Open main menu

George Bullock (British Army officer)

Lieutenant General Sir George Mackworth Bullock, KCB, KCMG (15 August 1851 – 28 January 1926) was an officer of the British Army. He served during World War I, rising to the rank of lieutenant general, and was also the one-hundred and eighth Governor, Commander-in-Chief and Vice Admiral of Bermuda.[2]

Sir George Bullock
Born15 August 1851[1]
Warangal, British India
Died28 January 1926(1926-01-28) (aged 74)
Marylebone, London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
UnitSecond Boer War
First World War
Commands heldBritish troops in Egypt
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

Early life and educationEdit

Bullock was born in 1851 in British India, the son of Thomas Henry Bullock, Deputy Commissioner of Berar. He was educated at Cheltenham College, University College, Oxford, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was the younger brother of Frederick Bullock.[2]

Military careerEdit

Bullock was commissioned into the 1st Battalion of the 11th Regiment of Foot as a lieutenant on 24 April 1872,[3] and attended Staff College, Camberley in 1880. Promotion to captain followed on 22 February 1882, to major on 29 May 1891, and to lieutenant-colonel on 18 January 1897.[4] He was Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment who were deployed to South Africa for the Second Boer War,[3] and in 1902 was in command at Volksrust, where there was an internment camp for Boers.[5] He was mentioned in despatches (including by Lord Kitchener dated 23 June 1902[6]). The war ended in June 1902, and Bullock left Cape Town on the SS Scot in September, returning home.[7] For his services Bullock was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the April 1901 South Africa Honours list (the award was dated to 29 November 1900[8]) and he received the actual decoration from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 24 October 1902.[9]

Following the end of the war, he became Chief Staff Officer in Egypt in late 1902, Brigadier-General commanding Alexandria District in Egypt in 1904 and General Officer Commanding British troops in Egypt in 1905 before becoming General Officer Commanding the West Riding Territorial Division in 1910.[3] He was also made Colonel of the Devonshire Regiment (1910–1921).

Bullock was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bermuda, a strategic colony (now described as a British Overseas Territory) in the North Atlantic Ocean, in 1912, serving in this post until 1917. He was preceded by Lieutenant-General Sir Walter Kitchener, brother of Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener of Khartoum.

Bullock is remembered as moving Government House to the centre of Bermuda's social life. The British Government saw Bermuda more as a base than as a colony. Since the American War of Independence, the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda had served as the headquarters of the Royal Navy in the western North Atlantic, and a large garrison, the Bermuda Garrison, had been built up to defend it. Vast sums had been spent in the 19th century on fortifying the islands, and its governors were appointed almost exclusively from the general officers of the British Army, especially from the Royal Engineers and the Royal Artillery.[10][11][12]

Bullock's predecessors had kept a distance from Bermuda's civilian population, but he made efforts to interact socially, opening Government House to prominent Bermudians and visitors, such as US President-elect Woodrow Wilson, for social functions. He also made efforts to take part in the normal social life of the colony.[13][14]

When Britain declared war on Germany in 1914, during the First World War, Bullock was temporarily overseas. The commanding officer of the Second Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment (2 Lincolns), based at Prospect Camp, Lieutenant-Colonel George Bunbury McAndrew, found himself acting governor, Commander-In-Chief, and Vice-Admiral of Bermuda in his absence, and oversaw the colony's placement onto a war footing.[15] The battalion returned to England on 3 October 1914, and was sent to the Western Front soon after.

Bullock's Boys. The first contingent of the BVRC to the Lincolns, training in Bermuda for the Western Front, Winter 1914-15.

A contingent from the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC) was detached in December 1914 to train for the Front. It was hoped this could join 2 Lincolns, but when it arrived in England 2 Lincolns was already in France. it was attached as an extra company to the First Battalion (1 Lincolns) instead, and was the first colonial volunteer unit to reach the Western Front when it arrived there in June, 1915. The contingent had trained at Warwick Camp, in Bermuda, over the winter of 1914-1915. As the BVRC still had to meet its obligations as part of the garrison, maintaining patrols and guarding key points around the archipelago, it did not have enough officers to provide an Adjutant to the cadre. Bullock filled this role himself, a job normally performed by a captain. The contingent, as a result, was popularly known as Bullock's Boys.[16]

Bullock retired from the governorship in 1917, being succeeded by General Sir James Willcocks.

His wife Amy (Lady Bullock) was invested as OBE for her war work on March 27th 1918. [17]


  1. ^ India, Select Births and Baptisms, 1786-1947
  2. ^ a b "Obituary: Sir George Bullock". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 29 January 1926. p. 14.
  3. ^ a b c "Bullock, George Mackworth". Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  4. ^ Hart′s army list, 1903
  5. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36860). London. 30 August 1902. p. 4.
  6. ^ "No. 27459". The London Gazette. 29 July 1902. pp. 4835–4837.
  7. ^ "The Army in South Africa - Troops returning home". The Times (36869). London. 10 September 1902. p. 5.
  8. ^ "No. 27306". The London Gazette. 19 April 1901. p. 2696.
  9. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36908). London. 25 October 1902. p. 8.
  10. ^ "Bulwark Of Empire: Bermuda's Fortified Naval Base 1860-1920", Lt.-Col. Roger Willock, USMC, The Bermuda Maritime Museum Press, The Bermuda Maritime Museum, P.O. Box MA 133, Mangrove Bay, Bermuda MA BX.
  11. ^ "Bermuda Forts 1612–1957", Dr. Edward C. Harris, The Bermuda Maritime Museum Press, The Bermuda Maritime Museum, P.O. Box MA 133, Mangrove Bay, Bermuda MA BX.
  12. ^ The Andrew And The Onions: The Story Of The Royal Navy In Bermuda, 1795–1975, Lt. Commander Ian Strannack, The Bermuda Maritime Museum Press, The Bermuda Maritime Museum, P.O. Box MA 133, Mangrove Bay, Bermuda MA BX. ISBN 0-921560-03-6
  13. ^ "Presidents I've Known and Two Near Presidents", by Charles Willis Thompson. Publisher: Ayer Co Pub (June 1929). ISBN 0836917286.
  14. ^ "VISITS WILSON VIA KITCHEN.; Only Entrance Sir George Bullock Could Find to Governor's Cottage." Special Cable to the New York Times. November 21, 1912.
  15. ^ The Royal Gazette, 6 August, 1914: GOVERNMENT NOTICES. A PROCLAMATION! (MARTIAL LAW REGULATIONS). By His Excellency George Bunbury McAndrew, Lieutenant-Colonel, Officer Administering the Government and Commander-in-Chief in and over these Islands, &c., &c., &c.
  16. ^ "Defence, Not Defiance: A History Of The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps", Jennifer M. Ingham (now Jennifer M. Hind), ISBN 0-9696517-1-6. Printed by The Island Press Ltd., Pembroke, Bermuda.
  17. ^ "Lady Amy Bullock". Imperial War Museum.
Military offices
Preceded by
John Slade
General Officer Commanding the British Troops in Egypt
Succeeded by
Sir John Maxwell