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British Industrial History

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David Wilkinson Campbell

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David Wilkinson Campbell (1831-1903)

1887 Succeeded Bradford Leslie as Agent for the East Indian Railway

1903 Obituary [1]

DAVID WILKINSON CAMPBELL, C.I.E., died on the 9th February, 1903, at his residence 55 Esplanade, Greenock, in his 72nd year.

Born in November, 1831, he was the youngest son of the late Mr. John Campbell, Comptroller of H.M. Customs, Greenock, and after serving a pupilage in the Locomotive Works of the Caledonian Railway Company, acted as an Assistant Locomotive Superintendent on that line from 1851 to 1858, being for part of that time Works Manager at St. Rollox.

In 1858 he obtained the post of Locomotive Superintendent of the South-West Provinces Division of the East Indian Railway, and in 1865 he was appointed Locomotive Superintendent of the whole line.

When Mr. Campbell joined the East Indian Railway it was about 200 miles long, and when he left, after 33 years’ service, it was 2,000 miles in length. To high professional attainments he added great powers of organization and control. Though a thorough disciplinarian, he was beloved by all his subordinates, both European and native, in whose social and domestic welfare he took the greatest interest.

India owes to him a great debt for the training and introduction of natives as engine-drivers, opening a new field of employment for natives and resulting in great economy in the working of all Indian Railways.

In 1887 he was promoted to be the Agent of the Company in Calcutta, and in 1891 he retired and, returning to England, settled in Bedford, which he left only a year ago to reside in his native town of Greenock.

Mr. Campbell was a strong supporter of the Volunteer movement, and for many years was Colonel Commanding the East Indian Railway Volunteer Rifle Corps, over 1,000 strong.

In 1883 he was created a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire for his services, and was also appointed by Lord Ripon to be an honorary aide-de-camp to the Viceroy.

Mr. Campbell was elected a Member of the Institution on the 27th May, 1879.

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