The Letters of Colonel Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel

The Letters of Colonel Sir Donald Cameron of Lochiel

Colonel Donald Walter Cameron of Lochiel (1876-1951), 25th Chief of Clan Cameron, was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst Military College, before being gazetted to the Grenadier Guards, with whom he saw action in the Second Boer War in South Africa in 1899 and from 1901 to 1902, being severely wounded at the Battle of Belmont in 1902. In 1905, upon his father's death, Donald became the 25th Chief of Clan Cameron and joined the Inverness County Council.  In 1906, he married Lady Hermione Emily Graham (1882-1978), the second daughter of the Duke of Montrose, to whom these letters are all addressed. He then retired from the army and went to live on the Lochiel estate at Achnacarry.

When World War I broke out in 1914, he was asked by Lord Kitchener to raise a new battalion of the Cameron Highlanders for the army, composed mainly Highlanders. This collection of letters covers the period from this point onwards.

In a famous charge at the Battle of Loos, in 1915 (the point at which this series of letters ends), he led his men in the attack, during which his brother, Allan Cameron, was killed. Afterwards he was invalided home, and awarded the CMG for his services. He returned to France to command the Lovat Scout Sharpshooters until the end of the war. When the fighting ended he resumed command of the 3rd Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders. Following the war he served as a member of the Scottish National War Museum Committee, and in 1920 he was appointed as Aide-de-Camp to King George V.

In 1934 he was created a Knight of the Thistle, and four years later, in 1938, he welcomed Cameron clansfolk from throughout the world to Achnacarry, for the first-ever International Gathering of Clan Cameron. In the following year, he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Inverness-shire. During World War II he commanded the Home Guard in Inverness-shire, and from 1942 to 1945 he vacated Achnacarry, handing it over to the British military for 25,000 soldiers to undergo commando training there. He died in 1951 and was buried at Achnacarry.

[Text © High Life Highland]

Colonel Donald Walter Cameron of Lochiel, 25th Chief of Clan Cameron. © Andrew Paterson.