AXING the UK’s maritime air fleet and a laird’s desire to maintain his estate are the inspirations for books penned by a Moray couple.
John and Keeta Campbell, who live at Inchberry, have both had their first works published this summer.
A former Shackleton and Nimrod navigator, John was prompted to write ‘Royal Air Force Coastal Command’ following the announcement to cancel the MRA4 contract as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2010.
Having researched the life of 18th century landowner William Baillie from Dunain, Inverness-shire, for several years, Keeta’s book ‘The Laird and the Sultan’ hit the shelves earlier this year.
John (77), who was also a captain on the Shackletons, said: "It’s not supposed to be an academic tome.
"Blair and Brown got me going, and then Cameron stood up in parliament and said we’re going to get rid of this without as much as a thank-you.
"We shouldn’t do without a maritime aircraft.
"In the book, I try and explain to the public what that loss means and try to get people interested."
He added: "We have a treaty for international rescue but we can’t do that now.
"And we’re also supposed to look after our submarines."
The book covers the period from 1913 up until the Cold War, charting the history of the maritime force from its infancy.
It was while carrying out research at the Scottish Records Office that Keeta (78) discovered a letter that encouraged her to find out more about William Baillie.
She said: "I came across a letter from him to his daughter Ann, who was in school in London.
"He stated bluntly: ‘I’m sorry to tell you your mother, brother and little sister have died’".
Keeta added: "I just want people to know about him, nobody knows anything about this man.
"William went out to India and never came back.
"He joined the Honourable East India Company Army to make enough money and sent it back."
A lieutenant colonel, William fought against Haidar Ali, the Sultan of Mysore, at the Battle of Pollilur. While on the verge of victory, a rocket attack destroyed William’s ammunition store and he was captured and died in Seringapatam prison.
Fellow officer David Baird who was with William in India defeated Haidar at the Battle of Seringapatam.
A descendent of the sultan, Noor Inyat Khan, joined the Special Operations Executive during World War II and was captured and murdered by the Gestapo.
Although John has no firm plans to write another book, both are interested in researching their ancestry and Keeta is keen to compile a family history for publication.
Both ‘Royal Air Force Coastal Command’ and ‘The Laird and the Sultan’ are available on Amazon.