Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Campaign to restore Victorian soldier's reputation

Another item from the BBC News today:

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.

Maj Gen Sir Hector MacDonald was a household name.

But campaigners say a scandal surrounding his death led to his true place in history being ignored.

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.

He was regarded by his peers to be a brilliant military strategist.

Some of his techniques are still taught at the British Army's Sandhurst military academy today.

He led his men from the front and after conspicuous bravery in the Afghan wars and in north Africa he became an aide to Queen Victoria.

However, rumours about sexual activity with young boys led to threats of a court martial and he shot himself in a Paris hotel in 1903.

Now the Clan Donald Society wants to rehabilitate his reputation and will hold a ceremony this weekend to mark almost 150 years since his birth at a tower built in Dingwall in honour of Fighting Mac.


  1. He was the ordinary soldier's hero and whatever the circumstances of his personal life his achevement in rising to the rank he did in that very class concious society is remarkable and worthy of honouring. My maternal Uncle was named after him by my Grandfather (Col Sergt KOSB) and I dont think he was alone in doing this. Is he still persona non grata in the Gordons museum or has this gone away now the Gordon Highlandres themselves hae disappeared?

  2. Don't know about the Gordons but the people of Dingwall certainly didn't think the circumstances of his death were reason to not celebrate his life.