Major General Sir Wilkinson D Bird KBE CB CMG DSO
1929 - 1939
Another former Chief Instructor and Staff Officer of the School of Musketry (1903-1905), Major General Bird had previously seen much active service. He took part in the Niger campaign of 1897, operations on the North West Frontier of India in 1897-1898, and in the South African war of 1899-1902. Attached to The Protectorate Regiment (Rhodesia) he fought in the battle to relieve Mafeking, (where he was severely wounded, mentioned in Despatches, and awarded the DSO)
Born on 4th May 1869, the son of Captain J D Bird, 20th Hussars, he had been educated at Wellington College and the RMC Sandhurst before entering The Queen’s Royal Regiment in 1888. By 1914 he had risen to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was soon once more in action. Commanding 2nd Bn, The Royal Irish Rifles, he crossed over to France with the British Expeditionary Force in August. Five months later he was severely wounded again. One of his limbs was amputated and he thereby became the only one-legged officer ever to hold the appointment of Colonel of the Regiment.
In 1918 he became Lieutenant Governor of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, in which post he served until 1923 when he retired and settled in Camberley, Surrey. He died in 1943.