Brigadier-General Colin Robert Ballard, CB, CMG (1868–1941) was a Brigadier-General in the British Army, a knight of the Order of the Star of Romania, recipient of the collar of the Order of Carol I and a military author. Ballard was the second son of General John Archibald Ballard (1829–1880), and his wife Joanna, the daughter of Robert Scott-Moncrieff, and was born at Cockpen, Midlothian, Scotland on 20 July 1868. Ballard spent his early life in Scotland and then in Kent before attending the United Services College, Westward Ho!, Devon in 1885.
According to the records of the India Office, Ballard was granted a Queen's India Cadetship (IOR/L/MIL/9/300/40) in 1887 but he must have decided against service in the Indian Army as he was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the Norfolk Regiment in 1888 with a subsequent promotion to Lieutenant in 1890. The Regiment were posted to Burma for 1891–1892 for which Ballard received the Burma Medal and Clasp and were posted to India in 1895 for which he received the India Medal with Relief of Chitral clasp. Subsequent service in the Tirah Campaign during 1897 and 1898 saw him mentioned in dispatches and promoted to Captain.
The Norfolks were then posted to South Africa where Ballard was Station Commandant during 1899 and early 1900 before becoming a Staff Officer with a field rank of Brevet-Major in the Mounted Infantry Corps Mobile Column through to 1902. In this period he received the Queen's South Africa Medal with 6 clasps and the King's South Africa Medal with both 1901 and 1902 Clasps. It was not long, however, before the Regiment was on the move again and this time Ballard found himself as Transport Officer for the Somaliland Field Force during 1903 and 1904 before being appointed Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General in Ceylon in 1905 and then Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General in Ceylon from 1905 until 1908.
Substantive promotion to Major finally occurred in 1908 and he then took up the post of a General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the 2nd London Division for 1909 and 1910 before moving as a General Staff Officer to the Staff College from 1911 to 1913. Promotion to Lt Colonel came in 1913, giving him the opportunity to formally wear his father's "Colonel's Sword" bequeathed to him in 1880, and he was appointed Commander, 1st Norfolk Regiment and later 7th, 95th and 14th Infantry Brigades, British Expeditionary Force, France and Belgium, 1914-1916. It was whilst he was General Officer Commanding 57th Infantry Brigade in 1916 that he was wounded at the Battle of the Somme. His service in France & Flanders earned him three mentions in dispatches, a brevet Colonel promotion and, in common with his father and with his older brother Admiral George Alexander Ballard, appointment as a Companion of the Bath. Ballard recovered from his wounds and was posted as Military Attaché to Romania from 1917 to 1918. For his services there, the Romanian government appointed him a Knight of the Order of the Star of Romania and he received the Collar of the Order of Carol I, the British Government appointed him a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.
For two years after the First World War, Ballard was Officer Commanding No 2 District, Scottish Command, 1919–1920 and from 1920 to 1923 he held the post of President of the Allied Police Commission in Constantinople. He retired in 1923 and occupied his time in writing a number of books. Ballard died in 1941 and was survived by his wife Lizzie Emelia A Jones whom he had married in 1902. They had no children.
- Russia in rule and misrule (John Murray, London, 1920)
- Napoleon, an outline (Duckworth and Co, London, 1924),
- Military genius of Abraham Lincoln (Oxford University Press, London, 1926),
- The great Earl of Peterborough (Skeffington and Son, London, 1926);
- Kitchener (Faber and Faber, London, 1930),
- Smith-Dorrien (Constable and Co, London, 1931);
- Cook, H. C. B. (ed.). 'The Ballard letters : the Boer war writings of C.R. Ballard, part 1'. Quarterly Bulletin of the South African Library, 45:4 (1991), 145-58. ISSN 00382418.
- Lidell Hart Centre for Military Archives; Reference code: GB99 KCLMA Ballard
- Who Was Who; Oxford University Press
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