FAMILY history has been brought to life thanks to a former consultant at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

Dr Andrew Adam has written a new book about his step-grandfather Thomas Cochrane and his adventures in China.

The seed for writing this book was germinated when Dr Adam read his step-grandfather’s diaries all about his missionary and medical work in China in the late19th and early 20th century.

Dr Adam said by reading the papers and diaries he was able to see what an intriguing man Thomas was as in 1897 to Inner Mongolia sent by the London Missionary Society.

He said: “I knew him in my youth and when my mum died I inherited his papers.

“He was a very humble man and his father dies when he was 13-years-old. Some how he got through medical school. When he left medical school he was sent out on missionary work and had no idea of what to expect and no colleagues to help him. He also go caught up in the Boxer Rebellion in China (1899 and 1901) which was a was an anti-foreign, anti-colonial, and anti-Christian uprising.

“He managed to get this wife and child out. At the time he was working with James Liddell the father of Eric Liddell,. (The famous Olympic Gold Medalist runner, rugby union international player, and Christian missionary.) He also caught malaria which nearly cost him his life but came back to Scotland to recover.”

One of his visions was to build a medical school teaching western medicine in inner Mongolia.

This was something which happened but how and why is waiting for you to discover in the book.

Dr Adam has had an interesting career like his step grandfather, having worked as a journalist on The Times before switching to medicine. He paid he way through medical school and spent 16 year in the RAF as a medical office where he trained as a pathologist. He also served with US Armed Forces institute of pathology in Washington DC.