Colin Andrew Campbell entered the Navy in 1844, was promoted Lieutenant in 1852, Commander in 1858 and Captain prior to his first command in 1864.
He served on board 'Opossum' during the 2nd Anglo-Chinese War and in 1864 was the Captain aboard the 'Bombay', flagship of Rear-Admiral Charles Gilbert John Brydone Elliot, south-east coast of America. In 1865/66 he performed the same role for Elliot as Captain on the 'Narcissus' and in 1867/68 as Captain in 'Octavia', flagship of Commodore Leopold George Heath, in the East Indies. His last command was from 26 November 1868 - 18 January 1869 when he was Captain in 'Ariadne' (which had been specially fitted up as a yacht for the Prince and Princess of Wales who were proceeding in her on a tour of the East). In January 1869 Campbell fell ill and was invalided out of the Navy though he remained on board 'Ariadne' where he died 4 months later.