Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Alexander Railton Campbell

In memory of:

Major Alexander Railton Campbell

December 25, 1943

Military Service


Age:

33

Force:

Army

Unit:

Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, R.C.I.C.

Citation(s):

Mentioned in Despatches

Additional Information


Born:

March 10, 1910
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Enlistment:

April 3, 1940
Picton, Ontario

Son of Harry Davies Campbell and Sarah Jane Railton Campbell, of Perth, Ontario.

Son of Harry Davies Campbell who died on July 30, 1917 while serving with the Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment).

Prayer before Battle
By Major Alex Campbell

When 'neath the rumble of the guns,
I lead my men against the Huns,
'Tis then I feel so all alone and weak and scared,
And oft I wonder how I dared,
Accept the task of leading men.

I wonder, worry, fret, and then I pray,
Oh God! Who promised oft
To humble men a listening ear,
Now in my spirit's troubled state,
Draw near, dear God, draw near, draw near.

Make me more willing to obey,
Help me to merit my command,
And if this be my fatal day,
Reach out, Oh God, Thy Guiding Hand,
And lead me down that deep, dark vale.

These men of mine must never know
How much afraid I really am,
Help me to lead them in the fight
So they will say, "He was a man".

This prayer was written by Major Alex Campbell, during a lull in battle.
Major Campbell was O.C. of "A" Company, Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment. He was killed in action on December 25, 1943 at The Battle of Ortona in Italy.

Commemorated on Page 143 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:
Grave Reference:

V. G. 12.

Location:

By the winter of 1943, the German armies in Italy were defending a line stretching from the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Naples, to the Adriatic Sea south of Ortona. The Allies prepared to break through this line to capture Rome. For its part, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division was to cross the Moro River and take Ortona. In January 1944 the Canadian Corps selected this site, intending that it would contain the graves of those who died during the Ortona battle and in the fighting in the weeks before and after it. Today, there are 1,615 graves in the cemetery, of which over 50 are unidentified and 1,375 are Canadian.

The Moro River Canadian War Cemetery lies in the locality of San Donato in the Commune of Ortona, Province of Chieti, and is sited on high ground near the sea just east of the main Adriatic coast road (SS16). The cemetery can be reached from Rome on the autostrada A25 (Rome-Pescara) by branching on the autostrada A14 and leaving it at Ortona. The approach road to the cemetery from the main road passes under an arch forming part of the little church of San Donato. The cemetery is permanently open and may be visited anytime.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • – Photo of Major Alex Campbell courtesy of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment.
  • Memorial– The Perth & District Collegiate Institute Wall of Valour dedicated to the former students who died during WWI and WWII.

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