To the lads of Cabar Féidh

by chuckofish

This week, in between working and watching a delightfully mellow French movie, “The Grocer’s Son” (watch it, it’s pretty and sweet), I snuck in a little genealogy time with fruitful results! I found our great, great, great grandfather, Kenneth Cameron, who served in the 79th Regiment of Foot, the Cameron Highlanders, during the Napoleonic Wars. Picture him like this:

cameron highlander

According to the records, he was born in 1782, was 5′ 8″ tall, had brown hair, brown eyes, a “long visage” and a dark complexion. He first joined up when he was sixteen years old in 1798 and served until June 26th, 1802 (? hard to read the date). He then rejoined and served under Wellington in the Peninsular War in Portugal and Spain. He fought at the battle of Busaco on September 27th, 1810 in Portugal.


an artist's tepid rendition

column and line — the British hold the high ground

The artist’s rendition is rather tepid, but you get a better idea of the battlefield from this photo.

Busaco ridge today

Busaco ridge today

He also fought at Fuentos d’Orno on May 3rd, 1811. The Cameron Highlanders won battle honors for both engagements. This river ran the length of the battlefield at Fuentos d’Orno.

Dos Casos River

Dos Casos River

I lost track of Kenneth after that, but I’ll keep looking. You can raise a glass to him and the Cameron Highlanders (not yet known as the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders — that would come later) with their own toast:

Tir nam Beann, nan Gleann, ‘s nan Gaisgeach;
Far am faighear an t-eun fionn,
‘S far am faigh am fiadh fasgadh.
Cho fada ‘s chitear ceo mu bheann
‘S a ruitheas uisge le gleann,
Mairidh cuimhne air éuchd nan treun.
Slainte agus buaidh gu brath
Le Gillean Cabar Féidh!
Cabar Féidh gu Brath!

The land of hills, glens and horses;
Where the ptarmigan thrives,
And where the red deer finds shelter.
As long as the mist hangs o’er the mountains
And water runs in the glens,
The deeds of the brave will be remembered.
Health and success for ever
To the lads of Cabar Féidh,
The Deer’s Horns for Ever!

And while you’re doing that, you can listen to the regimental charge, “The Standard on the Braes of Mar” and imagine our wild Scottish ancestor charging the French.

Don’t be put off by the muscle shirt, the guy can really play the pipes.

Have a great weekend!