Campbell, Ian Alexander Calthrop (No. 127887)

Campbell, Ian Alexander Calthrop (Ian)

Flying Officer (Pilot)

No. 127887, 111 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died attempting to escape on Thursday 9 December 1943 (aged 21)


Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy (Grave XI. C. 7)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Rockport School, Craigavad


Ian Alexander Calthrop (Ian) Campbell was born in Bengal, India on 2 November 1922 and he was the younger son of Major General James Alexander Campbell DSO (born 3 December 1886) and Violet Constance Madeline Campbell (nee Calthrop).

James Alexander Campbell was divorced when he and Violet Calthrop were married on 16 July 1920 in Lansdowne, Bengal.  James Campbell had been in the Suffolk Regiment when he and Freda Massingberd Leith-Hay Clark were married on 1 June 1911 in the Parish Church of St. Peter, Pimlico, London.

James and Violet Campbell had two sons:

Gordon Thomas Calthrop (born 8 June 1921 in Quetta, India)

Ian Alexander Calthrop (born 2 November 1922)

Major General James Alexander Campbell DSO retired in 1944 and he died on 3 February 1964.  Violet Constance Madeline Campbell died in 1978.

Ian Campbell and his brother Gordon both attended Rockport School, Craigavad and at that time the family address was Rush Park in Whitehouse, Co. Antrim.  After leaving Rockport, Ian Campbell attended Wellington College in Berkshire where he won the Gibson Medal for physical training and the Pender Prize for Natural History.  He became a Prefect, played hockey for the school and, when he left, he was Second-in-Command of the ATC.  In 1936 he went to RAF Valley in Anglesey and he trained at Cambridge and in the United States.  He served in Malta and Italy.

Gordon Thomas Calthrop Campbell MC also served during the Second World War and, after a bullet severed his sciatic nerve, he was partially disabled for the rest of his life.  He followed a diplomatic and then a political career becoming Secretary of State for Scotland in Prime Minister Edward Heath’s Conservative Government.  He was appointed to the House of Lords as Baron Campbell of Croy and he died in 2005.

Flying Officer Ian Alexander Calthrop Campbell (No. 127887) was a Spitfire pilot and he died on 9 December 1943 after being shot while trying to escape from his German captors.  He had been captured after he bailed out of his aircraft when it was burning out of control over Italy.

Flying Officer Ian Alexander Calthrop Campbell (No. 127887) was 21 when he died, and he was buried in Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:



Flying Officer Ian Alexander Calthrop Campbell (No. 127887) is commemorated in Rockport School, Craigavad.