|Campbell||Alexander||Captain||CAMPBELL, ALEXANDER, Captain, was born at Ballyalton, County Down, in 1839, son of William Campbell; educated at Belfast; entered the Bombay Marine in 1865. He went to sea in 1854 as an Apprentice aboard the ACADIA and served in this vessel until 1858 when he joined the DELGANCY as a Third Officer. He next served as 2nd Officer aboard the BAROUSMORE, and was one of the 19 survivors aboard this vessel when she foundered in a cyclone in 1863. He joined the Indian Marine as a 1st Grade Officer aboard CLYDE in August 1865 and served in this rank aboard COROMANDEL (January 1866), and SIR JOHN LAWRENCE (August 1867). He was promoted to Commander in August 1867 and subsequently served aboard COROMANDEL (June 1869), SIR JOHN LAWRENCE (November 1869), HUGH ROSE (February 1870), DALHOUSIE (May 1870), HUGH ROSE (July 1872), QUANTUNG (May 1876), KARACHI (April 1878), ENTERPRISE (January 1879), CELEBRITY (February 1880), and ENTERPRISE (May 1880).|
He was appointed Dock Master at Karachi Dockyard (September 1880) also carrying out duties of Superintendent of Marine, and next appointed Port Officer Rangoon (April 1883), Staff Officer Bombay Dockyard (December 1884), and Transport Officer Calcutta (October 1885). In this capacity he was employed in connection with the 1885-87 Burma Expeditionary Force. He was mentioned in Despatches and created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 20 May 1887]: “Alexander Campbell, Captain, RIM. For operations in Burma”. He was also created a Companion of the Indian Empire. Only three Officers of the Royal Indian Marine were recommended for any form of reward for their services during the Burma Campaign 1885-87. Of these men only one. His award stems from a recommendation made by Sir Charles Bernard, Chief Commissioner, Burma, to General the Hon G Chesney, penned in this friendly manner: "I wish to bring to your notice the good services done by Officers of the Indian Marine in Upper Burma during the last 16 months. They have been partly under the Military Authorities, and their work has been highly appreciated by the soldiers. Since none of the Marine Officers received recognition for their services while soldiers, navy men and civilians have been more or less honoured in the ‘Upper Burma Campaign Gazette', and on the occasion of the Jubilee. As I am leaving Burma for good I wish to recommend to your notice two men who have come most to the front among Indian Marine Officers: Captain Alexander Campbell. He was Transport Officer with the Expedition, arranged marshalling etc. of steamers, was Transport Officer at Mandalay for months. Did well and gave satisfaction all round, while at the same time holding his own. General Prendergast spoke highly of his work. But none but naval men knew the difficulties of conducting 28 steamers, with flats, smoothly and regularly up a shallow river without pilots. The IRRAWADDY, KATHLEEN and Marine Survey Party helped, but Captain Campbell was the real Commodore, or sailing-master of the fleet.”
Campbell subsequently received the following appointments: Acting Deputy Director Indian Marine (May 1886), Staff Officer Bombay Dockyard (April 1887), Officiating Director Indian Marine (May 1887), Deputy Director Indian Marine, Bombay (November 1888), Officiating Director Indian Marine, Bombay (May 1890), Deputy Director Karachi Dockyard (August 1890), Officiating Director Bombay Dockyard (October 1891), Deputy Director Karachi Dockyard (October 1891). He continued to serve in this capacity at Bombay and Karachi Dockyards until he retired on 31 July 1894. Captain Campbell married, in 1872, Jane (she died in 1893), daughter of Weston Grimshaw, and they had three sons: Captain E P Campbell, EE; Commander C E Campbell, RIM, DSO, and Major W Campbell, IA, DSO, and two daughters: Alexandra and Constance. He married again in 1908, Ellinore, daughter of Richard Pardon, MD, and they had two sons and one daughter. Captain Campbell died on the 26th September 1914.
[CIE (b/b)], DSO (gold), IGS 1854 (1) Burma 1885-7 (Capt HMIMS). DNW Feb 97 £1,950.
Source: DSO recipients (VC and DSO Book)