Gwyther, Henry William (1886-1918)

Henry W. Gwyther held the position of Hindu interpreter in the immigration department in Vancouver from 1913-18. His name shows up on the passenger list of the SS Monteagle arriving in Vancouver from Yokohama  in March 1910. With him, judging by their names and ages, were four  siblings and his mother and grandmother. At the age of twenty-four in 1910, he was the oldest of the siblings. In India he had worked in the railway service which suggests he might have been Anglo-Indian (like Hopkinson) because the railway was then an employment preserve for Anglo-Indians.   His family had come to Vancouver to settle. He was first employed in the immigration Department during the winter of 1913-14 when Hopkinson was in San Francisco and unavailable as an interpreter. Gwyther and Fred Taylor were the first two immigration officers to go aboard the Komagata Maru when it first arrived in Burrard Inlet in the early morning of May 23, 1914; and they had the job of telling the passengers they could not go ashore. He left the immigration department in 1918 and died shortly after. 

Sources: Canadian Passenger Lists, British Columbia Ports, 27 March 1910; Library and Archives Canada, Immigration Files, RG 76; Auditor-General’s Reports in Sessional Papers, Canada, 1914-1920.