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John Cameron & Family Post 1918

When John went off to war in 1915 he left behind his new young, wife Alice pregnant with their first child Elsie who was born in 1915. After his return George arrived in 1919 and Marguerite ( My Mum) in 1923.

Immediately post war John was busy setting up his forestry business and building a house for his family across the lane at Chapelton.

The New house at Chapelton with John's youngest daughter Marguerite and her fiancé Joe. This photo is from 1948 so they may well have been there for John's funeral.

As the 1920's became the 1930's John and Alice Cameron's family grew  up. In many ways they had an idyllic childhood, Yes, there were privations, but they did not know that , it was all that they had ever known. They lived surrounded by some of the most spectacularly beautiful landscapes to be found anywhere.

 

The surrounding   farms and  the  village swarmed  with  the children of the post WW  I baby boom. They lived surrounded by fields and woods. Fields and woods that assorted  ages  of  children roamed   in feral  packs.  Of   course  no  doubt  parents  still worried, do parents ever not worry?

To us their worries may seem foolish, my Grandfather  was reluctant to  allow  my mother to have a bike, because "the roads were getting so busy these days" This was 1935 in the North of Scotland . The A9 may not quite have had grass down the middle, but  in  laces    it  was not  so  far  off. This may    have been  the recent past but still, it    was pre-antibiotics and pre most modern  Medicine. Children still regularly died  from such things  as  Measles,  Scarlet  Fever, Diphtheria, and blood poisoning from minor seeming cuts.   

 

 

 

The stories I have been told of the children's escapades, would  take  a book of their own. One rather tragic little tale  however does  illustrate why parents will always worry. This was the death of "Inverness Granty'' 

As time went by, their growing up became increasingly overshadowed with the prospect of another cataclysmic war in  Europe.  For  those who  had  fought and survived the First World War, it must have seemed beyond belief that they would live to see it happen again, and after only 20 years. However, ominous world events doubtless were, to the  three children  growing  up  at  Chapelton they may as well have been on another planet, safely cocooned as they were from most of the big bad world outside.

 

First Elsie, then George and finally Marguerite they all attended the  school at Deshar, quite literally at the end  of  the  lane  up  to  Chapelton.  Assorted other  children  from  Docharn  and  other  farms  on  the  hill  behind Chapelton, would join them for the short wander down  the  lane  to  school. They would all have left Deshar School at 11, Elsie then went on to boarding school at Kingussie, whilst George and Marguerite went to Grantown School.

The second world War arrived as expected, George went off in the Merchant Navy, somehow managing to survive the full duration of the war.

As is described elsewhere, the war presented John with a huge business opportunity as vast amounts of timber were needed. Profiteering from the war was greatly frowned upon but he presumably kept a low profile whilst discretely raking in the cash.  To be fair, all he was doing was his normal business, its just that the war brought huge demand for his product.

However  he  pulled  it  off, John Cameron and his family emerged from the war, all alive and intact, with a   thriving  business, and as a very well liked and   respected local family. Sadly he  was  not   to  have very long in which to enjoy his new-found success. In 1948, only three years after the end of the war he died. The damage had been done when John was gassed in The trenches in 1917.  Not badly enough to be invalided out at the time he had a bed chest and weak heart for the rest of his not very long life.

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