This contribution to our shared colonial heritage is more a monograph than a
book, but nonetheless covers a long and distinguished life and career.
It tells in highlights of episodes in the life of the author's father, who having given
gallant service in the Great War, and been seriously wounded in 1915 at the
battle of Aubers Ridge while a commissioned officer with the East Lancashire
Regiment, joined the then Colonial Service in 1919. Although his army service
was cut short, his Commanding Officer gave him a glowing testimonial.
His colonial service began with some fourteen years in East Africa, of which the
first ten were in Somaliland, followed by four in Tanganyika. His years in
Somaliland were rigorous, adventurous and not infrequently dangerous. After
four years in Tanganyika a very serious illness, exacerbated by his terrible
wounds from the war, almost killed him, and he had to return to England for
treatment and recovery.
A new opportunity now presented itself - the post of Private Secretary to the
Governor of Barbados. Now began a long and distinguished period, from 1933
to 1950, of service in the West Indies. One of the Governors he served, from
1940, was the Duke of Windsor in the Bahamas; prior to that he was posted to
Grenada and St. Vincent, and later in 1944 to British Guiana. He returned to
England in 1950, and finally retired from the Colonial Office in London in 1958,
after 39 years of service.
This short book is a useful addition to the range of personal histories of
experience in the Colonial Service. What it lacks in length is well compensated
for by a wealth of original photographs, particularly of his spell in Somaliland,
including some facsimile reproductions of reports and telegrams about
significant incidents. It is also an affectionate tribute by the author's son, who
seeks to emphasise the dedication of colonial administrators of an era whose
protagonists have now all passed on.