Sir Walter Menzies “Ming” Campbell, CH, CBE, QC., returned to the city of his birth on Wednesday 20 May 2015 to give a talk in support of the RHF Museum Appeal.
Bailie Gerry Leonard, Deputy Lord Provost, welcomed Sir Ming and the invited audience to Glasgow City Chambers, describing him as “a famous son” of the city.
Sir Menzies’s talk concerned the seemingly unlikely connection between Captain Wyndham Haleswelle, Major General Sir Roy Urqhuhart and himself.
Captain Haleswelle was a British athlete, who won the controversial 400 metres race in the 1908 London Summer Olympics, becoming the only athlete to win an Olympic title by a walkover. Captain Haleswelle was also an Officer in The Highland Light Infantry and was sadly killed by a sniper at the Battle of Neuve Chappelle on 31 March 1915.
Captain Haleswelle’s record for 300 yards stood for some 53 years until broken in 1961 by another Scottish athlete, one Menzies Campbell! Sir Ming went on to have a stellar career in athletics, the law and, of course, as a distinguished Member of Parliament.
And the final connection with Major General Roy Urquhart, who commanded the 1st Airborne Division during Operation Market Garden in WWII, and was famously depicted by Sean Connery in the film, “A Bridge Too Far”? Well, of course, General Urqhart was an Officer in The Highland Light Infantry and Sir Ming did marry his daughter, Elspeth; however, possibly not so well known was that as a young Lieutenant, he was also a promising athlete.
Sir Menzies concluded his talk by generously donating a silver Quaich to the Museum collection – the Quaich had been presented to his late father-in-law in 1928 for his athletic prowess.
The audience clearly very much appreciated and enjoyed Sir Ming’s stimulating and interesting talk; and a collection produced a generous total of £775 toward the Museum Appeal.