Born on Brixton Hill, Streatham Parish , the elder of two sons of George Ord FRCS and his wife, Harriet, the daughter of Sir James Clark, a London merchant.
Educated at King's College School, Ord entered St Thomas's Hospital in 1852 and gained his MB from London University in 1855 and his MD in 1877. Following a brief period in general practice with his father at Streatham Hill, Ord remained associated with St Thomas's for the rest of his career as house surgeon, surgical registrar, demonstrator of anatomy, and, from 1870, assistant physician and joint lecturer in physiology. He was dean of the medical school from 1876 until 1887.
Ord was appointed physician in 1877, a post which he held until 1898, when he became consulting physician.
In 1902 he was stricken with what the BMJ termed 'brain fever' and was moved to the house of his son, The Hall, New Street, Salisbury, where he died on 14 May 1902.