This Day in History: 1890-06-26

Lieutenant P A Boileau drowned while on the Chin-Looshai expedition with the 1st Battalion. He was 24. The River Koladyne was in flood and engineers had stretched a heavy wire cable from bank to bank by which a boat could be pulled across. The pulley on the opposite bank had jammed, trapping the boat there. The Goorkhas made a basket and Captain Shakespear and Lieutenant Boileau tossed a coin to decide who went across. Boileau won. Reaching the far side with great difficulty he unjammed the boat and began to make his way back in it, but was swamped by the floodwater. He was a strong swimmer but was swept into the main torrent and disappeared. A engraved brass plaque made of cartridge cases was set up on the spot in his memory, which his brother discovered 2 years later was being used as a gong outside the local village chief’s house.