The Ordinary Soldier

Neil Campbell

My grandfather is in the photograph in ‘Gallery’ of the Scots Guards working group (seated, left, holding a spoon and bowl). He was in the 2nd Battalion and before the war had seen duty at the Tower of London. He took part in the siege of Sydney Street.

My grandad was a big man and by liberation he looked like a beanpole. In the 2nd World War he was in the Home Guard, At home he had a luger pistol and a grenade. He threatened to kill my gran and the family if the Germans invaded (obviously after the things he had witnessed by them). My gran threw the weapons over the Forth Rail Bridge from a train window… a wise decision, I think.

He was captured at Ypres after being sent to a copse of trees to support others. I have a drawing he did of the Kaiser and an extract of speech added at the bottom. The pictures I have of and by him are family are personal treasures to me.

I’ve tried to find out more from my mum but she is selective. She told me my grandad was a warrant officer…he was made up to corporal but was busted for being drunk in London. She hit the roof! It makes him seem more real to me…a young Scot…in London…drunk?


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Positions - 1st Battle of Ypres

Menin Gate Memorial

The curved ceiling of the Menin Gate Memorial with the rebuilt town in the distance.

Pte A. Stringer’s grave in Perth Cemetery (China Wall)

Menin Gate Panel 11

A detail of Panel 11 of the Memorial with Joe’s friend Fellowes among those without a grave.

Army map of 1st Ypres October, 1914

Army map of 1st Ypres 29th October, 1914 – source, copy in the 'In Flanders Fields Museum', with permission. Where Joseph Garvey was captured is circled.

The Scots Guards Listed on Panel 11 on the Menin Gate

The Scots Guards are listed on Panel 11 on the Menin Gate. Just some of the 58,000 fallen who could not be identified.