Born in Glasgow on 20th Oct 1792, the son of a carpenter named Macliver, Colin assumed his mother's name in 1807 when his uncle, a colonel, put him in a school and found him a commission in the 9th regiment at the age of 15. He was a very brave soldier who proved himself in America in 1812 and in the Peninsula War at Barrosa, Terifa and Vittoria. At the siege of San Sebastian he was recovering from a double wound but left his sick bed to lead another assault in which he received yet another wound. He was invalided home as a captain at the age of 21. His promotion during peacetime slowed down after this and it took 25 years before he reached Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding a regiment.
His leadership in the First China War caused him to be made a CB and the Second Sikh War brought him a KCB. He commanded the Highland Brigade in the Crimean War and his fame reached new heights at the Battle of Balaklava where Campbell inspired the 93rd Highlanders to repel a Russian cavalry division without loss to themselves. He was made commander-in-chief during the Indian Mutiny and directed the second relief of Lucknow. His health failed soon after this and he ended his days at home in Britain.
During the Indian Mutiny he was criticized for over-caution but he was always concerned about loss of life and earned the nickname of 'Old Careful'. He was created Lord Clyde in 1858 and granted a pension of 2000 pounds a year. He was made Colonel of the 67th Foot from 1854 to 1858 and of the Coldstream Guards from 1860 until his death on 14th August 1863. He died in Chatham, Kent and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 22nd August 1863.
Colonels | Regimental details