Honorary Major General Donald Macintyre, CB VC

Donald Macintyre was born in 1831 and educated at the Honourable East India Company Military Seminary at Addiscombe in Surrey.  In June 1850 he was gazetted Ensign and joined the 1st Goorkhas (then known as the 66th Regiment Bengal Native Infantry) in India   With them he took part in several campaigns on the North-West Frontier.

In August 1857 he was appointed to raise an ‘Extra Goorkha Regiment’ which in 1861 became the 4th Goorkhas.  During 1857-8 this new regiment was employed in protecting the hill passes on the Kali Kumaon frontier against mutineers from Rohilkand, near Bareilly, and keeping order in the area.

In early November 1858 he was posted to the Sirmoor Rifles, which was then involved in the Oude campaign, and in May 1859 supervised the small-scale deployment to deal with civil disobedience in Tehri.  In May 1860 he became Adjutant, remaining in that post until February 1861.  He joined the Bengal Staff Corps but a month later rejoined the Regiment as Second-in-Command and took part in the Mohmand campaign in January 1864.  In February he was additionally appointed Senior Wing Officer.  In March 1867 he went on long leave to the UK, rejoining the Regiment in November 1868 at Rawalpindi.

Still as Senior Wing Officer and Second-in-Command he accompanied the Regiment on the Looshai Expedition of 1871–72, earning the Victoria Cross in an attack on a heavily-defended village.  He was also mentioned in despatches, promoted to the Brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received the thanks of General Lord Napier, the Acting Governor General in India, for his other achievements in the campaign.

After the Regiment returned to Dehra Dun, Macintyre took a detachment to Simla to provide guards for the Viceroy and Commander-in-Chief.  He officiated as Commandant from November 1863 before being confirmed in the post in January 1876, during which time he commanded the Regiment at the November 1875 Durbar for the Prince of Wales in Delhi.

From April to August 1877 he was on local leave, exploring and hunting in the hills.  He returned to the UK in March 1878 on leave before rejoining the Regiment in June that year in Malta, returning with it to Dehra Dun in October.  Within two weeks of its return the Regiment received orders to proceed on active service to the North-West Frontier, and Macintyre continued to command it during the first part of the 2nd Afghan War before handing over command to  Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Battye in December 1880.  On retirement from the Army and was given the Honorary rank of Major General.

Macintyre was a great game hunter (‘shikari’) and the author of two books, Hindu Ko and Wandering and Wild Sport on and beyond the Himalayas.  He also contributed to The Encyclopedia of Sport.  In retirement he lived in Ross-shire where he became a Justice of the Peace and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  He recorded his recreations as wild sport, golf and cycling.  He died on 15 April 1903.


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