|Carte de Visite
Elliott & Fry - Photographers
55 Baker Street, London, England
While serving in the Punjab, young Campbell passed with distinction through the Garrison Class at Sialkot, the preliminary examination of Native Languages, and, in due
course, the final examination for the Staff Corps. There is something touching, judged in light of after events, in a passage penned by him in reference to this period of his
career, in a letter written as few day before his death to his mother. “My mind,” he writes, “is at rest, now that I have finished that examination. Hitherto my life has been one
long preparation for these examinations, and I am becoming rather tired of them.”
In October, 1878, he accompanied the 2nd Baluch Regiment. With which he was then serving as a probationer, from Dera Ghazi Khan to Quetta, where the regiment joined the
force under General Biddulph, which in view of the impending invasion of Afghanistan, was then in the course of concentration. He proceeded with the regiment in its advance,
two months afterwards, into the enemy’s country, and was present with it, in Palliser’s Brigade, at the action at Takht-i-pul, and with Sir Donald Stewart’s force in the
subsequent advance on and occupation of Kandahar.
In the last days of January, 18979, he took parts in the advance of Generals Biddulph’s Division on Girishk, and on its return performed garrison duty at Kokaran. It was while
marching from this post to Chaman, in the month of August that he began to feel the effects of the hardship on exposure which, in common with his brother officers, he had
undergone. Immediately after arriving at Chaman he was seized with cholera, and a few hours afterwards, on the morning of the 19th August – exactly a month from the date on
which his colonel (Nicholetts), towards whom he entertained a strong attachment, had fallen victim to the same disease – had died, deeply regretted by his brother officers, with
whom the gentleness of his ways and the unassuming manliness of this character had made him a general favorite.
As related in A memorial history of the Campbells of Melfort, Argyllshire by Margaret Olympia Campbell (1882), Lieutenant Campbell was buried on a hillside near the fort at
Chaman and the grave was marked by a cross and surrounded by a wooden railing. The volume also offers several extracts from letters written by brother officers to the late
lieutenant’s mother after his death:
Khotal, October 4th.
"Your son had only been with us for one year, but it was long enough to endear him to us all. He was the only officer with me on detached duty last year in Pishin. I then
learned to know his good qualities, both as an officer and as a companion; he could be fully trusted on any duty, and he had a larger share of responsibility, with only himself to
depend on, and in an enemy's country, than usually falls to the lot of so young an officer. I can only say he was highly thought of by our late Commandant (who also fell a
victim to cholera). I have received letters from officers of the 70th, his late regiment, which show how much he was loved in his old corps.
J. Galloway, Colonel Commanding 2nd Beloochee Regt."
Chunan, Afghanistan, August 24th.
"It is with extreme regret that I am forced to be the writer of such bad news as the death of your son. He had not been very long in the regiment, yet all loved him for his quiet,
gentlemanly manner and refined mind. Quiet as he was, yet there could be no doubt of his very considerable talents; and as to his courage, the quiet, steady manner in which he
faced his end excited the greatest admiration from those about him. It appears he got ill three marches from here, and he certainly looked very ill on arrival. Next day cholera set
in. He at once declared he could not live. He kept up so well, that we had hopes for some time; but he died at one o'clock a.m., on the 19th. He was sensible to the last. Two
months before he had written out a paper of instructions; expressed in it was his special desire that the tidings of his death should be carefully broken to his mother.
" G. Sartorious, Major 3rd Beloochees."
|Above: The period identifying inscription on the reverse side of Malfort-Campbell's carte de visite.