, for Portugal, with the expedition under the Duke of Wellington, then Sir Arthur Wellesley. He was first under fire at the battle of Vimiera, and then served with his regiment in Sir John Moore’s advance on Salamanca, and at the famous battle of Corunna. An incident happened to young Campbell on the eve of the battle of Vimiera, which endeared Colonel Cameron to the lad for life. Young Colin, who was not yet sixteen, was with the rear company of his battalion, which immediately before the battle was halted in open column of companies. His colonel called him to his side, took him by the hand, and led him by the flank of his battalion to the front, walked with him up and down in front of the leading company for several minutes in full view of the enemy’s artillery, which had opened fire on our troops. He then let go the boy’s hand, and told him to join his company. The object was to give the lad confidence, and he succeeded. In after years Lord Clyde always related this kind act of the colonel with pleasure, adding, “It was the greatest kindness which could have been shown me at such a time, and through life I have ever felt grateful for it.”

After Vimiera, Campbell’s regiment was one of those selected to form part of the army under Sir John Moore. Some idea of the sufferings endured in the memorable


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