Papers of Annie Gray Buchan

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of: correspondence; typed talks and addresses; pamphlets and printed items; papers on Eric Liddell and personal items; and photographs and sketches.

Administrative / Biographical History

Annie Gray Buchan, London Missionary Society missionary in China, was born in Peterhead on 24 September 1895. She trained as a nurse in Dundee and Edinburgh, then applied to the London Missionary Society and was accepted for China. Her missionary training was at the Women's Missionary College (St Colm's College), Edinburgh and on completing this she sailed for China in February 1925.

After spending nearly a year in Beijing studying Mandarin she moved in 1926 to Tsangchow (Hebei province) to work in the hospital for a few months before settling in Tehchow where she was matron at Siaochang Hospital. Despite occasional evacuations of the missionaries due to fighting the hospital expanded and was registered as a training school for nurses. Annie Buchan was there for nearly fourteen years, with two periods of leave in 1931-32 and 1937-38, until the Japanese invasion forced the missionaries to leave in 1940. She then worked for a time at the Mackenzie Memorial Hospital in Tianjin until she secured permission from the Japanese to visit her sick friend Margery Brameld in Beijing. While she was there all British subjects were sent to internment camps, but she stayed on to nurse her friend in the mission house and later at the British Embassy until Brameld died in 1943.

Buchan was sent to the Weixian camp in Shandong province where many of her missionary colleagues, including the former Olympic sprinter Eric Liddell, were already being held and where she did valuable work in the camp hospital.

Buchan was released at the end of the war and returned home, arriving during Christmas 1945 in poor physical shape. Despite this she was determined to go back to China as soon as possible. A return to the north was impossible so she accepted a post at Hankou as matron of the Union Hospital. She remained there from 1947 until 1950 when she finally returned to Scotland. She resigned from the mission in 1951 and worked as matron at the Colony for Epileptics near Glasgow from 1953 until 1955. She was also active in the formation of a local committee in Peterhead for World Refugee Year (1959-1960) and gave talks and addresses and took classes throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers. It is essential to arrange an appointment in advance to view the archive in order that someone can be available to help. Please contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Other Finding Aids

A paper catalogue for the collection is available to researchers at the Centre.

Archivist's Note

Description originally written and researched by Caroline Brown in June 2001. This had been added to Archives Hub in August 2012 by Louise Williams.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction of materials (for example by digital camera) is free for private research and educational use, although we ask researchers to sign an agreement. Please contact us for enquiries on using the material in a commercial setting, for which there will be a fee. Contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Accruals

No further additions to the collection are expected.

Geographical Names