[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]
Publication details: 
Much of the material from Mardan, India [now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan]. Also London and other locations. Dating from between 1903 and 1957.
SKU: 15026

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[itchener]. once threatened to have us out of Marden and then relented and there have been similar alarms and rumours to this effect from time to time ever since. [...] No one regrets the decision arrived at by A.H.Q. more than I do. I was born in Mardan and was there as a little boy till I was 8, so may claim to have known the Guides and their sentiments for many years. [...] Looking at things dispassionately, though, we must acknowledge that Mardan is the worst training ground for troops that could possibly be imagined.’ On 2 July 1939 Garrett responds to HC’s two letters, explaining that ‘the three Indian Cavalry Regts you mention have been warned for mechanization and not disbandment. They have all sent off men to undergo courses in the driving and maintenance of motor vehicles.’ Garrett wrote to ‘General Moberly (Q.M.G. at A.H.Q.) as the senior Piffer in India’, and ‘emphasized the fact that we were the senor Bn. We are shown as such in the Order of Precedence in the Indian Army List’. On 13 July 1939 HC writes again on the topic stating: ‘My own opinion is that unless Mardan is to become derelict entirely that the Chapel should remain intact as it is, and that is should be maintained by Government. [...] I am strongly of opinion that Government should be approached through the Chief Commissioner and permission obtained for the Cavalry and Infantry to preserve in their custody certain selected archaeological pieces such as the "head" and the pair of small figures in the two alcoves on the archway in the dining room. Captain Spink of Spink and Co. once told me that he valued one of these figures at £3,000, and that they would be prepared to pay this amount to us once the figure had crossed the lintel of their door! | Don’t let the government get away with the lot!’Other correspondence includes: A letter to HC on the Chatfield Report from C. Erskine of the India Office, Whitehall, 12 July [no year]. An ALS from HC to his mother, 15 April 1926, 7pp., 4to, on the Regiment’s letterhead, docketed: ‘Hector’s account of his farewell dinner from the Guides’. A TLS from Field Marshall Lord Birdwood (1865-1951), 16 January 1926 (after recently being appointed Commander-in-Chief, India). Addressing ‘My dear Hector’, Birdwood jokes: ‘I can quite understand your feelings on leaving the Guides, after the magnificent connection your family had with it for all these years, and of which you and all of you must be so proud. I feel, however, that for the severing of this connection in future you must yourself, to some extent, be held personally responsible. Had you ot wasted time, and taken to matrimony twenty years ago, there is no knowing but that there would not have been a small Hector available by now to follow you as a Guide! However, there is no knowing about such matters, and all may be well in time to come.’ A TLS from Lieut.-Col. A. J. W. Macleod, Frontier Force Regimental Centre, Sialkot, 29 October 1946, regarding ‘affiliation with the Highland Brigade’. A TLS on the same subject from Colonel P. T. Clarke (signed ‘Nobby’), 25 September 1946. A typed copy of a letter to HC from Eric C. Mieville at Buckingham Palace, 12 November 1937, accepting on behalf of the king a presentation copy of the regimental history. Typescript (4pp., 8vo) headed ‘Extract from Mutiny Memoirs by Colonel A. R. D. Mackenzie, C.B., Hony. A.D.C. To the Viceroy.’ There are five printed items, no other copies of any of which have been traced. First of these is a printed notice ‘Re ENTERTAINMENT to King’s Indian Orderly Officers.’ Dated from Dunmore, 6 June 1906. 1p., 12mo. It begins: ‘It is proposed to invite Captain Hector Campbell (Queen’s Own Corps of Guides), and the four King’s Indian Orderly Officers accompanied by their four Orderlies, to Eastbourne, on Tuesday, June 26th’. The second printed item is headed: ‘(69) | Special Nowshera Brigade Orders by Major-General R. Bannatine-Allason, C.B., Commanding | Nowshera, Saturday, 28th February, 1914.’ By ‘W. L. O. TWISS, Captain, | Brigade Major.’ 1p., 12mo. With pencil note by HC: ‘commanded Guides Infantry – as a "Captain."’ The third printed item is a programme for ‘Mardan N.W.F.P. January 1926. Regimental Re-Union of Queen Victoria’s Own Corp of Guides (Frontier Force) and 12th Frontier Force Regiment.’ Printed by the ‘Northern Army Press, Nowshera.’ 4pp., 4to. Bifolium. Printed in black on the Regiment’s blue letterhead. Two minor annotations by HC. The fourth printed item is a ‘Speech delivered by H. H. the Nawab of Rampur at the State Banquet in Honour of H. E. General Sir, [sic] Philip Walhouse Chetwode Bart. G.C.B.K.C.M.G., D.S.O.A.D.C. Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s Forces in India. | (19th December 1932.)’ Extracted from ‘The State Press, Rampur’. 2pp., foolscap 8vo. On grey paper. Note by HC on reference to him in the speech: ‘I was not present but even then I was remembered! | H.C’. The last printed item is a ‘Programme of Sports to be held by the Gwalior State Forces on the Occasion of the Visit of Brigadier H. Campbell, C.B., D.S.O., M.V.O. Military Adviser-in-Chief, I.S. Forces. 20th December 1934.’ 3pp., 12mo. Card printed by Alijah Darbar Press, Gwalior. The collection also includes fourteen small black and white photographs (16 x 11 cm and smaller), including a Victorian studio photograph of a young boy in tartan costume (HC?) by John Burke, ‘Artiste Photographer’, Kinturk Murree; another of HC ‘Just before embarking for the Dardanelles’; another of ‘H.C. (Less his C.B.!) Snapped at Rampur after a parade’ (with another copy with stamp of the District Magistrate, Delhi), HC and ten Indian troops before the Third Battle of Gaza (‘opposite Gaza - Front Line Trenches - <?> - July 1917’); HC with two ladies dining in Bordighera; a photograph of R. B. Maxwell in uniform, dated 23 December 1941. The collection also contains a few genealogical items, including several pages of genealogical notes and coloured sketches, accompanied by a note from the Court of the Lord Lyon, Edinburgh, 8 February 1937; a list of 53 individuals (2pp., 8vo), giving ‘Name’, ‘Relationship’, ‘Rank’, ‘Regiment or Ship’; four coloured original illustrations of crests and details, accompanied by a note from the diamond merchants Cooke & Kelvey. There are seven items relating to sport: Two Autograph Letters Signed from Cecil Gray, Secretary, Western India Turf Club, Poona, 21 July and 9 October 1903, and two other communications, regarding the change of name of a pony owned by HC. With three printed Indian Polo Association Certificates of Measurement of ponies owned by HC, each completed in autograph and signed by the Hon. Sec., Major R. St C. Lecky. All dated from Umballa; 25 (2) and 31 March 1904. Other material includes an oddity: a typed signed report by Eugene Gorrie, Sunnyside, Melton Mowbray, ‘Handwriting Specialist, and Consulting Graphologist’. 2pp., 8vo. On Gorrie’s letterhead. Headed ‘A Graphological Summary of the Character of Captain Hector Smith.’ Begins: This gentleman has tone, colour, outline, individuality. He is a man, and not an automaton. He is determined, virile, and has over-mastering force of will.’ Among the other material are: an autograph ‘List of silver, plated articles left by Miss A. Campbell to Major Pearson, now the property of Major H. Campbell C. O. Corps of Guides’ by HC (2pp., 8vo); the calling card of ‘The Viceroy & Lady Willingdon’, an acknowledgment from Charles ffoulkes of the Imperial War Museum of material donated by HC, an invitation for HC and his wife to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in 1957, a new year’s card with a photograph of the Guides’ Mess in Mardan, a number of typed extracts and typescripts, and two newspaper cuttings.