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Daniel Sandford (soldier)

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Daniel Sandford (soldier)

For other uses, see Daniel Sandford.

Brigadier Daniel Arthur Sandford CBE, DSO (18 June 1882 – 22 January 1972) was an officer in the British Army. He was a son of the Venerable Ernest Grey Sandford, Archdeacon of Exeter; his great-grandfather was Daniel Sandford (Bishop of Edinburgh), and his brother was Lieutenant Richard Douglas Sandford VC.

Early Life

Sandford was born at Barnstaple, Devon in June 1882.

Before the First World War he was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery and saw imperial Service in both India and the Sudan.

First World War Sandford first arrived at the Western Front in France as a Captain in February 1915, and by May 1916 had been promoted to the rank of Major and was Officer Commanding of the 94th (Siege) Battery, R.G.A., leading it in action at Hebuterne in Artois in opening of the Somme Offensive on July 1, 1916 (Medal Index Card, & War Diary of 94th (S) Battery, RGA (WO/95/470), The National Archive, Surrey).

Following the war he resigned and moved to Ethiopia. Colonel Sandford became an advisor to Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

Role in the Ethiopian Revolt of the Second World War

Until early 1936, before the Second World War, Sandford had been in Ethiopia, but he had to flee the country once it became clear that the Italian invasion of Ethiopia of 1935-1936 would succeed. Once in England, Sandford maintained contact with the exiled Emperor, Haile Selassie, who was based in Bath.

In August 1939, the head of the Middle East Command in Cairo, General Sir Archibald Wavell, summoned Sandford for duty. Wavell made Sandford a colonel and put him in charge of the Ethiopian Section in Middle East intelligence. Sandford immediately began liaising with resistance groups in Ethiopia, and in January 1940 toured the French- and British-held territories bordering Ethiopia to solicit support for a planned Allied-backed Ethiopian revolt against the Italians. The British plan to foster and assist the Ethiopian revolt was called Mission 101.

Overall, Sandford's tour was relatively successful, and so upon his return to Cairo Sandford selected the team he would use to implement Mission 101 and drew up two plans of action: Scheme A, which dealt with military preparations and the British role, and Scheme B, which focused on the propaganda methods to be used. As soon as Italy declared war on 10 June, Sandford and his team swung into action implementing his plan. Sandford oversaw Mission 101 until the arrival of Orde Wingate.[1]

Later in war and in immediate post-war years, Sandford served again as advisor to Emperor Selassie, both in military and political roles.


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