Field Marshal Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde, GCB, KCSI, lived from 20 October 1792 to 14 August 1863. He was a soldier remembered particularly for his service in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Campbell was born Colin Macliver in Glasgow, and was the son of a carpenter. At the age of 15 he watched an inspection of troops by the Duke of York, who was accompanied by his maternal uncle, Colonel John Campbell. Colonel Campbell enlisted his nephew into the army under the name Colin Campbell, the name he used for the rest of his life. In 1808 at the age of 16 he became an ensign in the 9th Regiment of Foot, and was involved in a number of engagements during the Peninsula War against the French in Spain and Portugal. He was wounded twice and returned to the UK as a captain. He later fought in the War of 1812 against the United States. In 1823 he quelled a slave rebellion in the colony of Demerara.
In 1832, Campbell was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the 98th Foot, which he led through the First Opium War against China in 1842. He then fought in the Sikh War of 1848-49 in India, and was largely responsible for an important British victory of Gujrat. As a result he was knighted and given the thanks of Parliament. In 1854 he took command of the Highland Brigade during the Crimean War. At the Battle of Alma it was his "thin red line" of Highlanders which fought off a Russian attack on Balaklava. Sir Colin received further honours as a result.
In the summer of 1857, Campbell was sent to lead the British response to the Indian Mutiny. After spending some time marshalling his forces (he had a reputation for being a careful and considered general) he relieved Lucknow and was largely responsible for quelling the mutiny. On his return to Britain he was given the title of Baron Clyde and a pension of £2000 a year. Baron Clyde died in 1863 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Statues of him were later erected in Glasgow and in London, and in 1865 the town of Clyde in New Zealand was named after him.