Bindon Blood

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General Sir Bindon Blood
Bindon Blood.png
Born7 November 1842
Scottish Borders
Died16 May 1940 (aged 97)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Years of service1860–1940
Commands heldNorthern Army, India
Battles/warsSiege of Malakand
Chitral Expedition
Second Anglo-Afghan War
battle of Tel-el-Kebir
First World War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

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). 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 Tel-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.[1]

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.[2] He was mentioned in the last despatch by Lord Kitchener dated 23 June 1902.[3] 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.[4] He kept the local rank of lieutenant-general.[5]

In November 1907 he 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.[6] 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".[7]


  1. ^ Hart′s Army list, 1901
  2. ^ "No. 27310". The London Gazette. 3 May 1901. p. 3035.
  3. ^ "No. 27459". The London Gazette. 29 July 1902. pp. 4835–4837.
  4. ^ Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "No. 27387". The London Gazette. 13 December 1901. p. 8840.
  6. ^ "Sir Bindon Blood Dead at Age of 98". The Montreal Gazette. 17 May 1940. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  7. ^ Churchill, Winston L. Spencer (1898). The Story of the Malakand Field Force: an episode of frontier war. London, UK: Longmans, Green.


  • Profile,; retrieved 2 June 2007.

External links[edit]

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