Malcolm MacLeod (British Army officer)

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Major-General Malcolm Neynoe MacLeod (23 May 1882–1 August 1969) was Director General of the Ordnance Survey from 1935 to 1943.

In 1935 he started the retriangulation of Great Britain, an immense task which involved erecting concrete triangulation pillars (trig points) on prominent (often inaccessible) hilltops throughout Britain. As well as being an immense physical task, it was also an extremely complex mathematical undertaking. MacLeod can fairly be said to be the creator of the Ordnance Survey in its modern form.

MacLeod was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in 1900, serving in India from 1902 until 1914. During World War I he commanded the 4th Field Survey Battalion. He became Chief Instructor at the School of Artillery, Larkhill in 1920, serving until 1923 when he moved to the Ordnance Survey. He was Director-General of the Ordnance Survey in 1935, retiring in 1943.


  • Yolande Hodson, 2004, `MacLeod, Malcolm Neynoe (1882–1969)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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