Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Brind, James

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BRIND, Sir JAMES (1808–1888), general, colonel-commandant royal (late Bengal) artillery, son of Walter Brind, silk merchant of Paternoster Row, London, was born on 10 July 1808. After passing through the military college of the East India Company at Addiscombe, he received a commission as second lieutenant in the Bengal artillery on 3 July 1827. His further commissions were dated: first lieutenant 15 Oct. 1833, brevet captain 3 July 1842, captain 3 July 1845 brevet major 20 June 1854, major 26 June 1856, lieutenant-colonel 18 Aug. 1858, brevet colonel 26 April 1859, colonel 18 Feb. 1861, major-general 1 June 1867, lieutenant-general and general 1 Oct. 1877, colonel-commandant royal artillery 3 Oct. 1877.

Brind arrived in India on 14 Aug. 1827, and was sent to the upper provinces. On 28 Feb. 1834 he was posted to the 7th company, 6th battalion Bengal artillery. After being attached for some three years to the revenue survey, he was appointed adjutant to the 5th battalion of artillery on 13 April 1840, and division adjutant to the artillery at Agra and Mathra in July 1842; but ill-health compelled him to resign the adjutancy in November 1843, and he went home on furlough in the following year. In August 1854 Brind commanded the artillery of the field force under Colonel (afterwards Sir) Sydney J. Cotton against the Mohmands of the Kabul river; he was mentioned in despatches, and received the medal and clasp and a brevet majority for his services.

He was commanding a battery at Jalandhar in June 1857 when the troops there mutinied. He went thence to the siege of Delhi, where he commanded the foot artillery of the Delhi field force, and from the time when the siege batteries were ready until the assault on 14 Sept. 1857 he commanded No. 1 siege battery, consisting of five 18-pounder guns, one 8-inch howitzer, and four 24-pounder guns. It was called after him 'Brind's Battery.' All accounts testify to Brind's unceasing vigilance. He seemed never to sleep. Careful in the extreme of his men, he exposed himself unhesitatingly to every danger. It was said by another Delhi veteran, 'Talk of Victoria Crosses; if Brind had his due he would be covered with them from head to foot.' He commanded the force of artillery and infantry on 20 Sept. which attacked and carried the Jamma Masjid. On the following day, as soon as the city of Delhi was completely captured, the difficult task was allotted to him of ensuring the safety of the gateways. He cleared the city of murderers and incendiaries, and made all the military posts secure from attack. 'On all occasions,' wrote another Delhi hero, 'the exertions of this noble officer were indefatigable. He was always to be found where his presence was most required, and the example he set to his officers and men was beyond all praise. A finer soldier I never saw.'

From December 1857 to March 1858 he commanded a light column in the Mozaffarnagar. In April he commanded the artillery of the force under Brigadier-general (afterwards Sir) Robert Walpole [q. v.], was present at the unsuccessful attack on Fort Ruiya on 15 April, and at the defeat of the rebels at Alaganj on the 22nd, after which the column joined the commander-in-chief. Brind commanded the artillery brigade in the march through Rohilkhand, and at the battle of Bareli on 5 May, and the capture of that city. He was employed in clearing it of rebels on that and the following day. In October 1868 Brind commanded the artillery of Colonel Colin Troup's force in Oude, and took part in the actions of Madaipur on 19 Oct., Rasalpur on the 25th, the capture of Mithaoli on 9 Nov., and the affair of Alaganj on the 17th. He commanded a light column on the following day in pursuit of the rebels, and defeated them near Mehudi, capturing nine guns, after which he rejoined Troup and moved by Talgaon via Biswan, where Firoz Shah was posted, and took part in the action of 1 Dec. The column then moved north, driving the remaining rebels towards Nipal and terminating the campaign.

For his services in the Sepoy war, for which he was frequently mentioned in despatches, Brind was made a companion of the order of the Bath, military division, on 24 March 1858, and received the thanks of government, a brevet colonelcy, and the medal with clasp. He afterwards served for some years in the north-west provinces as inspector-general of artillery with the rank of brigadier-general. He was promoted to be a knight commander of the order of the Bath, military division, on 2 June 1869. On 26 Dec. 1873 he was given the command of the Sirhind division of the Bengal army, which he held until the end of 1878, when he retired upon a pension and returned to England, lie was decorated with the grand cross of the order of the Bath on 24 May 1884. He died at Brighton on 3 Aug. 1888.

Brind was five times married: (1) in 1833 to Joanna (d. 1849), daughter of Captain Waller; (2) in 1852 to a daughter (d. 1854) of Admiral Carter; (3) in 1859 to Georgina (d. 1859), daughter of Henry George Philips, vicar of Mildenhall; (4) in 1864 to Jane (d. 1808), daughter of the Rev. D. H. Maunsell of Balbriggan, co. Dublin; (5) in 1873 to Eleanor Elizabeth Lumley, daughter of the Rev. Henry Thomas Burne of Grittleton, Wiltshire, who survived him.

[India Office Records; Despatches; Army Lists; Times, 6 Aug. 1888; Stubbs's Hist. of the Bengal Artillery; Kaye's Hist. of the Sepoy War; Malleson's Hist. of the Indian Mutiny and other works on the Mutiny.]

R. H. V.