b. 02/11/1863 India. d. 22/07/1949 Crowthorne, Berkshire.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 30/08/1906 Ferozepore, India.
Col. Malcolm Sydenham Clarke Campbell was born in 1863 and a popular vicar in his time. He married Jessie Hay in 1889. They had a son Malcolm Hay Alexander Campbell, born in India in 1892.
Col. Campbell was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1883 and served in the Ordnance Department in Burma from 1885-1887 where he was awarded the medal with clasp. China followed in 1900 and he was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the medal with clasp. During WWI he served at Woolwich as ordnance consulting officer for India.
He joined the church in 1919 (as well as being made a Companion of Bath) and became a deacon followed by a priest in 1920. He was vicar of Ivybridge in 1922. Using his army training he drew a series of maps of Ivybridge showing all the dwellings in his parish and the people who lived there. Notes were made in pencil so that they could be updated. A copy of this valuable document is held by the Ivybridge Heritage & Archives Group and is often referenced.
Col Campbell retired from holy orders in 1946 and died in 1949. He and his wife are buried in Ivybridge churchyard.
On the 30th August, 1906. a fire broke out in one of the Magazines of the Ferozepore Arsenal comprising 5 cells, in which were stored cordite, small arms’ ammunition and gunpowder. At an early stage the ends of one of the outer cells (No. 10) were blown out by an explosion of cordite, while from cell No. 9, where small arms’ ammunition was stored, smoke was seen to be issuing. Major-General Anderson, who directed the subsequent operations from a roof at the edge of the Magazine Compound, at a distance of some 20 yards, having ordered all persons to be cleared out of the fort, and placed a cordon round it at 1,000 yards distance, a steam fire engine was got to work, and the fire party which had been organized commenced their highly dangerous task of clearing cell No. 8, in which was stored some 19,000 Ibs. of gunpowder; they eventually succeeded in so doing, thereby cutting off the fire by the intervention of an empty cell. Had the powder in this cell exploded, the explosion must have been communicated to cells in an adjoining magazine, where 300,000 Ibs. of gunpowder were stored. Captain Donovan volunteered to clear cell No. 8, and led the fire party, and all concerned acted with the greatest coolness in circumstances calling for a high degree of courage. The door of the cell was opened and the fire hose turned on. Major Campbell joined the party by the cell, and returned in a short while and reported to General Anderson that though the cell was full of smoke, and the barrels hot, there was .no actual fire in the cell. As, however, the explosions in the ruined cell No. 10 Avere becoming more violent, General Anderson, fearing that the barrels of powder which were being removed from cell No. 8 would be ignited, ordered the discontinuance of efforts to clear the cell; the pumping engine was, however, kept at work by Mr, POW. and. gome native assistants. A series of heavy explosions of cordite now took place, and on the occurrence of a lull Captain Clarke went to reconnoitre, and reported that cell No. 9 was still apparently intact. Major Campbell and Mr. Pargiter subsequently went into the enclosure to investigate, and on their report being received a party including 50 lascars was organized, and the removal of the powder barrels in cell No. 8 was recommenced under cover of the fire hose. During their removal the last important explosion of cordite took place some 12 yards away. Eventually all the barrels were removed without accident.
BURIAL LOCATION: ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH, IVYBRIDGE, DEVON (ASHES INTERRED)
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.
Allan Stanistreet – Image of Campbell’s grave in St John the Baptist Church, Ivybridge.