Loch, Granville Gower (DNB00)

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LOCH, GRANVILLE GOWER (1813–1853), captain in the navy, born 28 Feb. 1813, was second son of James Loch [q. v.] of Drylaw in Mid-Lothian; brother of George Loch and of Sir Henry Brougham Loch, the present (1892) governor of the Cape of Good Hope. He entered the navy in February 1826, passed his examination in 1832, and was promoted to be lieutenant on 23 Oct. 1833. After serving on the home station and the Mediterranean he was promoted to be commander 28 Feb. 1837. From 1838 to 1840 he commanded the Fly on the South American and Pacific station, and in 1841 the Vesuvius in the Mediterranean. He was advanced to post rank on 26 Aug. 1841, and on returning to England went out to China as a volunteer, and at the capture of Chin Kiang Foo served as an aide-de-camp to General Sir Hugh Gough [q. v.] He afterwards published his journal under the title 'The Closing Events of the Campaign in China,' 12mo, 1843. From 1846 to 1849 he commanded the Alarm frigate 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 Vixen sloop, 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 England Loch was made a C.B. 30 May 1848. In 1852 he commissioned the Winchester frigate to relieve the 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 Feb. Loch was shot through the body and died two days later, 6 Feb. 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.

[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.]

J. K. L.