Tighru Fiona

Macleod of Macleod and Roy Bhan

Things came to a head in 1910, where at Cruft’s there were two classes on offer for “Cairn or Short-haired Skyes”, but Mrs Campbell, joined now by the Hon. Mary Hawke, ensured a showdown by entering their dogs in the regular Skye Terrier classes. Miss Clifton, judging to the Skye Terrier Standard, found not one point in these dogs that matched the Standard so she marked them “Wrong Class”. On 6th April 1910, the Kennel Club received a deputation from the Skye Terrier Clubs, who outlined their objections to these short haired dogs which, in spite of differing so much from the accepted Skye Terrier, were still being accepted on the Skye Terrier Register. Letters suggesting alternative names were read, and after discussion and examination of photographs, the Committee decided:

It was a bittersweet victory for Mrs Campbell; the dogs had been officially recognised, but she had lost the fight for her preferred name. The name Cairn Terrier had been in unofficial use for many years and confirmation of the name was warmly accepted throughout the dog world. In time Mrs Campbell probably came to like it too. She went on to become the first Honorary Secretary of the Cairn Terrier Club, made up the first Dog Champion, Gesto, and awarded the first Challenge Certificates in the breed at Richmond in 1912. Her “Brocaire” (Foxhunter) affix became famous throughout the world, and is still to this day, protected by the Cairn Terrier Club.

So Moghan, who is buried at Tigh-an-Rudha, was one of Ida’s Skye Terriers. Is it possible that the Gaelic spelling Moghan may also be written Moighan? It’s more than likely. If so, then it is probable that Moghan was the sire of Roy Mohr, ex Calla Mohr, which then places him at the very root of the Cairn family tree.

“ That the breed, (hitherto described as Short-haired Skye Terriers) shall only be registered as Cairn Terriers in the British, Colonial and Foreign dogs, which have no separate classification on the register”

Col. Campbell died in 1914 and in 1918 Mrs Campbell moved north to Inverness then a year or so later to Eskadale House, Ardersier on the shores of the Moray Firth, where she lived until her death in 1946. She continued to show her dogs from there and attended her last show, the Championship show of the Cairn Terrier Club, just a few weeks before she died. Her ashes are interred in the Monro family burial plot in a quiet little cemetery at Easter Kilmuir, Ross-shire.

There is no mention of her on the family memorial but she is commemorated by a plaque in the reception area of the Dick Vet Small Animal Hospital at Roslin near Edinburgh, part of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. The plaque which was erected and paid for by the Cairn Terrier Club in 2000, along with a donation to the new hospital, reads “In memory of Mrs J Alastair Campbell (Ida Monro) 1871 – 1946 who brought the Cairn Terrier out of obscurity and gave the World its Best Little Pal.”

Mrs Campbell, 1946, CTC Ch Show.

Ch Brocaire Hamish of Gesto and Brocaire Jura

Alex Fisher wrote in the 2nd edition of the Cairn Terrier, “The “Brocaire” strain of Mrs Campbell was established by Ch Gesto and is generally acknowledged to be of the purest type of Cairn, absolutely free from any trace of Scottish Terrier character, built on light, agile lines, not unduly short in body, and with the characteristic foxy face and expression upon which Mrs Campbell laid such stress.

In addition to Ch Gesto, Macleod of Macleod, Doran Bhan, Roy Mhor and Calla Mhor, all Skye- bred Cairns, played a very strong part in the formation of the strain from which has descended some of the most famous winning Cairns in the World”.

In total 5 Brocaire Cairns became Champions.

Doran Bhan

Ch Gesto

Ch Brocaire Siteach

Mrs Campbell and Gesto 1912

Mrs J Alastair  Campbell was born Ida Monro in 1871 in Palamcottah, India, where her father was an army Captain . She was one of a family of six, three boys and three girls. The 1881 Census shows That the family had returned to Scotland and were living in Edinburgh. By 1891 her father was Inspector Of Constabulary for Scotland  and he was Knighted in 1894.

Ida’s mother fell in love with the Cairn breed after her husband had brought some Waternish Cairns from Skye- although at the time, the 1870’s, the breed was still referred to as Skye terriers -and Ida continued her mother’s loyalty to Cairns all her life.

In 1893 Ida Munro became Mrs Alastair Campbell, her husband being a Major in the Seaforth Highlanders.  She was married from the family seat, Alan House, Fearn, Ross-shire and when, as Lt.Col. Campbell, he retired in 1903, they set up home in Tigh-an-Rudha, Ardrishaig, on the shores of Loch Fyne in the West of Scotland.  The house, built on a promontory, enjoys commanding views of the loch. In the grounds stands a small gravestone inscribed :

His Lordship Moghan, much loved Sky (sic) Terrier of Jock and Ida, killed February 21st 1907, aged five years.”

From Tigh-an-Rudha Mrs Campbell began her campaign to have her favourite terrier recognised by the Kennel Club and the world of dogs. She circulated Secretaries of show societies and the Kennel Club in her efforts to have classes for the dogs, and claimed never to have been unplaced with them.

At Inverness Show in 1909 her dogs were entered as Short-Haired Skyes or Prick-eared Skyes but were registered at the Kennel Club on the Skye Terrier register. This greatly upset the Skye Terrier fraternity and a protracted and acrimonious dispute took place in the columns of the dog press between Mrs Campbell on the one hand, and Sir Claud Alexander, Secretary of the Skye and Clydesdale Terrier Club, and James Porritt, Secretary of the Skye Terrier Club of England, on the other. Captain A R MacDonald and Robert Leighton, both sporting terrier men of vast experience each contributed their own recollections, quoting old breeders of the ‘Original Type.’


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Mrs Alistair Campbell, Brocaire Cairns

1871-1946