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Imperial Vancouver Island Who Was Who, 1850-1950

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  • ISBN13:9780957375307
  • ISBN10:0957375301
  • Publisher:Berry Books
  • Language:English
  • Author:J. F. Bosher
  • Binding:Paperback
  • SUPC: SDL456599335


Imperial Vancouver Island, Who was Who 1850-1950 is an enlarged second edition of an A to Z biographical dictionary of about 800 British officers, civil servants, and others from the British Isles and other parts of the Empire who retired to Vancouver Island or who lived there for some time. Among them are veterans of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, which was directed for the Chinese Imperial Government by Sir Robert Hart, whose successor Sir Frederick Maze 1874-1959 died on the Island in Victoria. There are also many officers of the Royal Navy who served at the Esquimalt naval station and returned to spend their last years on the Island. Although the first edition of this book was published in 2010, it was intended to be an appendix to the authors recent study, Vancouver Island in the Empire 2012, an appendix which grew so long that it became a book in itself. Behind these two volumes lies the discovery that the Island had a reputation in British Imperial circles as one of the best alternatives to England, having a climate that is similar, agreeable terrain, excellent fishing and shooting, cheaper land, and the protection of the Royal Navy at Esquimalt. The entries vary in length from half a page to four or five pages, according to what the author could discover. The longest entry is about Lieutenant General Sir Percy Henry Noel Lake 1855-1940, commander of the British Army in Mesopotamia at the time of the Kut-al-Amara disaster 1916 and sometime commander of the forces in India, whose late nephew lived near the authors childhood home. Dr. Bosher has spent 12 years searching in Canadian and British archives, as well as in internet sources, and gathering information from descendants on the Island, who lent him family papers. Since the first edition appeared in 2010, new sources have been offered, notably the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, revealing facts about wills, deaths, and heirs. More than a hundred British soldiers and civil servants from India settled on the Island, some of them with a generation or two of ancestors in Imperial service. The author made special efforts to pursue some people. For instance, he visited the manor house of a Herefordshire squire, William Henry Barneby 1868-1942, and the Hereford County Record Office, which holds dozens of boxes of family papers, Barneby having visited Vancouver Island twice in the 1880s and written a book about each visit.

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