John Santiago Campbell

Key Information

Name: John Santiago Campbell
DoB: July 15 1891
Regt: Captain Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders attached Royal Flying Corps
DoD: September 28 1917
Academic Career: CGS 1904-7. Boarder
Biographical Information:

  • John Santiago was the eldest son of Archibald Jack Campbell and his wife Catherine Crawford. He was born in Spain where his father was working in a shipyard near Bilbao. Both his parents came from the Glasgow area. His maternal grandfather was a shipyard manager and his paternal grandfather is variously described as a foreman blacksmith and shipsmith. Archibald was born in Govan and had worked in J & G Thomson’s drawing office in the Clydebank Shipyard before going to work in Spain. When he married Catherine in 1889 he gave Spain as his home address. He was very successful in Spain and was awarded the Cruz de Merito, Naval.

    The young family moved to Barrow-in-Furness as Archibald got a job at Vickers Naval Construction Works. The Vickers company was at the forefront of airship design and construction. At least five more children were born 1893-1906. In about 1912 the family moved back to the Glasgow area as Archilbald became general manager of William Beardmore & Company’s Dalmuir Naval Construction Works, which was also involved with airships.

    Archibald became famous as the designer of the R34 which was the first airship to cross the Atlantic. It was piloted by Major George Scott CBE, who had married John’s sister Jessie. She was interviewed  just prior to the crossing and when she asked if she was worried she replied

    My father built her, my husband commands her. Why should I worry?’

    Unfortunately George Scott was the pilot of the R101 when it crashed in 1930 at Beauvais, France. He died with the majority of the crew and passengers.