| The Death of James Wheeker Woodford Birch
| Sunday, June 03, 2018
From Sabri Zain : It was the Malay fasting-month, the bulan puasa (fasting month) when
last events occurred. It is not an auspicious time for conducting
with Malays, they do not even at-tempt to work for that month, they
for most of the day and sit up most of the night, eating and talking,
affairs and hatching plots.
In Lower Perak during this particular month of Ramdhan, an unusual
of discussion had been carried on between Sultan Abdullah and his
and they determined not only that the British Resident should be got
of, but one of them, entitled the Maharaja Lela, undertook to do the
the next time Mr. Birch visited him.
Read it all here.................
This man, the Maharaja Lela, was a chief of considerable rank, after
Sultan he was the seventh in the State. He lived at Pasir Salak, on the
bank of the Perak River, about thirty miles above the residence of
Abdullah, and about forty below that of ex-Sultan Ismail. He avoided
Birch whenever it was possible (though living only five miles from
and managed to keep friends with both Sultans.
Going straight up to the Chinese shop, he began tearing down the
papers; the interpreter protested, and, seeing no heed was paid to him,
towards the bath-house. He had not made half a dozen steps, when Pandak
overtook him and thrust his spear into the man's abdomen. The wounded
fell down the bank into the river and caught hold of his master's bait,
others followed him and cut him over the head and hands, so that he let
and struggled out into the stream.
The interpreter disposed of, Pandak Indut cried out, `Here is Mr. Birch
the bath-house, come, let us kill him,' and, followed by three or four
shouting amok, amok, they leapt on to the floating timbers and thrust
spears through the open space in the front of the house. At that time men in the boats could see Mr. Birch's head above the mat
it disappeared without any sound from him, and a moment after he came
the surface of the water astern of the house. Some of the murderers
already waiting there, and one of them, a man called Siputum, slashed
Resident over the head with a sword. He sank and was not seen again.
The Sikh orderly, standing with a revolver at the door of the
jumped into the river without any warning to his master, swam off to
of the boats and saved himself. The river-bank was now the scene of a general melee. A Malay boatman
a Sikh had been killed, but the others had got one of the boats away
the bank into midstream and towards it two of Mr. Birch's Malays were
while they supported the grievously wounded interpreter. With
they gained the boat and got the man in.
|posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:04 PM