Commander Henry Charles Otter’s Host in 1851

I mentioned that Captain Otter and his wife were in Portsea visiting a General in the Royal Engineers.
The Roll of Honour site provides a photograph of the General’s memorial at All Saint’s Church, Crondall, Hampshire (http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Hampshire/Crondall.html) and the inscription reads:

SACRED
TO THE MEMORY OF
JOHN FRANCIS BIRCH
GENERAL ROYAL ENGINEERS C.B.
HE SERVED IN FLANDERS & HOLLAND
IN 1793, 94 & 95
THE CAMPAIGN IN EGYPT 1801
TAKING OF COPENHAGEN 1807
TAKING OF FLUSHING 1809
BLOCKADE OF CADIZ 1810
BATTLE OF BAROSSA 1811
BORN 1776 DIED 1856
ALSO IN MEMORY OF
JAMES HUNTER BLAIR BIRCH
SON OF THE ABOVE
CAPTAIN IN 66TH REGIMENT
BORN 1820 DIED IN BARBADOS 1851
ALSO
TO THE MEMORY OF CLEMENTINA
DAUGHTER OF THE ABOVE
BORN 1815 DIED 1841
A remarkable career from the age of 17 to 35. The General’s 35 year-old son, Captain Thomas Francis Birch RN, was also present so there are plenty of reasons to speculate as to why the Otter’s were paying them a visit at this time. I cannot find any reference to Captain Birch’s involvement in the surveys of Scotland but he appears to have spent several years prior to 1851 serving in China and I have seen one mention of him regarding a chart of Shanghai.
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