Birkenhead River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows S then E into N end of Lillooet Lake, just E of Pemberton, Lillooet Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°18'22''N, 122°36'20''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92J/7
Related Maps: 92J/10
92J/7

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 10th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1911.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Had been labelled "Mosquito River" on Trutch's 1871 map of BC, and on BC map #18, 1912.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

The name was given originally (1858) to Portage River as "Birkenhead Strait", and soon after (by 1860) to the portage between Lillooet and Anderson Lakes as Birkenhead Portage. By 1867 the name had been applied to the river. (B.C.Sessional Papers, 1877, 291.)

Source: Provincial Archives of BC "Place Names File" compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions

Named in 1858 by A.C. Anderson; he named Anderson Lake after himself, Seton Lake after Colonel Alexander Seton of the 47th (and a relative of Anderson's); and Birkenhead River after the ship in which Colonel Seton went down on. The story of the British Transport SS Birkenhead is famous in the annals of the British Army: In February 1853 she struck a rock near the Cape of Good Hope. Since a number of families were travelling with the men, the places in the few lifeboats were given to the women and children. While the boats rowed away, the soldiers stood lined up in their ranks on the deck. When the ship broke and began to sink, the captain cried out, "Every man for himself". Trained in the iron discipline of the British Army, not a man moved from his place. Instead they awaited an order of dismissal from their officers. 453 lives were lost.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office