Historic sword gifted to Highlanders Museum
Weapon belonged to Napoleonic Wars veteran from Glenturret
A historic sword which was owned by a Napoleonic Wars veteran has been gifted to the Highlander’s Museum (Queen’s Own Highlander’s Collection) at Fort George.
The sword was presented to Lieutenant Colonel Allan MacDonnell, late of the 79th Cameron Highlanders in 1838.
And now his descendant Lady Carolyn Graham has donated it so that visitors to the Inverness museum can appreciate it.
Lady Carolyn Graham “We are delighted to add this sword to our collection” is the wife of a former lord mayor of London, Sir Alexander Graham, and a descendant of Allan MacDonnell.
MacDonnell was born in 1794 in Glenturret, Inverness-shire and was granted a commission as an ensign in the Cameron Highlanders in 1812, at the height of the Napoleonic Wars.
He joined the 79th in the latter stages of the Peninsular Campaign as Wellington’s army drove the French out of Spain into France.
The gallant officer fought in the battles of the Pyrenees, Nivelle and Nive, and was wounded at Toulouse on April 10, 1814.
Having recovered from his wounds he rejoined the 79th in July 1815 shortly after the battle of Waterloo, when the regiment formed part of the Allied occupation force in Paris. In 1834, after 22 years of service, Allan MacDonnell retired as a captain and settled in Canada, in the Gore district of Ontario.
However his days as a soldier were not finished. During the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada of 1837-38, Allan MacDonnell was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 4th Regiment of the Gore Militia stationed in the township of Dumfries, Canada.
In recognition of his service he was presented with a sword by the “Men of Gore”. It was this sword which yesterday the museum was honoured to accept as a link with the officer who served in the 79th in its early days.
Museum director, John Bailey, said: “We are absolutely delighted to add this fine nineteenth century sword to the museum’s collection in recognition of the historical significance of the 79th Cameron Highlanders throughout the world.
“The Highlanders Museum (Queen’s Own Highlanders Collection) would like to thank Lady Graham most sincerely for her generous gift.”
The museum tells the stories of the Highland soldiers.
SHARPER IMAGE: Lady Carolyn Graham presents the sword to Major John Bailey, director of the museum.
The Men of Gore presented the sword to MacDonnell