He was born in Gibraltar into a military family, his father was Sir Frederick Francis Maude - a general who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1855 during the Crimean War. Maude attended Eton College and then Sandhurst military college. He graduated in 1883 and joined the Coldstream Guards in February 1884.
He first saw active service in Egypt from March-September 1885, where he was awarded the Egyptian Medal and the Khedive's Egyptian Star. He next saw service as a Major during the Boer War, where he served from January 1900 to March 1901, he won a DSO and the Queen's South African Medal. From 1902-04 he served on the staff of the Governor-General of Canada, he returned to Britain to become second-in-command at the Coldstream Guards and then he joined the general staff, was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1907 and full Colonel in 1911.
In WWI Maude first served in France. He was a staff officer with III Corps when in October 1914 he was promoted to Brigadier-General and given command of the 14th Brigade. He was wounded in April 1915 and returned home to recover. He returned to France in May and in June he was promoted to Major-General and transferred to command 33rd Division, then still in training. However in mid-August he was instead given charge of 13th Division, then in Suvla.
The 13th suffered heavy casualties retreating from Suvla and landing and later evacuating from Helles before being shifted to Mesopotamia in March 1916. They arrived to catch the end of the British failure at the Siege of Kut and Maude was promoted to Lieutenant-General and replaced George Gorringe as commander of the newly dubbed Tigris Corps (3rd Army Corps) in July 1916. Despite being instructed to do no more than hold the existing line Maude set about to reorganising and re-supplying his mixed British and Indian forces. He was made commander of all Allied forces in Mesopotamia in late July 1916.
Despite the hopes that the Mesopotamian campaign would die down Maude directed his force in a steady series of victories. Advancing up the Tigris and winning the battles of Mohammed Abdul Hassan, Hai and Dahra in January 1917, recapturing Kut in February 1917 and then taking Baghdad on March 11, 1917. From Baghdad he launched the Samarrah Offensive and extended his operations to the Euphrates and Diyala rivers. After a lull over the summer by November his forces were engaged at Ramadi and Tikrit when he became ill from cholera (apparently from drinking milk) and died.
He was succeeded by William Marshall who continued operations at a lower tempo in response to pressure from his chief, William Robertson.