Bindon Blood

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Sir Bindon Blood
Born(1842-11-07)7 November 1842
Jedburgh, Scotland
Died16 May 1940(1940-05-16) (aged 97)
London, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1860–1907
Commands heldNorthern Command, India
Meerut District
Buner Field Force
Malakand Field Force
Battles/warsNorth-West Frontier
Anglo-Zulu War
Second Anglo-Afghan War
Anglo-Egyptian War Chitral Expedition
Siege of Malakand
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Mentioned in Despatches

General Sir Bindon Blood, GCB, GCVO (7 November 1842 – 16 May 1940) was a British Army commander who served in Egypt, Afghanistan, India, and South Africa.

Military career[edit]

Bindon Blood was born near Jedburgh, Scotland, to William Bindon Blood (1817–1894) and Margaret Stewart (1820–1849).[1] He was related to Colonel Thomas Blood, who attempted to steal the Crown Jewels in 1671. He attended the Royal School, Banagher, Queen's College, Galway, and the Addiscombe Military College. He was commissioned in 1860 in the Royal Engineers as a temporary lieutenant in charge of signalling and pontoon bridge construction in India, and for brief periods in Zululand and South Africa. Promoted to captain in 1873, he served with British forces in the North-West Frontier (Jowaki). In 1879 he was sent back to Africa for the Anglo-Zulu War. He went on to fight in the Second Anglo-Afghan War and the Battle of Tell El Kebir. By 1882 he was a brevet lieutenant colonel.

The following year, 1883, Blood married Charlotte E. Colvin, second daughter of Sir Auckland Colvin, a distinguished colonial administrator in India from a well-connected family. Then he returned to India and took command of the Bengal Sappers and Miners in 1885. After seven years he reached the rank of brigadier general, serving in the garrison at Rawalpindi, and then in the relief force known as the Chitral Expedition. He then commanded the Malakand Field Force and the Buner Field Force, relieving the garrison during the siege of Malakand. At the end of this command he was promoted to major general. He was appointed in command of the Meerut District, in the Bengal Command, on 22 September 1898.[2]

Lord Kitchener succeeded as chief of command during the Second Boer War in late 1900, and requested Blood for service in South Africa, where he arrived in early March 1901. He spent six months in command of a division fighting in the Eastern Transvaal with the local rank of lieutenant general on the Staff from 1 April 1901.[3] He was mentioned in the last despatch by Lord Kitchener dated 23 June 1902.[4] In late September 1901 he returned to India to take up the position of Commander-in-Chief Punjab Command, where he arrived the following month.[5] He kept the local rank of lieutenant general.[6]

Curzon incident[edit]

In 1902 General Blood clashed with the then Viceroy Lord Curzon over an incident involving the murder of an Indian cook by troopers of the 9th Lancers. An enquiry within the regiment was carried out negligently, failing to identify the guilty parties, and Blood made a complacent report suggesting that the soldiers were entirely innocent. The furious Curzon wrote a lengthy minute demolishing Blood's careless reasoning and imposed a collective punishment on the regiment.[7]


In November 1907 Blood retired to London, where he continued to lead a very active life. He was made colonel-commandant of the Royal Engineers in 1914 and worked to recruit soldiers for the First World War. He was aged 94 when he was made Chief Royal Engineer (CRE) in 1936.[8] He died in 1940, survived by his one daughter.


Winston Churchill, who served under Blood on the North-West Frontier in 1897, dedicated his first non-fiction book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898), to

Major-General Sir Bindon Blood, K.C.B., under whose command the operations therein recorded were carried out; by whose generalship they were brought to a successful conclusion; and to whose kindness the author is indebted for the most valuable and fascinating experience of his life.[9]


Coat of arms of Bindon Blood
Confirmed 21 January 1902 by Sir Arthur Edward Vicars, Ulster King of Arms[10]
On a wreath of the colours issuant from waves of the sea a demi-figure of Neptune Proper.
Quarterly first and fourth Argent a fess indented Gules between six martlets Sable (Blood) second and third Gules three escallops Argent within a bordure engrailed Or (Bindon).
Honor Virtutis Praemium


  1. ^ Riddick, John F. (1998). Who was who in British India. Greenwood Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-0313292323.
  2. ^ Hart′s Army list, 1901
  3. ^ "No. 27310". The London Gazette. 3 May 1901. p. 3035.
  4. ^ "No. 27459". The London Gazette. 29 July 1902. pp. 4835–4837.
  5. ^ Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "No. 27387". The London Gazette. 13 December 1901. p. 8840.
  7. ^ Mason, Philip (19 December 1986). A Matter of Honour. An Account of the Indian Army, its Officers and Men. Macmillan. p. 394. ISBN 0-333-41837-9.
  8. ^ "Sir Bindon Blood Dead at Age of 98". The Montreal Gazette. 17 May 1940. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  9. ^ Churchill, Winston L. Spencer (1898). The Story of the Malakand Field Force: an episode of frontier war. London, UK: Longmans, Green.
  10. ^ "Grants and Confirmations of Arms Vol. J". National Library of Ireland. 19 December 1898. p. 236. Retrieved 23 November 2022.

"Four Score Years and Ten" by Sir Bindon Blood. ASIN B00086SHYC Publisher G. Bell & Sons Ltd, First Edition (1 Jan 1933) Language English Hardcover 356 pages

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded byas Director of Fortifications and Works Chief Royal Engineer
Succeeded by