Major-General William George Malcolm Strickland was born in India and was educated at Kensington Grammar School. Commissioned as an Ensign in the 49th Madras N.I. in March 1849, he was present with the Regiment at the defence of Martaban and the recapture of Billing. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1855, Strickland subsequently did duty with the Madras Sappers and Miners. In January 1880, he was appointed Commandant, 13th Madras N.I., prior to retirement with the rank of Hon. Major-General in 1890.