Tribute: AD Cameron

AD Cameron, historian. Born 4 January, 1924 in Selkirk, died 9 August, 2018 in Edinburgh
AD Cameron, historianAD Cameron, historian
AD Cameron, historian

AD (Sandy) Cameron, the well-known Scottish historian was born in Selkirk, the son of a weaver from Newmill in Banffshire and his wife Elizabeth, nee Durand.

He was Dux of Selkirk High School and went on to Edinburgh University in 1941 to study history. His studies were interrupted by call up to the army where he passed his driving test in a three-ton truck. With the Royal Artillery he saw action in Northern France, Belgium and Holland ending the war in Hamburg.

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In 1949 he moved to Hawick with a good degree, a teaching qualification and his wife Elsbeth Lloyd whom he married that July. For the next 25 years he was a history teacher first at Hawick High School and then at Inverness Royal Academy.

At the same time he pursued writing. The two volumes of History for Young Scots which were published in the early 1960s changed history teaching in S1 and S2 with much more emphasis on the lives of ordinary people whether at Scara Brae or in the factories of the industrial revolution.

In 1973 he and Elsbeth moved to Edinburgh where he wrote full time. Many more school books and tourist guides followed.

He also wrote three notable books for adults. His history of the Caledonian Canal written for the 150th anniversary of its opening in 1972 remains in print over 40 years later. Go, Listen to the Crofters described the Napier Commission’s investigation into crofting conditions in the 1880s and proposals for reform while The Man who Loved to Draw Horses revived interest in the neglected Scottish artist James Howe.

Amongst many voluntary roles, he was chair of the Scottish History Society for three years.

In retirement he discovered a love of hill walking and rediscovered the theatre.

He is survived by his sons Sandy and David and grandchildren Peter, Michael, Megan and Duncan.