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Brigadier Hector Campbell, Indian Army.] Collection of papers, including correspondence, original photographs, printed pamphlets and ephemera, relating to his career in Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides.

Brigadier Hector Campbell (1877-1972), Colonel Queen Victoria’s Own Corps of Guides (Cavalry and Infantry) [Frontier Force, British Army, India; William Birdwood]

Published by Much of the material from Mardan India now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Pakistan. Also London and other locations. Dating from between and 1957, 1903
Hardcover
From Richard M. Ford Ltd (London, United Kingdom)

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On Campbell's death in 1972 The Times reported that 'a link with the Indian Army from its inception to the current day has been broken' (19 April 1972). The present collection of Campbell's papers provides an insight into that vanished world. Hector Campbell was educated at Haileybury College and Sandhurst. His entry in Who Was Who sketches out his career: 'Entered Army, 1897; Captain, 1906; Major, 1915; Lieut-Colonel, 1921; Colonel, 1925; Brigadier, 1931; with 1st Gordon Highlanders during Tirah Expedition, 1897–98, present at action of Dargai (medal and 2 clasps); China Expeditionary Force, 1900 (medal); European War, 1914–18, Egypt, Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine (despatches twice, 1914–15 Star, two medals, DSO); Military Adviser-in-Chief, Indian States Forces, 1931–34; retired 1934'. The collection comprises 70 items, in good condition, lightly aged and worn, including correspondence, original photographs, printed pamphlets and ephemera, most of it relating to Campbell's miltiary career, but with some items of a personal nature, including genealogical and sporting material. Among several items of interest in the collection is a manuscript transcript (2pp., foolscap 8vo) headed ‘Answers to Questions’ (HC has added the word ‘my’ before ‘Questions’), angrily annotated in red pencil by HC. The document concerns an action in the First World War, with a couple of sets of questions and answers indicating the tone: ‘Where were the staff & Commanders? | I believe both Bde & District Staff were together on the same main feature which ended on Pt. 4080 & about 2500-3000 yds. behind the Guides rear Company. | Why did no one go to the Guides for a Counter-Attack or even to help them to hold on or withdraw from the Hill. | I do not know the answer. | I think it is probable that owing to dispersion of the whole force, & to the weakness of the Battalion in Bde: Reserve, the District Comdr did not think it possible to help the Guides except by artillery fire. I belive 2600 shells were fired in covering withdrawal of the Guides, which withdrawal was not followed up.’ Of particular interest among the correspondence is an exchange in 1939 between a retired HC and Lt-Col. K. A. Garrett, writing from the regimental headquarters at Mardan, regarding the effect on the Guides of the reorganisation of the British Army in India. This consists of three Typed Letters Signed (totalling 7pp., foolscap 8vo) from Garrett, dated 1 June and 2 and 12 July 1939; and copies of three Typed Letters Signed from HC, writing from the United Services Club, Pall Mall, on 8 and 12 June and 13 July 1939 (totalling 8pp., 4to), All five documents headed ‘Confidential’. HC’s letter of 8 June 1939 lays out the theme of the correspondence: ‘The wildest rumours are going round re changes in the Indian Army. One doesn’t pay too much attention to these, but, when I hear on good authority that Regiments like the Central India Horse, the P.A.V.O.’s and Skinner’s Horse are to be disbanded, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to take notice. [.] I fear it is quite possible that the edict may go forth that all Fifth Battalions are to be disbanded, [.] Once the edict has gone forth where will the Guides Infantry be? [.] If anything is to be done, it should be done NOW. [.] It is no use sitting in Marden and assuming all is well and that nothing can happen to the Guides. | Anything may happen these days.’ This letter crosses with one of Garrett’s dated 1 June 1939, and beginning: ‘Since the arrival of the Chatfield Report in India rumours have been rife that Mardan was to cease being a military cantonment. Official confimation has just been received to the effect that Mardan is to be evacuated and all members of the Corps are naturally despondent at the propsect of severing their connections, both sentimental and political, with what has been their Home for nearly 90 years.’ On 12 June 1939 HC states that he is not surprised by Garrett’s confirmation of the rumour. ‘Lord K[. Bookseller Inventory # 15026

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Brigadier Hector Campbell, Indian Army.] ...

Publisher: Much of the material from Mardan India now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Pakistan. Also London and other locations. Dating from between and 1957

Publication Date: 1903

Binding: Hardcover

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

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Private premises. Autographs, manuscripts and archives on any subject. Particular interest in publishing and bookselling history. Occasional catalogues. Company number: 03785276

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