|Field-Marshal Lord Methuen,
G.C.B., G.C.V.O., G.C.M.G.
Paul Sanford Methuen, 3rd Baron Methuen (September 1, 1845 -
October 30, 1932) was the third Baron Methuen and a British
Paul Sanford Methuen was born at Corsham Court, Wiltshire, the
eldest of three sons of Frederick Henry Paul Methuen, 2nd Baron
Methuen and his wife Anna Horatia Caroline Sanford. He was
educated at Eton College and Rev. Russell Day’s house.
Methuen was commissioned a Cornet in 1862 in the Royal Wiltshire
Yeomanry and served two years before being commissioned an
Ensign in the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1864. He was promoted
Captain in 1867 and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel in 1876. He served
as Adjutant of the 1st Battalion from 1864 until 1871, and held
several Staff positions such as Brigade Major, Home District from
1871-1878, Military Attaché in Berlin (1878-1881), Assistant
Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Home District (1881-1884),
and Deputy Adjutant-General, in South Africa (1888-1890).
He saw active duty at Amoaful in the Ashanti campaign of 1873–
1874 (present day Ghana) on the staff of Sir Garnet Wolseley and
held the position of Commandant of Wolseley’s Headquarters in
Egypt for three months in 1882, and was present at the Battle of
Tel al-Kebir. He was created a Commander of the Bath for his
services in the Egypt campaign. He was promoted to Brevet-Colonel
in 1881, and served in the expedition of Sir Charles Warren to
Bechuanaland (present day Botswana) in 1884-1885, where he
raised and commanded Methuen's Horse, a corps of mounted rifles.
In 1884, he was made a C.M.G. for his services during this
campaign. He was promoted to substantive Colonel in 1888, Major-
General in May of 1888, and commanded the Home District from
1892-1897. He succeeded his father as the 3rd Baron in 1891.
In 1897 he served in India as Press Censor on the Headquarters
Staff during the Tirah expedition and was promoted to Lieutenant-
General in 1898 before returning to England. He was then given the
command of the 1st Division of the Field Force on the outbreak of
the South African War.
Paul Methuen reached South Africa in 1899 and entrusted with the
task of relieving Kimberly. In attempting to do so, he suffered
both defeats and successes. He expelled the Boers from Belmont
and Graspan and was slightly wounded at Modder River. His
greatest defeat was at the Battle of Magersfontein on December
11, 1899, for which he was best remembered. He was also badly
beaten at Tweebosch on March 7, 1902 where he was severely
wounded and taken prisoner. Kimberly was ultimately relieved by
General French and Methuen returned to England. Despite these
visible setbacks, Methuen continued to be well regarded, and was
given new responsibilities.
In June of 1904, Methuen was given command of the IV Army Corps (later reconstituted as the Eastern Command). He
achieved the rank of Lieutenant General in 1899. In 1908 he was appointed General Officer Commanding-in-Chief in South
Africa, a position he held until 1912. He was a popular with his troops as well as his former opponents, and helped improve
relations between the British and the Boers. He was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Natal in 1910 and was
promoted to Field-Marshal in 1911, at which time he returned to England. Following the outbreak of the Great War, he
became instrumental in helping raise the standards of training of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914. In February of
1915, at age 70, he was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Malta, a position he held until his retirement in 1919.
Returning again to England, he was appointed Constable of the Tower in late 1919.
He was appointed G.C.B. in 1902, G.C.V.O. in 1910, and G.C.M.G. in 1919. He was appointed Colonel of the Scots Guards in
1904 and Honorary Colonel of the 3rd Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment, in 1908.
Lord Methuen was married twice, first to Evelyn, the eldest daughter of Sir Frederick Hutchingson Hervey-Bathurst, Third
Baronet of Clarandon Park, Wiltshire. They were married in 1878; she, however, died childless in 1879. In 1884, he then
married his cousin Mary Ethel, the second daughter of William Ayshford Sanford, of Nynehead Court. They had three sons
and four daughters.
Lord Methuen died at Corsham Court on October 30, 1932 and was succeeded by his son, Paul Ayshford Methuen, 4th Baron