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He served in the South African War, 1899–1901, and was present at the Relief of Ladysmith. He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order; "Duncan Frederick Campbell, Lieutenant, Lancashire Fusiliers. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa" (London Gazette, 19 April 1901).
He fought Mid Lanarkshire for the Conservatives in 1906. Campbell entered the House of Commons at a by-election, 20 December 1911, defeating Andrew Macbeth Anderson QC, who sought re-election on being appointed Solicitor General for Scotland. Anderson, in accordance with the constitutional arrangements of the day, was obliged to resign as an MP and fight a by-election on being appointed a law officer of the Crown. The contest was dominated by the government’s legislation on National Insurance and the uncertainties this legislation would produce for individual electors, particularly those of small manufacturers and shopkeepers. Although there was no Labour candidate, Anderson was thought to have lost some support among working-class voters because of his opposition to Labour candidates in other recent elections. After a tight contest, Campbell recaptured the seat by a majority of 271 votes.
He was wounded at the first battle of Ypres in November 1914; he lost his left arm and was invalided for a year. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, commanding 2nd/7th Bn, he was wounded by a mine on the Western Front and died of his wounds at Southwold, Suffolk on 4 September 1916. He is buried in Kilmarnock Cemetery, Ayrshire.
- The Times, 20 December 1911 p10
- The Times, 22 December 1911 p6
- CWGC entry
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Duncan Frederick Campbell
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Andrew Macbeth Anderson
|Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire