Edward Carey Tyndale-Biscoe

Edward Carey Tyndale-Biscoe


Edward Carey Tyndale-Biscoe was born on 29 August 1864 in Oxfordshire. In 1884, he undertook his Lieutenant qualifying exams, coming third overall and by September 1899 he retired from the Royal Navy on medical grounds.

Three months later, he approached the British South Africa Company offices and soon learnt more about a proposed BSACo expeditionary force into Mashonaland to mine gold. Upon his arrival in South Africa, he was appointed as Lieutenant of C Troop and formed part of the Pioneer Column.

The column arrived at Fort Salisbury 12 September, and on the morning of 13 September 1890, Tyndale-Biscoe hoisted the Union Jack flag. On Saturday 27 September, Tyndale-Biscoe handed over his guns and the searchlight to the police and purchased two horses, in readiness for the disbandment of the Column. 

Tyndale-Biscoe soon formed a syndicate with the Hoste brothers. Shortly after lodging claims in Salisbury, he joined a punitive expedition against Chief Mutasa in Manicaland and subsequently was in charge of the fort at the Pungwe River passage. The lure of gold would keep him in Manicaland but, on hearing of his mother’s death in 1891, he returned for a short period to England. When he returned to Cape Town in 1892, he made his way to Mashonaland.

During 1892 Tyndale-Biscoe worked in Salisbury as a clerk of court. In October 1893, he was attached to A Troop as Lieutenant in charge of machine guns (Nordenfeldt and Gardiner), Salisbury Column, as part of the expedition to overthrow Lobengula. This volunteer position would be rewarded with the receipt of six thousand acres of land in Matabeleland, twenty gold claims and an equal share of half the cattle captured.

In 1895, Tyndale-Briscoe was part of an expedition lead by Dr J A Moloney on behalf of Rhodesia Concessions Ltd. The purpose of the expedition was to locate land north of the Zambesi to construct light railways under a concession that also granted land and mineral rights.

Shortly after the debacle of the Jameson Raid in December 1895, the amaNdebele rose in rebellion, forcing the Rhodesian Horse, of which Tyndale-Biscoe was still a member, to muster in Salisbury. With the rank of Captain, the force under Colonel Beal and including Cecil Rhodes, went to the aid of the beleaguered Bulawayo. Tyndale-Biscoe saw action in the Hartley area.

After the Rebellions, Tyndale-Biscoe continued to prospect in the Mazoe Valley, and further afield into the Bindura area where he worked the Phoenix Prince Mine. With the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, he left his property to Skipper Hoste and set off for Durban, joining the British Naval Brigade in a besieged Ladysmith where he manned various gun emplacements.

He arrived back in England in April 1900 to a victorious welcome, highlighted by a parade in front of Queen Victoria. Mentioned in Despatches, he was promoted to the rank of Commander in the Retired List on 24 April 1902.

The outbreak of World War I found Tyndale-Biscoe in Kashmir, visiting his brother Cecil and recovering from a broken leg sustained in a vehicle mishap. He went on to serve as a Major in the Censorship Office in Delhi, retiring in 1920.

Tyndale-Biscoe kept in touch with the country he helped establish, retaining a small mining interest and being invited at the start of each decade, commencing in 1910, to raise the flag in Cecil Square, Salisbury.

He died in Dorset, England, on 13 June 1941.

Stamp Releases


  • Sailor Soldier – David Tyndale-Biscoe
  • South African Mines Vol. 2 1896 – Charles Sydney Goldmann
  • www.rhodesiansoldier.com