HCSLogo Home

Ensign George Frederick William Callander

- Edinburgh, Scotland

- 29 July 1848

- Scottish

Family Background:
- Callander's father was James Henry Callander, owner of Craigforth estate, county Stirling, Scotland, and Ardkinglas estate, county Argyll, Scotland

At Sandhurst:
- No

Foreign Languages:
- None

Career before Halifax:
- Ensign, 8 July 1868 (purchase)

Postings while in NS Command:
- Halifax, 9 May 1869 to 25 November 1871

Career after Halifax:
- Lieutenant, 1 November 1871
- retired by sale of commission, 29 October 1873

- Alice L. Craigie-Halkett, 1876

- 20 November 1916

Callander was the son of James Henry Callander, and his wife Eleanor, of Craigforth, county Stirling, and Ardkinglas, county Argyll. James Callander or his wife was a relative of the Duke of Argyll. James Callander died in 1851, leaving the Craigforth and Ardkinglas estates to his son George, who was to take possession on reaching the age of 21. Craigforth consisted of 601 acres and had an annual income of £1 885; Ardkinglas of 51 670 acres, and had an annual income of £5 626. The Callanders thus had a total yearly income of £7 511.

George Frederick received his education at Eton, and applied for a commission in the army in December 1867. He came recommended by the Duke of Argyll, who referred to him as a "ward and cousin of mine." His wish, stated by the Duke was,

to get a commission with the 78th Highlanders.
He is owner of a considerable estate in the county and is a good steady lad.

I suppose it is desirable to have Highland gentlemen connected with Highland regiments.

In Halifax, Callander was an especially gregarious and popular member of the 78th, and he entered the world of Halifax society with spirit. He brought his own race horse to Halifax, and entered it in competition here; he joined the Halifax North British Society, and on a number of occasions kept its members entertained until late in the evening with tunes on the bagpipes, of which he was a skilled player; and he also purchased a yacht, and joined the Royal Halifax Yacht Squadron. When on 28 July 1869 he turned 21, and thereby came into legal possession of his inheritance, he threw a large party to celebrate the event on McNab's Island. As note by the Acadian Recorder:

Mr. Callander of H.M. 78th Highlanders, having obtained his majority yesterday, and came into possession of his ancestral estates, which yield an annual income of $30 000 [Actually it was more than this, £1 sterling at this time being equal to 5 Nova Scotian dollars] gave a magnificient "spread" to his friends on McNab's Island, a large number of the elite of the city and the officers of the garrison, together with the band of his regiment being present.

The Citizen pointed out that amongst the guests were "the Hon. Alexander Keith and lady," and that,

Dancing was kept up with great spirit, til an early hour, when the party returned delighted with their host, and wishing him to enjoy the two magnificient estates of which he has just taken possession.

After leaving Halifax, Callander remained in the army for only two more years. His life then seems to have mostly revolved around his estates and country society. He became a magistrate for county Stirling and a deputy lieutenant for county Argyll. In 1876 he married Alice L. Craigie-Halkett of Grammond estate in Midlothian and eventually this estate was added to the family properties. He died, at the height of the first world war, on 20 November 1916.



All donations received are used to bring history to life at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site of Canada, by hiring young men and women to portray the British Garrison in Halifax at the time of our nation's birth.