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Obituaries

Gill Campbell

It WAs with great regret that I learned of the death on 24th November of Gill Campbell of the Downsview Kerry Blue Terriers.

Gill was born in 1931 to Rosemary Smith (later Wright- Ashworth) who had acquired her first Kerry in 1927 and established the Kennels in 1932, so Gill could never remember a time when the family had been without Kerries.

The kennel flourished over the years, breeding and producing many champions many of which are in the background of our present day dogs, the most notable probably being Ch Downsview Duellist.

In 1951 when Rosemary emigrated to Australia the prefix was transferred to Gill who continued the successful breeding and showing programme. She worked full time as a laboratory technician and travelled around Oxford in the evenings to trim other people’s dogs to support her hobby. As she did not drive she walked or travelled by bus, a time consuming operation, which makes it even more remarkable that her own dogs were always immaculately turned out.

In the 50s & 60s when Kerries were shown with far more coat than nowadays Gill was renowned for her superb presentation. Owners of dogs she had bred did their best to prepare them for the ring but could not meet Gill’s exacting standards and, usually with only minutes to spare before they entered the ring, she would transform them with some lightning scissor work. (One of my proudest moments was to be told by her, nearly 50 years on, that I had done a good job of presenting my bitch!)

In 1972 she married George Campbell, a fellow Kerry exhibitor, whose affix was Chasepark. Sadly George died in November 1984.

Gill’s showing was restricted in latter years by her deteriorating health but in spite of everything she bred or made up 11 champions, winning 58 CCs, and 13 Junior Warrant winners. Her dogs were renowned for their lovely temperaments and beautiful coats and colour, and owners returned to her time after time for a new companion.

She will be remembered with admiration and affection by the Kerry community for her courage, her determination to succeed against the odds, her help and advice freely offered and gratefully received and for her loyal and lasting friendship over many years.
Gill Ford n

It was with great sadness that we heard of the death of Gilly Campbell.

Gill was a great ambassador for the Kerry Blue and a great supported of all the clubs. She run a very successful kennel of Champions and will be remembered for the famous Downsview Kennels.

Her funeral took place at Oxford Crematorium on Thursday 7th December where the breed was well represented.

Bridget McGeown


Peter Messler

9.04.1945 - 3.12.2006

The GSD breed has lost one of the most influential architects of the modern GSD with the passing of Peter Messler, who sadly lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

For most of his life Peter dedicated himself to our breed, his famous ‘von Tronje’ Kennel producing many outstanding GSD.

He became a member of the SV in 1963 aged 18 years. In 1987 he became an SV Conformation Judge, and a Koermeister in 1992.

He held several prominent positions in his Landesgruppen - LG Nordrheinland, becoming President of the SV in 1994 until 2002. As President, Peter judged the Adult Males at the Sieger Show 1994 to 2002 inc.

The males he selected as Siegers and VAs during that period significantly and positively influenced the development of our breed: 1995: Sieger Ulk von Arlett; 1996: Sieger Visum von Arminius; 1997: Sieger Lasso vom Neuen Berg; 1998 & 1999: Sieger Rikkor von Bad-Boll; 2000: Sieger Ursus von Batu; 2001 & 2002: Sieger Yasko vom Farbenspiel.

I wrote the following in my 'IMPRESSIONS' Sieger Show 2002:

‘2002 was definitely a vintage year, with several superb males and females from every class. Whatever one thinks of the SV President Peter Messler, he has without doubt taken our breed forward. A testimony to this were the superb VA males of this year, all bar one sired by a VA male, and several with VA mothers. Peter may not judge to everyone’s liking, bthere can be no doubting his integrity, sincerity, and his vision for our breed. This very rare combination has resulted in our breed making real and obvious progress.’

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

David Payne,
Videx GSD