Yellow River

Annie Elizabeth TURNBULL (Some Clay Figures, 20 September) was “Nina” when she first married.

John Grant BIRCH was born in Antigua and a brief note in my RootsMagic database indicated his death by drowning – in China. I looked today for details.

We much regret to learn this morning of the death of Mr. JOHN GRANT BIRCH, of the firm of Messrs. John Birch & Co., London, at the age of fifty-three. In this gentleman China has claimed another victim, and Britain has lost a loyal and most patriotic son. Mr. Birch was the eldest son of Colonel J. F. Birch, late 3rd West Indian Regiment. The Times says:- He made the acquaintance of our correspondent, Dr. Morrison, during his frequent journeyings in China in late years, and in our columns have appeared on several occasions letters showing his intimate knowledge of Chinese politics and foreshadowing later untoward events. In his last journey, on or about June 24, he lost his life by drowning through the wrecking of the raft in which he was travelling on the Yellow River, on his way from Lanchow [Lanzhou] to Peking [Beijing], where he had intended making strong representations with a view to the opening of the Yangtsze Valley by railways – a subject on which he was fully informed, and which he advocated in the interests of his country. A further tribute is due to Mr. Birch’s memory in connection with the Soudan expedition, which was rendered possible only by the dessert (sic) railway from Wadi-Halfa to Abu Hamed. Almost the whole scheme of this railway followed a plan drawn up in great detail by Mr. Birch, and submitted by him to Lord Cromer several months before the first advance on Dongola.

London and China Express, 27 July 1900

(Find Wadi-Halfa Railway Station on Google Maps and John on the Shared Tree.)

Measure of Man 63 · Flyers

Muston Sands