Granville Gower Loch

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Granville Gower Loch (1813–1853) was a captain in the Royal Navy.

He was a son of James Loch (his brother was Lord Henry Loch). He entered the navy in 1826 and had risen to the rank of commander by 1837. He attained post rank and went on the Obina campaign as a volunteer in 1841. He published an account of the campaign The Closing Events of the Campaign in China (1843). He was employed in Nicaragua in 1848, in the same year he was awarded the C.B.. He took prominent part in the Second Burmese War, 1852–1853. He was shot and killed while attacking Donabew and was buried in Rangoon.[1]


Granville Gower Loch, born 28 February 1813, was second son of James Loch of Drylaw in Mid-Lothian; brother of George Loch and of Lord Henry Loch. He entered the navy in February 1826, passed his examination in 1832, and was promoted to be lieutenant on 23 October 1833. After serving on the home station and the Mediterranean Loch was promoted to be commander 28 February 1837.[2]

From 1838 to 1840 he commanded the sloop HMS Fly on the South American and Pacific station, and in 1841 the sloop HMS Vesuvius in the Mediterranean. He was advanced to post rank on 26 August 1841, and on returning to England went out to China as a volunteer, and at the capture of Chinkiang Foo (Zhenjiang Fu) served as an aide-de-camp to General Sir Hugh Gough. He afterwards published his journal under the title The Closing Events of the Campaign in China, 12mo, 1843.[2]

From 1846 to 1849 he commanded the frigate HMS Alarm in the West Indies; and in February 1848 was sent to the coast of Nicaragua to demand and enforce redress for certain outrages, and to obtain the release of two British subjects who had been carried off from San Juan by the military commandant. The government at the time seemed to be in the hands of the army, and Loch forthwith proceeded up the river in the boats of the Alarm and sloop HMS Vixen, his total force being 260 men. The enemy had occupied a strong position at Serapaqui, defended not only by the nature of the ground and the material obstructions, but by a five-knot current which kept the boats under fire for an hour and a half before the men could land. The fort was then gallantly carried and dismantled, the guns destroyed and the ammunition thrown into the river. Thereupon the British demands were conceded and a satisfactory treaty was arranged. On the reception of the news in Britain Loch was made a Companion of the Bath (C.B.) 30 May 1848.[2]

In 1852 he commissioned the frigate HMS Winchester to relieve HMS Hastings as flagship in China and the East Indies. It was the time of the Second Burmese War; and shortly after arriving at Rangoon the admiral died; the commodore was off the coast, and the command in the river devolved on Loch. The work resolved itself into keeping the river clear and driving the Burmese out of such positions as they occupied on its banks. In the beginning of 1853 a robber chief, Nya Myat Toon, had brought together a strong force, had stockaded a formidable position at Donabew, stopped the traffic, and repelled the attempt to drive him away. Loch in person led a joint naval and military expedition against him; landed, and threaded the way by a narrow path through thick jungle. They found the stockade on the farther bank of a steep nullah, in attempting to cross which they suffered severely and were driven back, 4 February Loch was shot through the body and died two days later, 6 February 1853. He was buried at Rangoon, beneath a stone erected by the officers and men of the Winchester. There is also a monument to his memory in St. Paul's Cathedral, He was unmarried. [3]

His uncle was Admiral Francis Erskine Loch.


  1. ^ Lee 1903, p. 787.
  2. ^ a b c Laughton 1893, p. 25.
  3. ^ Laughton 1893, pp. 25, 26.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLaughton, John Knox (1893). "Loch, Granville Gower". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 34. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 25–26.; Endnotes:
    • O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict.
    • Ann. Reg. 1853, p. 210
    • Gent. Mag. 1853, pt. i. p. 545
    • Bulletin of State Intelligence, 1848, p. 112
    • Laurie's Pegu: a Narrative of Events during the Second Burmese War, p. 226
    • information from the family
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1903). "Required |title= missing". Index and Epitome. Dictionary of National Biography. Cambridge University Press. p. 787.

Further reading[edit]

  • Clowes, William Laird; et al. (1897), The royal navy, a history from the earliest times to present, 1, London: S. Low, Marston, pp. 384–385 details on his death.