Howard Campbell 1921-2012

02nd March 2012

We have been informed by the SRU of the death of Howard Campbell MC who played for the club in the post war years. Howard had four caps for Scotland.

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of former Scotland internationalist and war hero Howard Campbell. He was 90.

Howard H Campbell was born on 10 November 1921 in Machakos, Nairobi, Kenya, where his father was employed by the public works department as a civil engineer.

Howard served with the Royal Engineers during the Second World War and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry during that campaign.

The recommendation for his MC read: “Throughout the campaign since D-day, the work of Lieutenant Campbell has been outstanding and an example of conscientious doggedness.

“His organisation and supervision of mine clearance of forward routes and assembly areas immediately on landing undoubtedly saved many casualties.

“His role in all subsequent operations in which the unit took part has always been carried out with the utmost vigour and determination coupled with reasoned technical skill.

“He has never spared himself, accepting all operations of any magnitude and routine work, with cheerfulness and displaying throughout an utter disregard for personal danger.

“During assault operations in November whilst in support of the 104 US Infantry Division he carried out several successful personal reconnaissance under considerable heavy enemy small arms fire and shelling during the forming of the bridgehead on the R Mark at Standaarbutten.

“Immediately on completion of reconnaissance and whilst the position was still under intermittent shellfire a bridge was successfully constructed at this crossing under Lieutenant Campbell’s direction and control thus enabling vital supplies to reach the bridgehead forces.

“His courage, always of a high order, and capabilities of leadership are an example and a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to the troops under his command.”

He played as a prop forward in the services rugby internationals against England at Murrayfield and Leicester in 1944 and progressed to win four caps for Scotland in the games against Ireland and England in both 1947 and 1948.

He won a blue for Cambridge University in the 1946 Varsity match, also played his club rugby for London Scottish and went on to represent the Barbarians.

Following his war service he worked as a civil engineer with Shell being posted overseas to countries including Sri-Lanka, India and South Africa.

In his retirement Mr Campbell, who stayed near Reading, was a keen photographer and enjoyed a round of golf at Henley Golf Club.

He died last Thursday and is survived by his wife, Barbara, one son, Keith, and two daughters, Frances and Katharine.

Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Mr Campbell’s family and friends.

His funeral will take place at Kidmore End Church, Oxfordshire, RG4 9AX on Thursday 15 March at 1pm.


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