Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke

At the end of the Second World War, the Labour government decided to assume full responsibility for Sarawak. Sir Charles Arden-Clarke was their choice for this delicate task. He was to assume control from Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, the last of the so-called white rajas, in 1946. To help establish his status in the newly formed Crown Colony, he was immediately knighted. To the problems of rebuilding an economy ravaged during the Japanese occupation of the East Indian archipelago was added local resentment against a crown presence. Many of the local population had appreciated the personal touch and attachment of their previous white rajahs. Arden-Clarke survived an attempt on his life only because he had left the country; his successor as governor, Duncan George Stewart, was not so fortunate and was assassinated in 1949.

Image courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery

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by Stephen Luscombe