Kabul To Kandahar



Mr. Thomas McLeod, one of the East End veterans who took part in the epic Kabul to Kandahar march, was laid to rest in Janefield Cemetery at the weekend.


Mr. McLeod known to many in Calton, resided with his married daughter, Mrs Downie, at 80 Bain Street. His death occurred after a short illness. Mr McLeod had an almost inexhaustible fund of stories of his adventures, and possessed a remarkable memory despite his eighty years.

A native of Girvan, Mr McLeod resided there with his parents until his nineteenth year, and was a member of Ayr County Militia. Not long after he came to reside in the Gallowgate, Mr. McLeod decided to take the Queens shilling and became a regular soldier in the 1st Batt Seaforth Highlanders, to which he was attached until he received his discharge.

Shortly before his draft left for India. Mr. McLeod’s regiment was stationed at the old barracks near Hunter Street. In his desire to see his people before the regiment sailed he broke barracks by climbing the wall. Unfortunately, he injured himself by falling and was caught and taken for a deserter. It was only by his brave conduct on the battlefield that he redeemed himself.

Mr. McLeod served with Lord Roberts in the Afghan Campaign, and was with Kitchener in the Sudan. He held the Egyptian Medal (with bar for the famous Tel-el Kebir) a Khedive Bronze Star, the Bronze Star for the Kabul to Kandahar march of 1879, and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medals.

The Kabul to Kandahar march one of the greatest feats of military history was a forced march of 400 miles over mountainous country in tropical heat, ending in a great battle and victory. The medal for that march was made from the metal of the captured guns. Although Mr. McLeod took part in many engagements, he was never once wounded, and died aged eighty without a scar.


Mr McLeod left the army in 1892, but in the Great War the family tradition was carried on by his two sons. One was a soldier, who was invalided out of army and later died. His second son, Mr. Thomas McLeod, joined the navy a year before the war, and served for fourteen years, taking part in the Battle of Jutland. He now resides in Calton.

Predeceased by his wife a number of years ago, Mr. McLeod leaves a son and daughter to mourn his loss.


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