Campbell Heather MBE

 

Campbell Heather, who died on November 5th, 1995 was born on October 23rd 1920 into a Quaker family on Arran Quay, Dublin, and was educated at Wesley College.

Campbell enlisted in the Irish Guards in 1940, he joined the 1st Battalion, having passed through the Guards Depot, and was quickly promoted in the Carrier Platoon. He left the Irish Guards on St Patrick's Day 1943 and was commissioned into the Indian Army, where he served with the 2nd Punjabi Regiment in the Burma campaign. He was badly wounded at Imphal, the battle which marked the turn of the tide of war against the Japanese Empire.

Campbell was invalided out of the Army in 1946 and returned to Dublin, where he married Hazel Gordon on July 29th, 1946 and began work in Arnotts, where he remained until he retired in 1980 and where he made many lifelong friends. He was an enthusiastic member of Rathfarnham Golf Club, of which he was at one time captain and later president, golf was the second love of his life after his family. He took great delight in the progress of his sons Derek and tan and later, when they married, he became a devoted grandfather to his five grandchildren.

Campbell joined the Irish Metropolitan Branch of the British Legion in 1946 and later became chairman and then president, he also joined the Irish Guards Association and played a full part in the life of the ex service community in Dublin. When he retied in 1980, he began to take a very active interest in both these organisations, and in 1984 he worked on the erection of a memorial plaque to the Irish Guards he St Patrick's Cathedral. This, I think, whetted his appetite the hard work and effective action.

Campbell considered that the Legion was taking too long in having the Irish National War Memorial Park at Islandbridge restored from the state of dilapidation it had fallen into in the 1970s and early 1980s. He caused so much annoyance to the trustees at Legion functions that he was invited to become secretary to the management committee. He took up his appointment in May 1985 and began work with energy and enthusiasm.

During this time, Campbell made many friends in the Office of Public Works as he consulted with them on the restoration of the park. He visited the park almost daily as he set about his work of encouraging everyone to have it restored to its former glory.

The park was formally opened on September 10th, 1985, and Campbell was involved with Gay and Al Byrne in the making of a short film about it, called And Roses Grow There Not. He was awarded the MBE in the Birthday Honours List in 1988 for his work on the Irish National War Memorial. As acting chairman, Campbell was particularly pleased when the Taoiseach paid an historic visit to the Memorial Park on a State occasion in April this year planting a tree in memory of those who died in the Holocaust and paying tribute to those Irishmen and women who died in the second World War. This ceremony was attended by representatives of political parties North and South, by distinguished guests from the Government and diplomatic services and by representatives of the Jewish community in Ireland.

His family and those of us who knew him well will miss him, but we can take comfort in the motto of the Irish Guards taken from St Paul's letter to the Romans, Quis Separabit? Who indeed shall separate us from the memory of such a good man, who set us all a fine example of Christian service throughout his life?