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The Birch Memorial Clock Tower

Birch Memorial was built in 1909 in memory of J.W.W. Birch. Birch was the first British Resident of Perak, assassinated in Pasir Salak in 1875 by Dato Maharajalela. His death was a lesson to other disrespectful and arrogant British officials. Dato Maharajalela was hanged afterward, but he is sung as a national hero, until today. After the independent, a few roads named after Birch were renamed as Dato Maharajalela Road. The road that next to the Birch Memorial at Ipoh, as you can guess, is Dato Maharajalela Road.

It was designed as means of educating Malayan residents about the History of Civilization as depicted on its four murals. The work to construct the tower started in 1908 and was completed in 1909. The person responsible for the design of the structure was Mr. Steadman, a British architect. At first, he had suggested using marble and granite as construction materials but the fund was just $17,000 rather than the first estimate $30,000. So the tower was built using bricks and concrete. The Birch Memorial was officially dedicated by Sir John Anderson, British High Commissioner in 1909.

For a small structure is has many details: the tower bells that used to strike the chimes of Big Ben in London, four terracotta figures perched at the top of the tower which represented the four virtues of British administration namely loyalty, justice, patience and fortitude and a panel portraying 44 famous figures from world history across the tower. 

The clock tower has one mother bell, 6 ft. 6 in. in a diameter and weighing 10 cwt., and four smaller bells weighing together 10 cwt., which used to strike the chimes of Big Ben.

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