In Memoriam [David Oliphant]



Photographer: Giles Family

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Canberra, ACT : The Australian National University



Details from plaque: Here fell David Oliphant of H.B.M. consular service mortally wounded while cutting down this tree 11.30 am 5 July 1900 . And here Henry Swannell signalman H.M.S. Orlando at the risk of his life stayed by his side and held him until help came to bear him to the hospital -----oooOOOooo----- "David Oliphant was Second Assistant at the British Legation in Peking. He had just completed his course as a Student Interpreter when the siege occurred." Lancelot Giles (1970) p. 186."On 5 July another popular young man, David Oliphant of the British Consular Service, brother of Nigel Oliphant, was mortally wounded while cutting down a tree in the Hanlin. Captain Poole had given the order to withdraw but Oliphant ignored it. Poole rushed back to find him lying on his back, with a sailor - Henry Swannell of HMS Orlando - sitting beside him, and shot dropping everywhere. Too small to carry Oliphant, Swannell was attempting to shield him by 'placing himself between Oliphant and the direction from which the Chinese were firing'. Oliphant was carried to the hospital on a door in terrible agony but died three hours later...." Diana Preston (1999) p. 123."..... in [the] fifty-five days [of the siege of the legations], sixty-six people had been killed, and a hundred and fifty wounded [not counting the Chinese Christians who had fought alongside the Europeans]" Marina Warner (1972) p. 244.




Menzies Very Large Rare Book 2233396



Book Title

Giles Family Albums

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Access Statement

Open Access

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This image is published under a CC-BY licence.


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