One of the sons of the famous Veitch dynasty of English nurserymen with a business centred in Exeter.
At the age of 21 he was sent to Japan to collect plants by the Veitch nurseries in 1860 soon after the opening up of that country. He undertook a second expedition to Australia and the south seas in the summer of 1864, leaving Plymouth Sound for Sydney in the ship La Hogue. On the ship he was kept busy tending a collection of plants in Wardian cases destined for various friends and botanists in Australia.
He was soon invited to go on a cruise on HMS Slamander to explore the east coast of Australia and Cape York where he exchanged plants and seeds with the Aboriginals for tobacco. The following June he joined another Royal Navy trip to the Pacific and Norfolk Island on the HMS Curacao.
Source: Shephard, Sue (2003) 'Seeds of Fortune, a gardening dynasty' Bloomsbury, UK