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Captain G H L Campbell
Late Scots Guards
by Major General D M Naylor CB MBE DL
formerly Scots Guards

Lorne Campbell

Lorne Campbell was always very proud of his ancestry as a Clan member, although most of his life was spent south of the border. Born in Edinburgh in January 1935, he served in the regiment for twelve years before eventually going to work for Lord Leverhulme as the assistant land agent on the Thornton Hough estate in the Wirral. There he spent twenty-seven very happy years before retiring to mid Cheshire in 1996.

Lorne was brought up in the war years and experienced some aspects of hostilities at first hand, one occasion being when on a train which was strafed by a German aircraft with bullets hitting the roof of the carriage. The family spent most of his childhood living in and around Beaulieu in the New Forest, interspersed with visits to Scotland. Peaton, near Garelochead, had been in the family for a number of years and Lorne always cherished a wish to go and live there, a wish sadly unfulfilled since the house and land never offered a realistic prospect for someone determined to make a living there.

Following school, latterly at Harrow, Lorne had to do his National Service; for two years he served with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps as a rifleman, in the process learning the darker arts and intrigues of the barrack room, something which probably influenced how he handled those with whom he worked in later life. His two years completed, he decided to stay in the Army and applied for a commission in the Scots Guards, principally because, being a proud Scot, he wanted to serve in a Scottish regiment but also because General Claude Dunbar persuaded him to do so. His subsequent career involved tours in both battalions, London public duties, a staff appointment at Scottish Command and a secondment to the Cameroons where he was responsible for administering the British force deployed to oversee the UN plebiscite prior to independence. He was then ADC to Claude Dunbar in Berlin when the latter was the British Commandant. His final tour was to Kenya in 1963 when the 2nd Battalion was based in Kahawa in the run up to Britain’s East African colonies becoming independent.

Lorne was an inveterate traveller. Even before joining the Army he cycled to Venice. Thereafter, once commissioned he used his various postings to discover parts of the world unknown to him: an early drive to Moscow with Hugh Laing, a visit to discover the Indian sub-continent and a solo expedition in a Citroen deux chevaux when returning from West Africa, a potentially hazardous undertaking, all appeared on his agenda. Later expeditions involved driving to Capetown from Kenya with Murray Naylor in 1964 and, having resigned, returning to England round the world via America, in the process persuading the USAF and RAF to fly him much of the way from Japan to Britain at little cost!

His love of discovery and interest in people and events was always part of Lorne’s character. Maybe a career as a diplomat might have suited him better than being a soldier although he loved his time in the Army. Lorne was a shrewd judge of people, intelligent and knowledgeable although often reticent and never very active but always good company. He enjoyed observing the world from ‘a lofty height’ and his judgements were usually well merited. He also had a wicked sense of humour and loved to tease.

Life after the Army saw a couple of not very satisfactory London jobs, a delightful marriage to Elizabeth Cutforth which lasted for over fifty years until his death in 2022, a decision to try his hand at farming and a year at Cirencester, after which there came an invitation to work for Lord Leverhulme at Thornton Hough, a position and place both Lizzie and he relished. He was a great success and he obviously found his metier in estate management, as well as many new friends.

On retirement in 1996 Lorne and Lizzie moved to near Tarporley to the village of Calveley where they enjoyed a multitude of friendships and travel. Sadly, their son, Jamie, was killed in a horrible car accident in Kenya in 1998, a tragedy borne with great stoicism but enormous pain. Meanwhile, their daughter Catriona had married and gave her parents a grandson soon afterwards.

Cruelly Lorne’s final years were marked by growing incapacity; following a nasty fall resulting in complications he became increasingly immobile and, despite Lizzie’s valiant efforts to maintain a normal life for him at Calveley House, Lorne died in August 2022 aged eighty-seven. He remained as upbeat as ever to the end and his service of thanksgiving was attended by over three hundred people, a fitting testament to a most delightful and charming man.

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