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Ceremony for knight who propelled China into modern era
A CEREMONY took place to rededicate the headstone of Sir Robert Hart - who is credited with propelling China into the modern era.
Well wishers from the UK and abroad gathered to witness the rededication in All Saints churchyard, Bisham.
Wreaths were laid on behalf of a number of Anglo-Chinese organisations last Friday. Two professors of Chinese studies spoke glowingly of how Hart, who died in 1911, developed a wide range of institutions in China which opened it up to foreign trade.
It was the first recorded meeting of the descendants of his Chinese concubine and those in the legitimate line born to his English wife.
Hart, who held the post of Inspector-General of Imperial Customs for 48 years, is also commemorated by a statue in Shanghai and has a school named after him in Northern Ireland where he was born. The Waltham St Lawrence Band played at his graveside.