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A Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners Presentation Piece
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A Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners Presentation Piece

Circa 1947

Measurements: Height: 29cm (11.5in)

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In the form of a stepped obelisk applied with two presentation plaques; ‘H.Q. Q[ueen] V[ictoria’s] O[wn] / Madras S[appers] & M[iners]’ - ‘Presented to / Lt.Col. J.A. Cameron / by the V[iceroy’s] C[ommissioned] O[fficers]’, inset with photographs of the depot at Bangalore, and surmounted by a  silver figure of a Sapper

Lieutenant-Colonel John Ancrum Cameron (1903- 1996), R.E., late Queen was educated at Wellington College and at the R.M.A. Woolwich. He served with Madras Sappers & Miners from 1927, and saw action on the North West Frontier in 1929-31. During the Second World War he served in North Africa with the 4th Indian Division and distinguished himself in the construction two new causeways under heavy fire at Wadi Zig-Zaou during the attack on the Mareth Line in March 1943 - viz ‘On the approaches to the wadi, vehicles continued to unload infantry for the coming assault. The press of transport blocked the sapper lorries carrying the steel mesh for the causeway. In the wadi itself in the midst of an ear-splitting din and a hail of bullets, the work proceeded calmly and steadily. Madrassi and Sikh Sappers and Miners lived up to the cool and imperturbable behaviour of their officers ... Major John A. Cameron and Subedar Sampangiraj of the 12th Field Company supervised the tasks as calmly as though on exercises’.

Full details of Colonel Cameron’s remarkable life in British India and elsewhere may be found at https://www.reubique.com/cameron.htm
 

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