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Thread: Campaign to restore Victorian soldier's reputation

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    Junior sized package member Toddy1's Avatar
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    Default Campaign to restore Victorian soldier's reputation

    [FONT=verdana][*******#333333][SIZE=2]One of the most celebrated soldiers of the Victorian era is to be commemorated in his Highlands home town of Dingwall more than 100 years after he died.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]Maj Gen Sir Hector MacDonald was a household name.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]But campaigners say a scandal surrounding his death led to his true place in history being ignored.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]Nicknamed Fighting Mac, he was the son of a Ross-shire crofter but rose from the ranks as a teenage soldier to become a senior officer.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]He was regarded by his peers to be a brilliant military strategist.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]Some of his techniques in drill are still taught at the British Army's Sandhurst military academy today.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]He led his men from the front and after conspicuous bravery in the Afghan wars and in north and south Africa he became an aide to Queen Victoria.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]However, rumours about ****** activity with young men in Ceylon led to threats of a court martial and he shot himself in a Paris hotel in 1903.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]Now the Clan Donald Society wants to rehabilitate his reputation, and will hold a ceremony on Saturday at a tower built in Dingwall in honour of Fighting Mac.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]Greig Allan, bard to the clan society, believes the rumours were the result of class snobbery and spite among fellow officers.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]Mr Allan said: "He would fight at the front of his men, even when the enemy were coming towards him.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]"He was respected by his men and was very much one of the men. I think this was at odds with some of the officers that had bought themselves into the ranks."
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]The bard added: "The tragic circumstances of his death - which remains a mystery and his funeral was more or less held in secrecy - all add to the conspiracy theory and mystique."
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]Alan MacDonald, president of the Clan Donald Society, said Sir Hector was admired for his prowess as a soldier and was knighted by Queen Victoria.
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    [*******#333333][SIZE=2]He added: "To a certain extent he became out of favour in the military, and as a consequence of that the man almost became oblivious, which seems quite extraordinary."

    Source: [/SIZE]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...lands-17194999[/COLOR][/FONT]

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    From a private to a Major General and a superlative service record to boot.

    Gladdens the heart to see Victorian era soldiers even mentioned in discourse in the UK, normally the period is derided or sneered at by contempory society ( yes Paxman, i am looking at you).

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    Member Scotus's Avatar
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    How interesting and instructive that the "Clan Donald" society is more keen on rebuilding the reputation of a man who may have been guilty of pedophile activities than acknowledging the horrific crimes of deportation, massacres, man-made famine, cultural suppression and other profound human rights violations inflicted upon the people of the MacDonald clans. I wonder why.

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    Member bersaglieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotus View Post
    How interesting and instructive that the "Clan Donald" society is more keen on rebuilding the reputation of a man who may have been guilty of pedophile activities than acknowledging the horrific crimes of deportation, massacres, man-made famine, cultural suppression and other profound human rights violations inflicted upon the people of the MacDonald clans. I wonder why.
    How about
    A - They don't have to "acknowledge" anything, not only is everything you talk about very well known, but people like the Clan Donald Society were the victims of those things, not the instigators.

    B - The word is paedophile, there is nothing to suggest he had a thing for feet, and there was never any actual evidence or conviction that he did anything wrong, although there was plenty of evidence he was a brave and brilliant soldier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bersaglieri View Post
    How about
    A - They don't have to "acknowledge" anything, not only is everything you talk about very well known, but people like the Clan Donald Society were the victims of those things, not the instigators.

    B - The word is paedophile, there is nothing to suggest he had a thing for feet, and there was never any actual evidence or conviction that he did anything wrong, although there was plenty of evidence he was a brave and brilliant soldier.
    Thanks for stepping in with your input and spelling corrections, but being descended both from MacDonald chiefs and from individuals who were subject to the above-mentioned atrocities, I am more than within my rights to have a strong and vigorous perspective. I will not be lectured by you about how I should feel about my country, my heritage or my history.

    Regarding everything else you said, without going into copious amounts of detail, there is much more to this issue than your promulgations would suggest. As for Hector, I have no opinion on his guilt or innocence.

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    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    I think William S, said it. Seems to be true:


    [FONT=verdana]The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones;
    [SIZE=5][/SIZE]

    Where as in this situation it is perceived wrongs rather than evil. [/FONT]

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    Member bersaglieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotus View Post
    being descended both from MacDonald chiefs
    Ahh. So you want them to acknowledge your own historical culpability for the Clearances and indeed the selling into slavery of your own clansmen prior to the '45, why not just say so? My family were simple, common clansmen from Strath Halladale so I'll feel free to lecture any scion of lairds all I want.

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    Μολὼν λαβέ Hollis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bersaglieri View Post
    Ahh. So you want them to acknowledge your own historical culpability for the Clearances and indeed the selling into slavery of your own clansmen prior to the '45, why not just say so? My family were simple, common clansmen from Strath Halladale so I'll feel free to lecture any scion of lairds all I want.
    Let us keep the bickering out of this. Kind of a long time to carry a grudge?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bersaglieri View Post
    Ahh. So you want them to acknowledge your own historical culpability for the Clearances and indeed the selling into slavery of your own clansmen prior to the '45, why not just say so? My family were simple, common clansmen from Strath Halladale so I'll feel free to lecture any scion of lairds all I want.
    Congratulations for stooping so incredibly low. You have been reported for your disgusting ad hominem attack on my family.

    My ancestors who were chiefs were not among those who betrayed their own people - however, the so-called "chiefs" that the Clan Donald society supports are descended from such people. I am also related to people cleared out of Knoydart in 1853, at gunpoint, on command of relatives of some of these phoney chiefs. It was in part from this background that I made the initial comment in this thread before you came in offering spelling corrections and slander on my family.

    As for the scions of "lairds," perhaps you can use some of your energy on lecturing them at the Clan Donald society.

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    Junior sized package member Toddy1's Avatar
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    And this right here, Scotus and bersaglieri, is why us Scots never really had a country of our own....too busy fighting with each other rather than concentrating on the ones who really deserved the attention. Both of you come from areas where the Clearances were occurring at a horrible pace. Unfortunately sheep became more profitable than Clan members. However if it wasn't for your forefathers I doubt America, Canada, Australia etc would have been as great as they are today :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy1 View Post
    And this right here, Scotus and bersaglieri, is why us Scots never really had a country of our own....too busy fighting with each other rather than concentrating on the ones who really deserved the attention. Both of you come from areas where the Clearances were occurring at a horrible pace. Unfortunately sheep became more profitable than Clan members. However if it wasn't for your forefathers I doubt America, Canada, Australia etc would have been as great as they are today :P
    I don't want to launch into any ad hominem attacks like other posters, but I would say I have never been interested in Scottish nationalism.

    Regarding your assertion about sheep being made more profitable than clan members, please take up that issue with Godfrey Macdonald (AKA "Lord Macdonald") and Ranald MacDonell (AKA "of Glengarry") - my ancestors opposed their forefathers' betrayals and decisions. PM inbound.
    Last edited by Scotus; 03-05-2012 at 04:38 AM.

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    Junior sized package member Toddy1's Avatar
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    Interesting that you have no interest in Scottish nationalism, and yet this was one of the very reasons that the your MacDonald ancestors were persecuted for so many years, along with a number of other Jacobite Clans. They backed the wrong horse with Bonnie Prince Charlie, and over the course of the next 100 years they paid the price in terms of evictions off of the land.

    The Highlands are generally a ghost town nowadays compared to what would have been thriving communities, but as mentioned it was more to do with sheep and agriculture taking over from Clan chief and Clan dependents. The Clan system died on Drumossie Moor and with more and more "Chiefs" being educated at Oxford and Cambridge they lost touch with the common folk and as in most cases greed led the way.

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    Hot Biker Dude of Death Royal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy1 View Post
    Interesting that you have no interest in Scottish nationalism, and yet this was one of the very reasons that the your MacDonald ancestors were persecuted for so many years, along with a number of other Jacobite Clans. They backed the wrong horse with Bonnie Prince Charlie, and over the course of the next 100 years they paid the price in terms of evictions off of the land.
    Plenty of clans - mine amongst them - fought and died against Cumberland and have no desire for King Salmond. The SNP is very poorly regarded in my home area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toddy1 View Post
    The Clan system died on Drumossie Moor and with more and more "Chiefs" being educated at Oxford and Cambridge they lost touch with the common folk and as in most cases greed led the way.
    The Clan system survived long after '46 - it was surpressed sure, but recruitment into the highland regiments, particularly the 79th and 92nd up to the end of WWI showed that. I'd agree with the loss of the common touch in our case, but certainly not through greed - not for the past couple of hundred years anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Royal View Post
    Plenty of clans - mine amongst them - fought and died against Cumberland and have no desire for King Salmond. The SNP is very poorly regarded in my home area.
    As they are in mine Royal, but the fact remains that BPC was probably no better than Salmonheid himself, but they still followed him to put Scotland back on the map. Problem was that it would have made no difference at all, as most Kings/Queens eventually wanted to sit in Westminster anyway.

    The Clan system survived long after '46 - it was surpressed sure, but recruitment into the highland regiments, particularly the 79th and 92nd up to the end of WWI showed that. I'd agree with the loss of the common touch in our case, but certainly not through greed - not for the past couple of hundred years anyway.
    Agreed, but this could have been more to do with ancestry, genetics and locality of names i.e. McKinnon, Sutherland, McLeod etc etc more than an exact Clan structure. I feel affinity with anyone of the same name regardless if they are related or not, it's been bred into us through thousands of years, so it's only natural that they would join regiments that were designed along the lines of the Clan system. Makes it an easy transition.

    Interesting to know that Scotland suffered 20% of the casualties during WWI, but only made up 10% of the overall population.

    My own relatives were RN, then Merchant Navy, Scots Guards, Cameronians....my Great Uncle was interviewed by the BBC at the beaches in Normandy, my cousin was the Lone Drummer at The Trooping of the Colours in 1986, my Great Great Grandfather was in charge of the Horses on the Western Front in WWI

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