On the evening of Tuesday 30 January Travers Allan, a 40-year-old bachelor from Montreal, left his private sailing ship on the Nile for his usual evening stroll amid the ruins and streets of Luxor. He never returned and his body was found the next day in an unfrequented spot outside town.
He was the grandson of Sir Hugh Allan of Montreal, founder of the Allan Shipping Line and one of the richest men in Canada. Travers and his older cousin, James Bryce Allan, who lived in Rome and knew Gilbert, were travelling around the world and had arrived at Luxor Tuesday January 16, 1923. They would undoubtedly have been among the spectators who would watch exotic treasures being carefully carried out of the tomb of Tutankhamun over to the Tomb of Pharaoh Seti I for conservation and photography, and Harry Burton himself bustling back and forth to his dark room in nearby Tomb 55.
It seems likely that Harry and Minnie Burton, who lived in Florence, already knew James Allan in Italy. According to her diary, recently uploaded online by the Griffith Institute in Oxford, Minnie and Harry Burton had lunch with the Allans on their dahabiya or sailing barge, the Truisah, on Tuesday January 23, and saw them again that afternoon at tea at the Winter Palace hotel, along with Howard Carter. She had the two Allans for lunch in Saturday January 27. Harry and Minnie attended the funeral Friday February 2 in a small church in the garden of the Luxor Palace hotel. James Allan and the clergyman went alone to the cemetery. James did not leave Egypt but continued his sojourn at Luxor.