The Camerons of Fassifern
An ancestral guide through the past for both my family and other Clan Cameron branches
The Camerons of Fassifern © 2012
Colonel John Cameron
Deatils and histories for Colonel John Cameron of Fassifern (1771-1815)

Genealogical site  - Tree: Fassifern Direct Person ID: I20

Colonel John Cameron was born on 16 August 1771 at Inverscaddle, Ardgour in Argyll, Scotland. He was one of  9 children of Sir Ewen Cameron of Fassifern (1st Baronet) and Louisa (Lucy) Campbell only daughter of Duncan Campbell of Glenure. His father Ewen received his baronetage in 1827 in recognition of John's outstanding military service.

In his youth, John was nursed by one of his father Ewen's tennents Mrs McMillan and attended through the rest of his private and military life by Ewen McMillan, her son. His education was intially at a local school at Fort William, then via private tutor  culminationg in completion of his education at the King's College in Aberdeen. Through his formative years he was a dedicated scholar as well as an energetic young man with regular pastimes of shooting, fishing and boating - a fine preparation for his future and distinguished miltary career.

His first career calling was as an apprentice writer (lawyer) but this did not suit him and supported by his father he was purchased a comission in 1793 with the 26th (Cameronian Regiment). He then chose to join Campbell of Ardchattan's independent Highland regiment which was soon amalgamated into the 93rd Regiment. 1794 saw the raising of Huntley's 100th of the line later to become the 92nd Regiment (later the Gordon Highlanders).

In his early time with the regiment he served in Gibraltar and Corsica and onwards to Ireland in 1798 in a dual role of quelling the Irish and protecting against their allies the French in case of invasion. It was at this time, now being a Captain,  he has his only romantic affair but this was strictly forbidden by his father and until his death he was never married.

His next move with the regimant was to Holland in 1799 under Sir Ralph Abercromby against the French. The regiment was then sent to Egypt in 1801 where he was wounded at the Battle of Alexandria and awarded the gold medal for the Egyptian Campaign.

His rank was raised to Major in 1801 and eventually to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1808. After a couple of years in Ireland, he rejoined the 1st batallion of the regiment in 1810 and was posted in Portugal taking part in many battles until 1814.

His final campaign was to be Waterloo with John being in command of the 92nd. On 16th June 1815 he was killed in action just outside the village of Qaute Bras near Brussells. He was buried there by the road side but, under the families wishes, his body was disinterred and brought back to Scotland where he was buried at Kilmallie Church. His grave is marked by an obelisk memorial inscribed by Sir Walter Scott.

Throughout his military career he was very higly respected by all ranks and mentioned much in dispatches, writings and poems.


Further reading: "The Memoires of Colonel John Cameron" Rev. A. Clerk (1858)

. . 'Sleepless Grey Allan lay
Grey Allan who for many a day
Had followed, stout and stern,
Where through battles rout and reel,
Storm of shot and hedge of steel,
Led the grandson of Locheill,
Valiant Fassiefern.'
'Through steel and shot he leads no more,
Low laid, mid friend's and foeman's gore;
But long his native lake's wild shore,
and Sunart rough, and high Ardgower,
And Morren long shall tell
How, upon bloody Quatre Bras,
Brave Cameron heard the wild hurrah
Of conquest as he fell.'