Scope and Contents
The collection consists of: notes and reminiscences written by Buchan after her return from China with some original items and correspondence (1925-1984); talks and addresses concerning China mainly given in the UK by Buchan (1928, 1946-1986); pamphlets and printed items about China including ones on and by Buchan (1941-1989); papers on Eric Liddell and personal items belonging to Buchan (1921-1987); and photographs and pictures of Buchan and China (1920s-1950).
Biographical / Historical
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 Peking studying the language she moved in 1926 to Tsangchow 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 Tientsin until she secured permission from the Japanese to visit her sick friend Margery Brameld in Peking. 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 Weihsien camp in Shantung 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. She was released at the end of the war and returned home, arriving at 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 Hankow 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.