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Joseph Ernest Sandbach (1898-1991)

Joseph Ernest Sandbach was born in Cheshire, the son of a dairy farmer. He attended school in Northwich and began an engineering apprenticeship before training for the United Methodist ministry at Victoria Park College.

In 1932 he was appointed to be a missionary in Yunnan Province in southwest China. He remained there for four years until poor health forced him to return to England.

After two years as a circuit minister in Cornwall, Sandbach went back to China and worked in Hong Kong for the next 25 years.

He was interned by the Japanese in 1942 and played an important and sometimes dangerous role in negotiating between the internees and the Japanese authorities. He was also instrumental in ensuring the orderly return of Hong Kong to British rule after the Japanese surrender. Sandbach was awarded the OBE in 1949 for his work in the Far East.

Sandbach superannuated in 1962 and spent his retirement as an active supernumary in Sussex.

Source: Methodist Recorder 13 June 1991, 18 and Harold Burgoyne Rattenbury papers (MARC)

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