TOPIC: 1st Officer killed Matabele War
1st Officer killed Matabele War 1 year 2 weeks ago #58603
Whilst revisiting some of my 'men' I thought a couple of them may be of interest to others and any additional information is always gratefully received.
This a first effort to attach a file so fingers crossed
1st Officer killed Matabele War 1 year 2 weeks ago #58605
I don't think the file was attached. You can attach a variety of files such as images and PDFs. Click on attachments below the Message box and either navigate to your file or drag and drop it. If you then save the message, the file will be attached. You will see a message if there have been a problem eg size of the image.
Dr David Biggins
Dr David Biggins
1st Officer killed Matabele War 1 year 1 week ago #58624
Thanks for the response and the advice David. I've tried to 'attach' files on a couple of postings I've made on the Forum which would have included portraits and photos but without much luck. Instead I managed to cut and paste just the text minus the images which obviously leaves the story lacking an essential component., Anyway, I'll have another go, so again, fingers crossed.
1st Officer KIA Matabele war - 2nd attempt 1 year 1 week ago #58635
Sorry to the many who viewed my first failed attempt to attach a file relating to the above topic. With a little help from David, I'll try again.
!st Officer KIA Matabele War 1 year 1 week ago #58636
Still can't manage to attach the file so I'll try cut and paste without the portrait or photos of his grave
CAPTAIN JOHN ALEXANDER LIVINGSTONE CAMPBELL
CLAN CAMPBELL OF SOUTH HALL, INVERAWE, ARGYLLSHIRE
Salisbury Horse, Salisbury Column
late Captain, Royal Artillery
British South Africa Company Medal 1890-97 Reverse, Matabeleland 1893
(Engraved) Capt. Reserve of Officers
Archive - original letters, photographs and contemporary ephemera
Crimea 1854-5 medal awarded to his father Col. D. Campbell 90th Regt.
THE FIRST CASUALTY, ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE
1ST MATABELE WAR OF 1893.
Died of wounds 17th October 1893.
Mortally wounded in action the previous day in the engagement at
Iron Mine Hill (Ntabasinsimbe(
Pedigree-Campbell of South Hall
With the exception of the holdings around Couston, which was Lamont land, (the name Lamont features prominently following the demise of Captain John Alexander Livingstone Campbell), Colintraive Argyllshire was held by the Campbells of Eilean Greig. Between 1710 and 1720 General Peter Campbell bought the lands of Achnabreck, Stronafian and Ardachuple and built the mansion house at Southall. His descendents extended the estate over the next 200 years
In the middle of the 19th century the estate and its farms remained the focus of the Colintraive economy. Sporting lets also provided income and the Southall moors provided, “As many as 1,600 brace of grouse killed on the estate in one season and 100 to150 brace of black game, mostly blackcock,”
By last the quarter of the 19th century many of the old estate owners in Argyll could no longer afford the upkeep of their lands. The last laird, Lieut. Colonel E. P. Campbell , Black Watch, had to take the hard decision to sell Southall and the Estate was put up for auction in London in July1913
John Alexander Livingstone Campbell was born on the 6th January 1856, the second son of Colonel Duncan Campbell, 90th (Perthshire) Light Infantry, (Scottish Rifles) of South Hall, Inverawe, Inverchaclan, Argyllshire, Scotland, a veteran of the Crimean War 1854-5 (nedal clasp Sebastopol)
The family had a strong military tradition. General Peter Campbell served with the Duke of Marlborough in France, Peter’s nephew, the next laird, fought under the Duke of Cumberland during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745/6 and was a juror at the trial of James of the Glen. The fifth laird, Colonel Duncan Campbell, served in the Crimea, His eldest son, the last laird, Lieut-Colonel Edward Parker Campbell, Black Watch, 1851-1931(brother of John) fought at Tel-el-Kebir with the Highland Brigade (medal and clasp) Edward’s son, Captain Duncan Campbell, 2nd Black Watch was killed at Festubert, Flanders 18th May 1915.
John was initially educated at Dreghorn College, Edinburgh, then the Royal Naval Academy, Gosport, at the Royal Military Chapel, Wellington Barracks, London from where on 20th March 1874, he was accepted as a Cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Royal; Artillery on the 2nd February 1876 and later advanced to the rank of Captain on 10th January 1885. He served with the R.A. in India from October 1878 to June 1881, subsequently retiring with a gratuity on the 4th April 1888.
British South Africa Company
At home in South Hall, John Campbell perceived the great opportunities within the commercial provinces of the fast expanding British South Africa Company, which in 1888, by means of treaties and concessions with the Mashona chiefs, had arbitrarily created a border between the vast expanses of Mashonaland and Matabeleland. This creation of a boundary was much to the chagrin of King Lobengula of the Matabele, a warlike Zulu type nation, who claimed that historically his sovereignty embraced all the Mashona and their territory. The Charter Company, quick to appreciate the situation had effectively taken Mashonaland under its ‘protection’, They promised, in return for licences to explore for minerals on their land, that the Company would protect the Mashonas from the raiding of their warlike neighbours, the Matabele.
Thus in 1888, John Campbell took up a position with the British South Africa Company in the capacity of Mining Commissioner at the Lo Mogunda Goldfield District, where he was later also appointed Magistrate of the same district.
The Warring Matabele
The anticipated conflict with the warring Matabele loomed ever closer. In the first week of July 1893, King Lobengula, in dispute with a number of neighbouring, supposedly subservient Mashona chiefs, despatched a 2,500 strong impi under the command of two of his foremost indunas or chieftains, Umgenwan and Manyao. Their orders - to punish the recalcitrant Mashonas accused of stealing the Royal cattle. The Matabele raiders swept though the countryside, burning, looting and butchering the terrified Mashonas like animals – but all the while, on the direct orders of Lobengula, to avoid a clash with the white men, whose military might was held in some reverence. The Mashona refugees, together with frightened white settlers of the district, herded into Victoria. On the 9th July, Manyao’s impi arrogantly swaggered through the streets of Victoria seeking out and murdering the terrified Mashona servants of the settlers. Manyao boldly approached the local Magistrate, Charles Lendy , demanding that he release the cowering Mashonas to be butchered. Lendy flatly refused, ordering the Matabele from the streets of the town. The truculent Manyao sullenly withdrew his impi into the nearby countryside, there to continue their burning and butchery.
Next day, Captain Lendy ordered Lieutenant Fitzgerald , Victoria Rangers, to organise patrols to keep a close watch on the movements of the Matabele and report back any change in the situation. After a series of minor skirmishes a meeting was arranged between Lendy and the Matabele chiefs and on the 14th July, Lendy, together with Fitzgerald, led a patrol to meet with the indunas.
Trooper Alfred Drew who was present wrote later in his reminiscences,
…‘About 20 of us formed the patrol that accompanied Captain Lendy. He left us a few hundred yards away and went to the meeting place with Fitzgerald and Reid but very little could be said owing the threatening demeanour of the young bloods, who rose up in their wrath and complained about the incidents I have referred to when some of our fellows had threatened some of the Matabele.’
Earlier, Drew had written, that
…‘On some of our patrols our young fellows would lose their heads and show their wrath by rushing straggling parties of Matabele returning from some raid – the officer (Lieutenant Fitzgerald) had great difficulty in checking this sort of thing.’
The meeting was unresolved and Lendy led the patrol back to Victoria as quickly as possible. But the military preparations of the settlers was not only with thoughts of defence. Within a week a force of some 400 volunteers had formed itself into two units; the Victoria Rangers commanded by Lord Henry Paulet, with the ever-present Fitzgerald taking a leading role and the Victoria Burghers, commanded by Commandant W.J. Judd. It was clear that the settlers had revealed a determination that strong retaliation was now necessary.
The startled inhabitants of Victoria telegraphed their alarm to the authorities of the Company and on the 17th July, Dr. Jameson the local administrator and the right hand man of Cecil Rhodes, arrived at Victoria. After gathering all the facts about him he called for an Indaba (a meeting or gathering of the chiefs) with the Matabele which was arranged for the 18th July. In a stormy confrontation, the demands of the Matabele to hand over the refugee Mashonas and their cattle were totally rejected. The Indaba was terminated about noon, with Dr Jameson angrily issuing an ultimatum to the Matabele, that unless they were on the move within an hour, ‘he would drive them across the border’.
The Matabele truculently retired but not apparently quickly enough for Dr. Jameson. Some time after 2 o’clock a patrol under Captain Lendy and Lieutenant Fitzgerald was fell in, in front of the Court House, where Jameson gave Lendy verbal instructions:-
… ‘You have heard what I have told the Matabele. I want you to carry this out. I do not want them to think it is merely a threat. They have had a week of threats already, with very bad results. Ride out in the direction they have gone to Magomoli’s kraal. If you find they are not moving off, drive them as you heard me tell Manyao I would and if they resist and attack you, shoot them.
Lendy and Fitzgerald’s Patrol
A troop of thirty-eight mounted men under Lendy and Fitzgerald followed the direction that the Matabele had taken. A short distance later they came up with a sizeable group of the impi under Chief Umgandan indolently moving in a north-easterly direction. They had apparently raided a nearby kraal and were then in the process of catching up with the main impi.
Thereafter the situation becomes confusing according to which wildly differing account of the ensuing action one is inclined to believe. According to Lendy’s account on returning to Jameson shortly after the clash, the patrol had come upon about 300 Matabele, who when approached, had fired at Lieutenant Fitzgerald, narrowly missing him. With which Lendy had, in accordance with Dr. Jameson’s orders, opened fire on the Matabele, killing about thirty of them. On hearing Lendy’s report, the enraged Jameson, had on the strength of this statement finally decided that war with the Matabele was his only recourse and after a hectic couple of hours of despatching telegraphs to and receiving them from Cecil Rhodes in Cape Town, the declaration of war was immediately implemented.
But an alternative description of the incident was later given to Commissioner Newton’s enquiry by Sergeant Kennelly, Corporal Gloag and troopers Campbell and Bezuidenhout. These men formed an advance guard of Lendy’s patrol and their account was also supported by another three troopers of the patrol and by the Induna, Umgengwan. All stated that after the advance party had come up with about 60-80 Matabele of Umgengwan, (not 300 as stated by Lendy) Sergeant Kennelly sent back Gloag to report to the Captain. After some conversation with Lieutenant Fitzgerald, Lendy shouted the order “Commence firing!” Gloag galloped back to his section and told Kennelly what the orders were. The Sergeant then fired into the air from his horse. Gloag dismounted and fired a second shot. The rest of the patrol rode up and the firing became general. The patrol extended and advanced at a canter scattering the Matabele who they pursued for a further ten minutes, firing as they went. According to Umgengwan, only nine of the Matabele were hit, not the thirty claimed by Lendy and it was further stated that the Matabele had in fact not fired a single shot or thrown an assegai in retaliation. The patrol pursued the Matabele as far as Makoombi’s kraal where they came up with the main impi of some 2,500 under Manyao, who it would seem, had obeyed Dr. Jameson’s orders and were trekking homewards. After firing a few long-range shots at the main impi, which had the effect of moving them on the quicker, the patrol turned and headed for Victoria.
The significance of the action that took place between Lendy’s and Fitzgerald’s mounted patrol and the Matabele on the afternoon of 18th July proved to be of paramount importance in the crucial factors that led to the adoption of the speedy decision by Dr. Jameson, to fully take up arms
Preparations for War
It was from this moment that war preparations began in earnest and Dr. Jameson’s thoughts turned to planning the campaign. Bulawayo, the seat of Lobengula, was to be invested from three points – Salisbury, Victoria and Tuli.
In Victorian volunteers were mobilized into a force called the Victoria Rangers, of which Captain Lendy was offered command but rejected the proposal. Another senior officer’s name, Major Alan Wilson, was put forward, accepted, he taking command in July 1893, immediately appointing the experienced Fitzgerald as Captain of the senior, No.1 Troop and responsible for the the organising, training and equipping of the volunteers,
In Salisbury a like band of volunteers titling themselves the Salisbury Horse were formed under Major Patrick Forbes, who had been appointed to form a similar relief column. One such volunteer was Captain John Campbell finding Major Forbes delighted to accept the offer of such an experienced officer and readily took advantage of Captain Campbell’s knowledge of ordinance, appointing him to his staff as Captain of Ordinance. This appointment also involved the training of the Troopers in the use of the newly acquired and as yet untested, rapid firing Maxim Machine Guns.
The Salisbury Column, set out on 5th September 1893 with 258 Europeans, 115 Mashona friendlies and 242 horses and 16 wagons. They spent 3three weeks drilling and training at Fort Charter before leaving for Iron Mine Hill to meet up with the Victoria Column
The Fort Victoria column under Major Allan Wilson left on the 6th October 1893 with 414 Europeans, 400 friendlies and 172 horses with 18 wagons.
A third Column commanded by Lt.-Col. Goold-Adams with 448 Europeans, including 225 from Fort Tuli under Commandant Pieter Raaff, called the southern Column, left Tati on the 19th October 1893.
The Salisbury Column arrived at Iron Mine Hill on Saturday 14th October but quickly moved to the site of present-day Finland Farm, two miles west of Iron Mine Hill, the reason being there was water for the considerable number of horses and oxen that the columns depended upon for transport. From the hill the pickets observed the light of the Victoria column’s heliograph and soon after Dr Jameson and Sir John Willoughby rode into camp, with instructions that Major Forbes should tqke command of the combined columns.
Shortly before the Victoria and Salisbury columns combined at Iron Mine Hill, on the 15th ,Major Forbes instructed Captain Campbell to take a party of Troopers and seach the immediate vicinity for any Matabele cattle, presumably to bolster the column’s rations.
According to Major P.W. Forbes, Captain Campbell started out at 3am with sixty men; twenty each from A, B and C Troops and accompanied by Maurice Heany, Dr Jameson and Sir John Willoughby. They had travelled about nine miles and were about to turn back when they came across about 250 cattle, which were rounded up and driven back towards camp.
On the way back they saw more cattle and Captain Campbell veered off towards them. He was in the process of driving them out from some large granite outcrops when a young Matabele warrior armed with a musket, sprung from behind a rock. John Campbell drew his revolver – they had no rifles with them, but before he could fire, was shot at close range through the left hip. His hip shattered, he was thrown from his horse as the young Matabele fled. Although in agony, he was helped back onto his horse by Troopers Gourlay and Tanner and supporting him, they slowly covered the two miles back to camp. There, in spite of Doctors Jameson, Edgelow and Stewart’s efforts to save his life by amputating his leg, he died in the night.
` He was buried close to the laager in the evening of the next day with full military honours. As he was an ex-Royal Artillery officer, the Artillery Troop provided the carrying party and ‘A’ Troop of the Salisbury column provided the firing party.
The Rev. G. Bruce-Knight, (first Bishop of Mashonaland) in his book ‘Memories of Mashonaland 1895 ‘ states…..
“Almost my first duty on joining them was to bury Captain Campbell. He been wounded in a small skirmish among the rocks and an amputation of his whole leg was required. From this he never recovered. An entry in my journal alludes to it;”
‘The Victoria men had a small engagement yesterday, when about twenty Matabele were killed. This afternoon Captain Campbell died. Humanly speaking, his reckless courage cost him his life and he rode nearly two miles with his hip bone badly broken. I was thankful to have got here and to be with him, though I had no idea the end was so near. About five hundred men attended the funeral; three volleys were fired and I said a few words
Major Forbes says in his account that after the funeral and service; “I think there were a good many standing around the grave that evening who realised for the first time that what we had undertaken was no child’s play, but stern reality, and that poor Campbell’s fate might at any time be the fate of one or all of us; but there could be no turning back. We had undertaken the work, and had to go through with it.”
Captain John Campbell from South Hall, Argyllshire and latterly of Salisbury, Rhodesia, became the first British battle casualty of the 1st Matabele war.
Captain Campbell’s Grave
Although a memorial headstone was placed on the grave in 1895 by his family, the site of John Campbell’s burial place, lost in the vast expanses of the veldt, disappeared to the world’s view for over one hundred and twenty years. It was not until 2015 that Mike Tucker and a comrade from Zimfield Guide (a great website), sought out and rediscovered Campbell’s burial place in a remote location called Finland Farm near Mvuma, now owned by Solomon Moyana. In close proximity to Campbell’s dilapidated headstone they located two additional graves, both unmarked.
Campbell’s named head-stone and cross were broken but subsequently cleaned and repaired by Mike Tucker’s. team – but having done so, were faced with a curious anomaly, The name on the head-stone read John LAMONT Campbell instead of John Alexander Livingstone Campbell – the deceased’s real (baptised) name.
Although the head-stone had been dedicated by his father, Colonel Duncan Campbell, 90th Regt., 5th Laird of South Hall, it was in fact John’s brother, Lieut.-Colonel Edward Parker Campbell, Black Watch, 6th and last Laird, who had been charged with the arrangements (vide contemporary letters in this archive).
Historically, the Campbells and Lamonts had been the very bitterest of enemies for centuries, commiting atrocities one against the other – their combined histories, an endless litany of massagres, murders, executions, be-headings, imprisonments, plundering and general mayhem.
As such, possible conclusions as to the reasoning behind the inclusion of the name Lamont on the headstone of a deceased Campbell, would I suggest, be many and varied taking into account the considerations above. What I’m sure of is that it is not a mistake as postulated by Mike Tucker (Zimfield Guide Web site).
So we are left with speculation - numerous considerations, some far-fetched, come to mind but it would appear from Burkes Peerage that the two families had latterly been reconciled and intermarried, as indicated by Celestine Norman Lamont-Campbell, 3rd of Possil, born on 14 May 1858. He was the son of Archibald James Lamont of that Ilk (Lamont) and Harriet Campbell, South Hall). It would also appear that the two huge estates had finally run their course and both were in their final death throes; the Lamont estate being sold (co-incidentally) at exactly the same time that John Campbell’s headstone was being erected!. The Campbell estates suffered the same fate just a few years later. Intriguing as the naming is, I guess we’ll never know.
A fact of which I was unaware, is contained in a letter from the British South Africa Compny (London Office) dated 2nd May 1894 addressed to John Campbell’s brother, Captain E.P. Campbell, which states….
….To those who have communicated to the Company as relatives and friends of the members of this Companies Forces who lost their lives in the recent operations, the Secretary is desired to communicate the fact that the legal representatives of the deceased are entitled to thee following.
a. The right to peg out in Matabeleland, a farm of 3000 Morgans(6000 English acres)
b. The right to peg out 20 gold claims of which 5 may be alluvial at the option of the holder of the right.
….These rights are transferable.
Outcome of the 1st Matabele Campaign
The combined Columns moved off on 17th October in a south-westerly direction towards Bulawayo, 135 miles distant, each cutting its own route for the wagons about 350 metres apart. They moved cautiously, making separate but mutually supporting laagers each night and passed south of Gweru kopje on the 21st October 1893. Their first major test came at 4am on 25th October 1893 after crossing the Shangani River when they were fiercely attacked by the Insukamini, Isiziba, Ihlati and Ingubo regiments. However, the Ndebele regiments had never encountered the deadly Maxim machine guns and were forced to retreat with great loss.
The Columns moved on towards Bulawayo and at Bembezi and were again attacked with great determination by the Imbizo and Ingubo regiments who made a full frontal attack on the laager at midday and were only beaten back after incurring great losses again from the firepower of the Maxim’s and artillery. Bulawayo was reached on 4th November 1893 only to find that Lobengula had fled north
The Crimea Medal 1854-55 clasp Sebastopol together with the Turkish Crimea Medal awarded to Major Duncan Campbell, 90th Light Infantry (later Colonel) 1813-1905 father of Captain J.A.L. Campbell, together with an original photograph, original letters and numerous press cuttings also forms part of this collection.
– he wears a black armband in rembrance of the loss of his son John.
Downfall of Lubengala by Wills and Collingbridge
Memories of Mashonaland by Rev. G.W.H. Bruce-Knight – 1895
Website …Zimfield Guide – Grave and headstone
Unpublished manuscript –‘The Reminiscences of Alfred Drew’
!st Officer KIA Matabele War 1 year 1 week ago #58637
I am sorry you are still having problems attaching the files. If you would like to email them to me, I can add them for you. My email address is david.biggins [at] angloboerwar.com.
I have also collated your posts in the BSACM section of the forum which means they appear in the third rather than first column of forum posts.
Dr David Biggins
Dr David Biggins