CAMPBELL, Colin Andrew
(Service number 16070)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Lance Corporal


Date 31 July 1895 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin Alexander Campbell (father) Melville Downs, Fairlie
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation NZEF
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 15th Reinforcements NZ Mounted Rifles
Date 13 July 1916
Transport Manuka
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Mounted Rifles

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 25 September 1918 Age 23
Place of Death near Amman, Palestine
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria
Memorial Reference D 75
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Ashwick Flat War Memorial (as C Campbell); Fairlie War Memorial

Biographical Notes

Colin Andrew Campbell was the eldest of four sons of Alexander and Annie Campbell (nee Fraser) of Melville Downs, Fairlie. His early life was spent on the farms his family owned, firstly at Barmolloch Farm, Totara Valley, South Canterbury, and later at Melville Downs, near Fairlie. He worked on the farms, and also on the family-owned threshing mills in the Fairlie and Pleasant Point areas. They were a hospitable family and his life revolved around hard work and also the Presbyterian Church which was the focal point of social life at that time.

Colin’s name came up in the military ballot in 1916, but his training was deferred for a time as manpower for the farm and provision of wheat was a primary necessity for the war effort, both at home and overseas. He was sent for training at Featherston Camp where he spent some time before embarking for service with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles in Egypt.

Colin’s letters, published by Jan Tank in "To my dear mother ... and all at home : letters written by Colin Andrew Campbell to his family at Melville Downs, near Fairlie, South Canterbury, NZ, March 1916 - September 1918 from Featherston Camp, NZ & 'Somewhere in Palestine'" (2003) show how much he missed his home and family, but he was one of a generation who believed in doing his duty in the face of adversity, sickness and hardship. The poor conditions under which the Mounted Rifles lived and fought were glossed over, but is nevertheless apparent that life was particularly hard for young men from the green countryside of South Canterbury, having to fight on minimal rations with meagre shelter in the harsh heat of the desert. He hoped to return home right to the end, when he lost his life just as the end was in sight. It is clear that his friends in his troop meant a great deal to him and those who survived to come home kept in touch with his family right to the present day. His loss was a devastating one, as it was for so many others who endured this terrible and senseless conflict.

Jan Tank, whom supplied much of Colin’s biography, also recounted in July 2017:

“I was fortunate to have known Chris Howes, who was one of Colin’s mates, and is mentioned in the letters. He told me that he was with Colin when he was shot and stayed with him until he died. He gave me a graphic account of that time, and though I was only about 14 at the time, I have always counted myself as fortunate to have such a first-hand account of Colin’s death. Hereunder is a short biography of Colin, gleaned mainly from my father’s knowledge of a brother whose loss impacted so severely on his family’s lives.”


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (September 2014); SCroll submissions by J Guard & J Tank, 27 July 2017; Tank, Jan "To my dear mother ... and all at home : letters written by Colin Andrew Campbell to his family at Melville Downs, near Fairlie, South Canterbury, NZ, March 1916 - September 1918 from Featherston Camp, NZ & 'Somewhere in Palestine'" (Tauranga, 2003) [Copy held by South Canterbury Museum]; Tank, Jan "From Scotland to New Zealand: a photographic record of two pioneer families" (2004) [Copy held by South Canterbury Museum]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available.

Researched and Written by

Carol Bell, SC branch NZSG & Timaru Herald; Tony Rippin, South Canterbruy Museum

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB