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Bindon Blood

Bindon Blood

British Army general
The basics
Occupations Engineer Military personnel
Countries United Kingdom
Gender male
Birth November 7, 1842 (Scottish Borders)
Death May 16, 1940 (London)
The details

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

Military career

Born near Jedburgh, Scotland, Blood was related to Colonel Thomas Blood who attempted to steal the Crown Jewels in 1671. Blood 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 Indian administrator 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.

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 and received the local rank of lieutenant-general on the Staff on 1 April 1901. He was mentioned in the last despatch by Lord Kitchener dated 23 June 1902. 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. He kept the local rank of lieutenant-general.

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. 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".

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