Andrew Geddes Bain (1797-1864), British geologist, was a native of Scotland. In 1820 he emigrated to Cape Colony, and carried on for some years the business of a saddler at Graaf Reinet. During the Kaffir War in 1833-34 he took command of a provisional battalion raised for the defence of the frontier. Later he was engaged to construct a military road through the Ecca Pass, and displayed engineering talents which led to his being permanently employed as surveyor of military roads under the corps of Royal Engineers. This occupation created an interest in geology, which was fostered in 1837 by the loan of Lyell's Elements. He discovered the remains of many reptilia, including the Dicynodon, which was obtained from the Karroo Beds near Fort Beaufort and described by Owen. Devoting all his spare energies to geological studies, Bain prepared in 1852 the first comprehensive geological map of South Africa, a work of great merit, which was published by the Geological Society of London in 1856. He died at Cape Town in 1864.
Obituary by Dr R. N. Rubidge, in Geol. Mag. January 1865, p. 47; also Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa, vol. ii. part v., June 1896 (with portrait).