Chandos Blair

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Sir Chandos Blair
Nickname(s) "Chan"
Born 25 February 1919
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 22 January 2011(2011-01-22) (aged 91)
Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1939–1976
Rank Lieutenant General
Unit Seaforth Highlanders
Commands held Scottish Command (1972–76)
2nd Division (1968–70)
4th Battalion King's African Rifles
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross & Bar

Lieutenant General Sir Chandos Blair KCVO, OBE, MC & Bar (25 February 1919 – 22 January 2011) was a senior British Army officer who served as General Officer Commanding Scottish Command from 1972 to 1976.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of Arthur Blair and educated at Harrow School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Blair was commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders in 1939.[1] He served in World War II with the 2nd and 7th Battalions of his regiment.[1] His regiment was forced to surrender at Dunkirk, and he became a prisoner of war at the Oflag V-B camp at Biberach in Baden-Württemberg.[2] He escaped to Switzerland and from there to Spain and to Gibraltar. As such he was the first officer to return home after escaping from a prisoner of war camp.[3] Blair was awarded the Military Cross for his exploits.[2]

In 1959, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion the King's African Rifles.[1] He was made General Officer Commanding 2nd Division in British Army of the Rhine in 1968 and then became Defence Services Secretary in 1970.[1] His last appointment was as General Officer Commanding Scotland and Governor of Edinburgh Castle in 1972; in that capacity, Prime Minister Harold Wilson dispatched him as a Special Envoy to secure the release of Denis Hills, a British subject held on spying charges by President Idi Amin of Uganda.[4] Blair retired in 1976.[1]


In 1947 he married Audrey Mary Travers; they went on to have one son and one daughter.[1] His elder brother David was a useful amateur golfer and was best-man at the wedding of Chandos and Audrey.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Debrett's People of Today (1994)
  2. ^ a b "Dunkirk POW", Glasgow Herald, 16 May 2010.
  3. ^ Obituary: Lieutenant-General Sir Chandos Blair KCVO OBE MC & Bar, soldier and GOC Scotland 1972–1976 The Scotsman, 26 January 2011
  4. ^ "Uganda: The British Must Kneel at My Feet!", Time Magazine, 7 July 1975
  5. ^ "Marriages – Major C Blair and Miss A M Travers". The Times. 23 January 1947. p. 7. 
Military offices
Preceded by
John Sharp
General Officer Commanding the 2nd Division
Succeeded by
Rollo Pain
Preceded by
Sir Alan Boxer
Defence Services Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir Ronald Forrest
Preceded by
Sir Henry Leask
GOC Scotland
Succeeded by
Sir David Scott-Barrett