Chandos Blair

Chandos Blair
Sir Chandos Blair
Born 25 February 1919
Died 22 January 2011(2011-01-22) (aged 91)
Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1939–1976
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held 4th Btn King's African Rifles
2nd Division
Battles/wars World War II
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 General Officer Commanding Scotland.

Military career

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 Bn 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]


  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
Military offices
Preceded by
John Sharp
General Officer Commanding the 2nd Division
Succeeded by
Rollo Pain
Preceded by
Sir Henry Leask
GOC Scotland
Succeeded by
Sir David Scott-Barrett

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