Captain Loch was the second son of James Loch of Drylaw, Land Agent or Factor to the Duke of Sutherland, and the man chiefly responsible for carrying out the Sutherland "Clearances". This explains his christian names, Granville Gower, both names associated with the family of his father's employer. The young Loch appears to have atoned for his father's savagely carried out land reforms by dying the death of a hero in an obscure campaign in Burma in 1853. The campaign was being conducted in order to induce "regime change" in Burma, where a rising against the reigning king , by his brother, Prince Memdoon, was being encouraged by the British government. The expedition in which Loch was mortally wounded was however a diversion from the main war, and involved the pursuit of a robber chief, Meeir Toora, to his hideaway on the Donabew River. In the course of the pursuit, Loch and his men were ambushed. He died, along with three of his comrades in arms, whilst a number of others were severely wounded. The event is recorded in Marochetti's relief on the memorial. The Times of2 April 1853 reported that coming upon the stronghold of the chief, "Capt Loch ....waved his sword, and shouted to the men to follow him, when down he fell, shot dead - the ball drove his watch into his intestines". A fuller account was given in the same paper on 6 April: "Captain Loch lead on his gallant followers with the utmost daring, and for ten minutes he still seemed, to use the expression of one of his companions 'to bear a charmed life', for he stood unhurt in the midst of that terrible fire. Twice he made an unsuccessful attempt to lead his men across the nullah to storm the post hand to hand, but as he rallied the seamen and marines for a third attack a ball, fired by a man in a tree, struck him on the left side, on the watch, and with such force that it drove the watch itself into his body". This report also records that Loch survived for forty hours after receiving the wound to the left of his abdomen.
It may have been through the family of the Duke of Sutherland that Marochetti received the commission for this memorial. He received few direct commissions from the family, though he did execute a bust of Lady Constance Leveson-Gower, later to become Duchess of Westminster. However, immediately upon his arrival in England 1848 there is evidence that Lady Constance's mother, Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, then Mistress of the Queen's Robes, had promoted his interest with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The memorial is unusually specific in recording the details of Loch's death, the slightly 'Boys' Own' heroics of the British protagonists contrasted with the malevolent guile of their Burmese opponents.
In the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is a fine 19th century photograph of the plaster model for this memorial. (see separate entry)