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John Wood

1811 - 1871

Explorer. Born in Perthshire and educated at Perth Academy, Wood served in the navy of the East India Company. He was responsible for running a steamship on the River Indus (1835) and undertook research on the topography and geography of the region. The following year, he was sent to Afghanistan and served under Sir Alexander Burnes (1805-41). He explored the region and claimed to have found the source of the River Oxus, although this was later shown to be incorrect. He published, Journey to the Source of the Oxus (1841) and received a Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in the same year.

During his time in Afghanistan, Wood formed friendships and allegiances with the local people, which brought disagreement with the British Government over their colonial aspirations and Wood's subsequent resignation from the East India Company.

After a brief period in New Zealand, Wood went to Australia. By 1857, he was back in Europe. He returned to India to work for the Oriental Inland Steam Navigation Company and then managed the Indus steam flotilla (1861-71).

He died in London (England).

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