Famous People: Sir David
Sir David Baird
(1757-1829) was born in East Lothian. In 1779 while serving as a captain
in India he took part in the 2nd Mysore War. At the Battle of Polilur in
1780, a Britsh force of 4000 was defeated and almost totally destroyed. Baird
was wounded and captured. He was taken to Srirangapatnam where he spent almost
4 years chained in a dreadful cell in awful conditions.
Once free again, Baird got his revenge during the 4th Mysore War. Major-General
Baird, as he had become, commanded the final assault on Srirangapatnam. In
fact he was given this role because of his treatment there and to the annoyance
and exclusion of Arthur Wellesley, future Duke of Wellington.
Baird went on to command an
expedition of Indian troups against the French in Egypt in 1801. In 1804
his military contributions to the Empire earned him his knighthood. He went
on to take the Cape in South Africa from the Dutch in 1806. At Corunna in
1809 he lost an arm.
Halfway between Comrie and
Crieff a tall hill-top monument was raised in memory of Sir David Baird and
his eventful military career.