Hugh Campbell wearing his sergeant’s stripes, prior to embarking for Adelaide, 1916. Image: 30693-0002-0097
Hugh CAMPBELL was born in Innisfail in 1885 to Donald Campbell and Margaret McVean Park. The Campbell family were one of the earliest families to settle in Ipswich in 1842, where they established the first blacksmithy.
Hugh’s father had passed away in 1889 leaving his mother to raise him and his younger brother William, with her parents in the Brisbane suburb of Enoggera. At age 30 Hugh, volunteered to serve with the first AIF in 1916.
A former machinery salesman his interest earned him a place with the 11th Field Company Engineers, training at first in Adelaide before sailing for England in May 1916 on board the ‘Suevic’.
Souvenir water-colour painting, collected by Hugh Campbell while overseas. Image: 30693-46-001
Hugh was rapidly promoted and by September 1917 was appointed Sergeant and attached to the engineering school, located at Brightlingsea, Essex. In January 1918 he joined the 11th Field Company Engineers in France, and in September was selected to attend the Officers training school in Newark.
Section of a cardboard working model for a steam engine. Image: 30693-102-0010
After the war ended, Hugh Campbell remained with his unit in France until he was assigned to his place on board the ‘Themisticles’. Hugh Campbell returned to his family in Enoggera, soon after marring Ada Blanche Caflisch in February 1920.
During his time overseas, Hugh Campbell made notes of his experiences in several diaries and took many photographs of his voyage to England and time at Brightlingsea. He also collected souvenirs of artillery shells, fuselage fragments, and retained engineering models and blueprints.
This collection is one of the most significant First World War collections held by the State Library of Queensland to date. Much of the collection has been digitisted and can be viewed online.
Selected items have also been included in the new digital installation at the state’s war memorial, Anzac Square in Brisbane.
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