East Indian Railway Company c.1887 Gold Free Pass Medal

  • Sale
  • Regular price £875.00

Pudd 991.2.1.

23mm. 7.7g. Struck in gold.

Calcutta Mint. Obverse with arms of the company, reverse with 'FREE PASS' within garter and named to D.W Campbell.

Mount removed at 6 o'clock otherwise Very Fine and very rare. 

A similar, albeit unmounted example, realised a hammer price of £1,600 in a DNW sale dated 14/10/20 (lot 542).

His 1903 Obituary reads:

David Wilkinson Campbell, C.I.E. (1831-1903), 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 pupillage 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 EIR 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 organisation 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 great 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 EIR 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.