On 24th August 2016, at 2pm, a Service of Remembrance was
held at St John’s Churchyard, Newton, commemorating the
centenary of Private John Campbell’s death.
He had enlisted into the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders
in 1915 and was wounded at the Somme; suffering
shellshock as a consequence. From the Western General
Hospital in Cardiff he was transferred to the St John’s
Auxiliary Hospital, Rest Bay, Porthcawl. John recovered from
his wounds, which potentially meant a return to active
service. On Tuesday, 24th August 1916, at 10.30am, his body
was retrieved from the sea, opposite the Sea Bank Hotel.
Studying the inquest, of his death you cannot fail to note the
tragic effect of shellshock.
At the Service of Remembrance, last week, the congregation
was led to the graveside by bagpiper, John Campbell. Alun
Davies placed Private Campbell’s medals on the grave, whilst
Father Philip Masson spoke of the tragic effects of war on the
minds of soldiers, like John Campbell. Allan Lloyd, Chairman
of the Porthcawl Branch of the British Legion, read a poem
by Scottish poet, J.B Salmond, ‘Poppies, followed by’
Scotsman Ian Nisbet’s brief account of Private John
Campbell’s life. During Reveille, played by Edward Jones, the
British Legion lowered their standards.
After the Blessing, the service ended with Ian Nisbet placing
the poppy wreath, donated by the British Legion and
Porthcawl Museum member Mrs. Cheryl Purchase, on
Private Campbell’s grave, as the piper played ‘Flowers of the
Forest, ’ a Scottish lament.

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