Lt. Col. Montgomery-Campbell

Lieutenant Colonel H. Montgomery-Campbell
64th (New Brunswick) Battalion

I do not want to make any invidious distinctions, but they take a man out of an office and make him a colonel. What does he know about war? His intentions may be good but that does not make him an eminent soldier; that does not make him fit to meet the enemy in the field.

(Col. Domville, Senate Debates, 4 May 1916,  413)

Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick on 24 September 1859, Henry Montgomery-Campbell was a Sussex farmer and commanding officer of the 8th (Princess Louise Hussars) Regiment. His younger brother Herbert Montgomery-Campbell (1861—1937), a graduate of the Royal Military College and a Boer War veteran, served as a brigadier-general in British Army artillery during the First World War. Henry meanwhile raised the 64th Battalion from the three Maritime Provinces. They were sons of George Montgomery-Campbell, a professor of classics at the University of New Brunswick.

While New Brunswick senator James Domville took a dim view of some selections of colonels for the overseas battalions, New Brunswick cabinet minister Douglas Hazen praised Montgomery-Campbell. “Being a man who has always taken a keen interest in things military,” he declared, “it goes without saying that any regiment commanding by him has wonderful discipline and esprit de corps.”

64thMobilized from Sussex and Halifax, the 64th departed for overseas in March 1916. After arriving in England, it was broken up but nearly all of the officers eventually went to France, including the colonel’s only son, eighteen-year-old Herbert. Less than one month after joining the 4th CMR on the front, Lieutenant Herbert Montgomery-Campbell was killed in action on 1 October 1916. The colonel later commanded a Labour Brigade in the British Army.

His daughter, Margueritte, served as a nursing sister in England and France. While attached to Granville Special Hospital, she wrote home: “I like the work very much indeed. I am helping with the dressings, which is very interesting, and the boys are all so nice. We have some laughs and some are so clever but it is dreadful seeing them without legs and arms, and such wounds! But they don’t seem to mind.”

Montgomery-Campbell died on 19 January 1933. The estates of Colonel Henry and General Herbert Montgomery-Campbell later established a trust fund to ensure a scholarship created in memory of their father could continue to benefit students at UNB.

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