Major General Lord Methuen (Baron Methuen)

Paul Sanford Methuen, 3rd Baron Methuen, GCB, GCMG, GCVO

Sept 1, 1845 to Oct 30, 1932

Major-General-Lord-Methuen
Major General Lord Methuen

Paul Sanford Methuen was born at Corsham Court, Wiltshire, the eldest son of Frederick Henry Paul Methuen and Anna Horatia Caroline Sandford. Educated at Eton, Methuen served two years in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry and then joined the Scots Guards as an ensign in 1864. He was promoted to Captain in 1867 and appointed adjutant of the 1st battalion in 1868 seeing active duty at Amoaful in the Ashanti campaign of 1873-74 in what is now Ghana.

Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1876, he became regimental major in 1882 and then brigade major, Home District from 1871 serving as Assistant Military Secretary in Ireland from 1877, Military Attaché in Berlin in 1878 and Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General at the Home District from 1881. Methuen served as commandant of headquarters in Egypt briefly being present at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir before joining the Warren Expedition to Bechuanaland in 1884 where he commanded a corps of Mounted Rifles.

Returning to England and following further promotions he was given command of the 1st Division on the outbreak of the South African War as a Lieutenant-General. Returning to Africa in 1899, Methuen expelled the Boers from Belmont and Graspan and was slightly wounded at the Battle of the Modder River. His greatest defeat was at the Battle of Magersfontein and it is this battle for which he is best remembered. Captured by the Boers at Tweebosch on March 7, 1902 where he was wounded and broke his leg when his horse fell on him, he was released by the Boer General Koos de la Rey due to the severity of his injuries. Allegedly the two became lifelong friends as a result of this action. In spite of visible setbacks, Methuen continued to be well regarded and received further promotions and responsibilities.

He was appointed governor and commander-in-chief of Natal in 1910 and made a Field Marshall the following year.He helped raise the standards of training of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 and in 1915 was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Malta until his retirement in 1919.Methuen was married twice, first to Evelyn, eldest daughter of Sir Frederick Hutchingson Hervey-Bathurst, third baronet of Clarendon Park Wiltshire. They were only married for one year when she passed away.

He then married in 1884 his cousin Mary Ethel, second daughter of William Ayshford Sanford, of Nynehead Court. They had three sons and four daughters.

Lord Methuen died at Corsham Court, his family home, on October 30, 1932.