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Peaky Blinders: Was Major Campbell a real person?




All the fans know that the famous Shelby family was scripted from scratch by the producers of the show. But, was the role of Major Campbell also fictionary??

We did some research about the character of  Major Campbell and the answer seems both yes and no!

According to the show:

Chief Inspector Chester Campbell was invited by Mr. Winston Churchill from Ireland after he had successfully controlled crime in Belfast. He is assigned to find the missing cache of arms and ammunition stolen from Birmingham Small Arms Factory. His character is initially shown to be a no non-sense and determined man who wishes to reform the corrupt system. He is after communists, members of the Irish Republican Army, and after the possessor of the goods stolen from the BSA factory. His prime target is Thomas Shelby and his Shelby family. He deploys Grace as a barmaid in the bastion of the Shelby family.  He pressurized by Winston Churchill to find the arms and ammunition at the earliest.  Grace gets to know about the location of the stolen arms and the police recover the goods. After this in a bizarre moment, he confesses love to Grace. She is stunned and later in the show shoots him on the legs. Later in the second season, he returns again filled with the fire of vengeance against Tommy Shelby. In the last episode of the second season, he is killed by Tommy’s aunt, Polly Grey. He is also revealed to be a supporter of the Ulster volunteer force.

Note the time period of the situation, it was after the first world war.

According to History:

The closest character similar to Mr. Campbell in the real-world that we find is Charles Haughton Rafter. Both the personalities and few similarities and few differences.

Charles Rafter was also born and brought up in Ireland and joined Royal Irish Constabulary in 1882, very similar to that of Major Campbell. Charles was appointed the Chief Constable of Ireland in 1899( it was the peak time of the actual peaky blinders) . He was the one against all criminals, communists, and Irish rebels and served there until 1935. He improved the law and order situation of Birmingham and modernized the police and helped expand its influence. Charles Rafter was highly awarded for his work.

Actual image of Charles Rafter:


There might be some possibility that the producers of the show actually based the character of Inspector Campbell on Chief Constable Rafter and modified to suit their interests. The possibility cannot be entirely denied as the show used real-life figures of that time including Churchill, Sabini, or Al-Capone.  The confirmation of this can only be done by the producers of the sho

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