Private Alan MacDonald Campbell

Pte. Alan Campbell was born in Ontario, Canada and was one of 5 children. Campbell was a Band Master for the Air Cadets and working as a musician, playing the trumpet in an orchestra before joining the military. He enlisted at No. 1 District Depot (Active Force) on March 9, 1944 in London, Ontario. The initial assessment described him as a tall 6’0” well-built young man with a pleasant personality. He was immediately sent to No. 12 Basic Training Centre in Chatham, Ontario and on March 31 he was officially assigned to the Canadian Infantry Corps.

However, Campbell had his sights set on joining the Paratroops and before long he requested a transfer. Campbell completed his Parachute Course on September 6, 1944 at the A-35 Training Centre in Shilo, Manitoba and joined the ranks of the elite 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. He embarked to the UK in November of the same year and reported for duty at No. 1 Canadian General Reinforcement Unit. In January 1945 he fought in the Ardennes Offensive, known as the Battle of the Bulge. Campbell served as a Bren Gunner in B Coy, 6 Platoon when he parachuted into Germany on March 24, 1945 during Operation Varsity. After the disbandment of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, he went on the Supplementary Reserve List for a very brief period.

Campbell had a very active post-war military career. He became a Commissioned Officer in 1947 and for the next 18 years served with several Regiments such as 1st Hussars (6 Armoured Regiment), the 58 (Sudbury) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (RCA), the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, the 1st and 2nd Canadian Rifle Battalions and The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.

Following his retirement from the military in 1964, Campbell became a Cadet Instructor at the No. 192 Port Hope High School Cadet Corps and later served with the No. 2360 Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Cadet Corps.

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Studio portrait of Captain Campbell when he served with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada post WW2.
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Captain Campbell's tunic from when he served with The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.
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Captain Campbell's tunic 3/4 view.
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Captain Campbell's tunic side view.