George Bullock (British Army officer)

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Sir George Bullock
Born 1851
Died 1926
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Lieutenant-General
Unit Second Boer War
First World War
Commands held British troops in Egypt
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

Lieutenant General Sir George Mackworth Bullock KCB KCMG (1851-1926) was an officer of the British Army. He served during World War I, rising to the rank of lieutenant general, and was also the one-hundred and eighth Governor, Commander-in-Chief and Vice Admiral of Bermuda.

Military career[edit]

Bullock was commissioned into the 1st Battalion of the 11th Regiment of Foot in 1872.[1] After attending Staff College, Camberley in 1880, he became Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment who were deployed to South Africa for the Second Boer War.[1] He became Chief Staff Officer in Egypt in 1902, Brigadier-General commanding Alexandria District in Egypt in 1904 and General Officer Commanding British troops in Egypt in 1905 before becoming General Officer Commanding the West Riding Territorial Division in 1910.[1] He was also made Colonel of the Devonshire Regiment (1910–1921).

Bullock was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda, a strategic colony (now described as a British Overseas Territory) in the North Atlantic Ocean, in 1912, serving in this post until 1917. He was preceded by Lieutenant-General Sir Walter Kitchener, brother of Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener of Khartoum.

Bullock is remembered as moving Government House to the centre of Bermuda's social life. The British Government saw Bermuda more as a base than as a colony. Since the American War of Independence, the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda had served as the headquarters of the Royal Navy in the western North Atlantic, and a large garrison, the Bermuda Garrison, had been built up to defend it. Vast sums had been spent in the 19th century on fortifying the islands, and its governors were appointed almost exclusively from the general officers of the British Army, especially from the Royal Engineers and the Royal Artillery.[2][3][4]

Bullock's predecessors had kept a distance from Bermuda's civilian population, but he made efforts to interact socially, opening Government House to prominent Bermudians and visitors, such as US President-elect Woodrow Wilson, for social functions. He also made efforts to take part in the normal social life of the colony.[5][6]

When Britain declared war on Germany in 1914, during the First World War, Bullock was temporarily overseas. The commanding officer of the Second Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment (2 Lincolns), based at Prospect Camp, Lieutenant-Colonel George Bunbury McAndrew, found himself acting governor, Commander-In-Chief, and Vice-Admiral of Bermuda in his absence, and oversaw the colony's placement onto a war footing.[7] The battalion returned to England on 3 October 1914, and was sent to the Western Front soon after.

Bullock's Boys. The first contingent of the BVRC to the Lincolns, training in Bermuda for the Western Front, Winter 1914-15.

A contingent from the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC) was detached in December 1914 to train for the Front. It was hoped this could join 2 Lincolns, but when it arrived in England 2 Lincolns was already in France. it was attached as an extra company to the First Battalion (1 Lincolns) instead, and was the first colonial volunteer unit to reach the Western Front when it arrived there in June, 1915. The contingent had trained at Warwick Camp, in Bermuda, over the winter of 1914-1915. As the BVRC still had to meet its obligations as part of the garrison, maintaining patrols and guarding key points around the archipelago, it did not have enough officers to provide an Adjutant to the cadre. Bullock filled this role himself, a job normally performed by a captain. The contingent, as a result, was popularly known as Bullock's Boys.[8]

Bullock retired from the governorship in 1917, being succeeded by General Sir James Willcocks.


  1. ^ a b c "Bullock, George Mackworth". Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bulwark Of Empire: Bermuda's Fortified Naval Base 1860-1920", Lt.-Col. Roger Willock, USMC, The Bermuda Maritime Museum Press, The Bermuda Maritime Museum, P.O. Box MA 133, Mangrove Bay, Bermuda MA BX.
  3. ^ "Bermuda Forts 1612–1957", Dr. Edward C. Harris, The Bermuda Maritime Museum Press, The Bermuda Maritime Museum, P.O. Box MA 133, Mangrove Bay, Bermuda MA BX.
  4. ^ The Andrew And The Onions: The Story Of The Royal Navy In Bermuda, 1795–1975, Lt. Commander Ian Strannack, The Bermuda Maritime Museum Press, The Bermuda Maritime Museum, P.O. Box MA 133, Mangrove Bay, Bermuda MA BX. ISBN 0-921560-03-6
  5. ^ "Presidents I've Known and Two Near Presidents", by Charles Willis Thompson. Publisher: Ayer Co Pub (June 1929). ISBN 0836917286.
  6. ^ "VISITS WILSON VIA KITCHEN.; Only Entrance Sir George Bullock Could Find to Governor's Cottage." Special Cable to the New York Times. November 21, 1912.
  7. ^ The Royal Gazette, 6 August, 1914: GOVERNMENT NOTICES. A PROCLAMATION! (MARTIAL LAW REGULATIONS). By His Excellency George Bunbury McAndrew, Lieutenant-Colonel, Officer Administering the Government and Commander-in-Chief in and over these Islands, &c., &c., &c.
  8. ^ "Defence, Not Defiance: A History Of The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps", Jennifer M. Ingham (now Jennifer M. Hind), ISBN 0-9696517-1-6. Printed by The Island Press Ltd., Pembroke, Bermuda.
Military offices
Preceded by
John Slade
General Officer Commanding the British Troops in Egypt
Succeeded by
Sir John Maxwell