Bear Grylls – Scottish Clansman

Only two weeks ago, I penned a Speakers’ Corner for Sue and Johnny – Everything and Anything on my DNA and suggested that I was unlikely to be related to the Duke of Argyll just because I was a Campbell.  I inferred that the science of tracing our ancestors through DNA has many pitfalls.  Therefore, when my assertion is proved wrong, I’m duty-bound to put up a hand in admission.

            I watched one of my favourite programmes, Who Do You Think You Are, on BBC1 this week.  It was on Bear Grylls, soldier, ex-SAS, TV personality, and Chief Ambassador of World Scouting.  In truth, I’ve never been a fan, his adventures were always too harsh for me, so I wasn’t enthused as the show started.  At the outset, Bear noted that his immediate family had been involved in the army and had deep-rooted faith, and this had influenced him. 

His life story unfolded, predictably, on his father’s side, a grandfather who was a Brigadier and WW2 war hero specializing in armoured warfare, and on his mother’s side, his Great Grandfather, a headmaster of Harrow, the famous public school.  He was an educational reformer and, by coincidence, an early leader of the scouting movement.  He was also an ordained minister.

But as his story unfolded, it transpired that he was related to Scots and the famous Stuarts.  I mustn’t spoil the tale, so I’ve included a snippet that indicates the discovery of his Scottish ancestors.  And this was just the start.  I’ve included a link where I hope you can get the entire episode.  It’s worth watching and, for those Campbells, a fascinating trail that hails back to Inveraray and higher ranks.

The theme of my thoughts a couple of weeks ago was what’s in our genes, biological traits, and what is learned from the environment.  Bear Grylls’s story, a love of family, faith, and soldiering, has been imprinted in his DNA since time immemorial.  Moreover, it shows us Campbells may well be related to a distant lineage.