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NANCIE SMITH / McGLYNN
Nancie, who died just before Christmasaged 66, will be remembered as thevoice of Campbeltown. Throughout her life she sought to defend her town fromthe onslaught of reorganisation, andfrom un-sympathetic moves to destroyits character and importance in Argyll.As one of the longest-serving Chair-persons of Campbeltown CommunityCouncil, and more recently asSecretary, she stood both for traditionalvalues and for long needed improve-ments to the town’s physical structure.A teacher and Deputy Head at Dalintober Primary School,she strove to instil in children the importance of community spiritand the need to enhance their lives and the lives of those aroundthem. Active in both European and American relations she wasinvolved in the exchange scheme with students of Amberg-Sulzbach, and was proud to promote naval relationships with thetown of Campbelltown in Pennsylvania.Long a part-time worker and informant to the CampbeltownCourier, she provided a home-grown knowledge of the structureof the town and of its social needs. Other organisations benefitedfrom her help including the local branch of the Leukaemia &Lymphoma Research Society, the Mull of Kintyre’s annual 10kilometre run and the Kintyre Community Forum web-site. Shewas also instrumental in helping establish the Argyll & Butebranch of the Council for Voluntary Service and the Dalintober &Millknowe Tenants & Residents Association. She supported thethe Association of Argyll & Bute Community Councils and waspreparing to stand for the Scottish National Party at the 2012Council elections. Sadly two of her ambitions were not realised -appointment as a Primary Head-teacher and the return of theBurgh Council, dissolved in 1975.On a personal level it seems only a few weeks ago that I mether outside the Campbeltown Co-op and enjoyed exchangingviews about Campbeltown and its affairs. She made no mentionof her own problems; her concerns were to see the town prosper through increased employment opportunities. I left the Co-opwith a feeling that with Nancie back in the fray as secretary toCampbeltown Community Council, the old fire will be re-kindledand the heat and glow generated last for at least another tenyears; unfortunately this was not to be.Nancie’s funeral service was held at Lorne and LowlandParish Church on Friday 23rd December 2011, and the burialtook place at Patchan Cemetery, where crashing waves will for ever proclaim the power of her endeavour to battle againstbureaucracy and centralisation. G.P.
Following the publication of Professor Roberts’ tribute to theinternationally renowned amateur astronomer Neil Bone in theJuly 2009 issue of the Antler, another distinguished Kintyreastronomer,Dr Alexander L. MacKinnon of the School of Education, University of Glasgow, has joined Ronald Roberts inseeking recognition of Neil’s achievements by raising funds for atangible memorial for the Campbeltown-born bio-chemist.One idea is that donations could be made to a Neil BonePrize fund through the agency of the Primary School he attendedor Campbeltown Grammar. Contact has also been made with theTreasurer of the The Kintyre Antiquarian and Natural HistorySociety, Elizabeth Marrison, in the hope that the Society may beable to suggest ways in which Campbeltonians have celebratedtheir illustrious forbears in the past.Co-incidentally Eric Dudley’s ambitious ideas to promoteCarradale as an excellent place to carry out astronomicalobservations was recognised by Neil, when, as a student at theGrammar ‘he used to cycle towards Carradale where there wasvery little light pollution and set up his personal observatory, adeck chair, a clipboard, pencils, a red torch and a pair of goodbinoculars. It was here that his great interest in the
so frequently visible in Kintyre, noctilucent clouds, andmeteors began, and he became an international authority onthese, lecturing as far away as China’.If you wish to assist with this appeal please ring RonaldRoberts on 01586 554417 or the Editor on 01583 431281.
In compiling a record of local war veter-ans, Charles Macmillan has made inter-esting discoveries on the Internet. Arecent one was 2/Lt William RobertKennedy of the 2nd Argyll & SutherlandHighlanders who was born in Carradaleand killed in action on 25th September 1915, the first day of the battle of Loos.William's service documents showthat he was born at Ardcarroch on 8thMarch 1896. He was the son of a Dr Kennedy who had married the previousyear in Elgin before coming south toCarradale to take up the post of medicalpractitioner. Disappointingly, no traceof the family's short stay here has so far been found in local records; no morechildren were registered here and as thename does not appear in the 1901 cen-sus it is assumed they returned north.William was educated first at Dun-beath Public School then Tain RoyalAcademy and Wick High School beforeentering Aberdeen University in thesummer of 1914 to study medicine. Liketens of thousands of other young mennationwide who flocked to the colourson the outbreak of WW1, William enlist-ed at once and volunteered for overseasservice. On 4th August he and fellowundergraduates were mobilized to form'U' Company, 4th (City of Aberdeen)Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders.The Battalion left Bedford for Francein February 1915 and for the next coupleof months they were on difficult anddangerous front line trench duties, butnot until 15th June were they engagedin a specific battle, Bellewarde, whichwas part of the 'murderous' 2nd battle of Ypres. The Battalion diary shows thatthey now took casualties in fierce fight-ing and encountered the first use of gas.Several acts of heroism are record-ed for the student soldiers of 'U' Com-pany and William himself showedconspicuous bravery in carrying des-patches across a shell-swept zone,earning the congratulations of the Divi-sional Commander and recommenda-tion for a decoration. This episode, andno doubt others, must have shown spe-cial qualities of leadership in 19-year-oldWilliam and he was singled out for im-mediate promotion. A course of trainingat St Omer followed and August sawhim gazetted 2nd Lt. in the 2nd BattalionArgyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Only amonth later, however, he was killedleading his platoon in the initial assaultat Loos and is buried at CambrinChurchyard Extension.Among the casualties on the sameday, many of whom have no knowngrave, was another Carradale man, Ser- jeant John Mitchell of the 8th BlackWatch, whose name is on our war me-morial.
Charles would welcome names and photographs for inclusion in the DVDrecord. A veteran does not necessarily have to have been born here to be eligi-ble - close association with Carradale,Skipness or Saddell is sufficient.