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Blair, Chandos

Date of birth:
February 25th, 1919 (Edinburgh/Scotland, United Kingdom)
Date of death:
January 22nd, 2011 (Gullane/East Lothian, United Kingdom)
Nationality:
British

Biography

Being catpured at Dunkirk, Chandos Blair was made PoW but was the first officer of the British Army to make a succesful escape and return to home for which he was awarded his first Military Cross. He served in Normandy for which he was awarded his second MC.
In 1959, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion the King's African Rifles. He was made General Officer Commanding 2nd Division in British Army of the Rhine in 1968 and then became Defence Services Secretary in 1970. 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. Blair retired in 1976

26 January, 1939: 2nd Lieutenant
1 January, 1941: Lieutenant
? Captain (war sub)
1 July, 1946: Captain
26 January, 1952: Major
1 July, 1957: Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel
12 April, 1959: Lieutenant -Colonel
19 April, 1963: Colonel
31 December, 1966: Brigadier

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Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 25th, 1972
Details:
On relinquishing appointment as Defence Services Secretary.
Knight/Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (K(D)CVO)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit:
Queen's Own Highlanders
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1962
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Lieutenant
Unit:
The Seaforth Highlanders
Awarded on:
September 30th, 1941
Action:
For successfully escaping from Oflag VB at Biberach, in Southern Germany
Military Cross (MC)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Temporary Major
Unit:
The Seaforth Highlanders
Awarded on:
October 19th, 1944
Action:
Recommendation:
"Major Chandos Blair was in command of the advanced guard on Le Valtru on 28 June 44. Just short of the objective the left hand platoon was temporarily pinned by the fire by the enemy from a post some 400 yds away. Major Blair personally cleared the house which commanded the enemy post. Regardless of the heavy fire he moved about amongst his platoons, explaining his plan and by his disregard of enemy fire helped his men to disregard it also. He was almost the first man to reach the objective. Quickly rallying the assaulting troops he led them personally forward to the main objective on Le Valtru crossroads.
This he cleared himself personally but the company was hampered by snipers from a nearby orchard. Again disregarding this fire he cleared the orchard. Throughout the attack on Le Valtru he was always to be found where fire was heaviest. His enthusiasm was an inspiration to his men and his determination to go forward and attack dominated the battle. On 29 June when both the C.O. and 2.I.C. of the Battalion were wounded, Major Blair assumed command of the Battalion. There had been many casualties and mortar fire was both heavy and spasmodic, but Major Blair moved about without fear, encouraging his men and held them firm in their posts until relieved some 36 hours later. Throughout the whole period of operations from 26 June to 30 June, Major Blair showed complete disregard to his personal safety and was at all times and inspiration to his company and later on to his Battalion."
Details:
Seceond MC awarded as a bar.
Military Cross (MC)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
clasp, Radfan
General Service Medal 1962-2007

Sources