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Encyclopedia > British Western Pacific Territories

The British Western Pacific Territories was the name of a colonial entity, created in 1877, for the administration, under a single representative of the British Crown, styled High Commissioner (compare other uses of this title), of a series of relatively minor Pacific islands in and around Oceania A High Commissioner is a person serving in a special executive capacity. ...

Contents


The island entities

The Gilbert and Ellice Islands were a British protectorate from 1892 and colony from 1916 — until 1 January 1976 when the islands were divided into two different colonies which became independent nations shortly after. ... The Phoenix Islands are a sparsely populated island chain in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Gilbert Islands and west of the Line Islands. ...

In Polynesia

  • Cook Islands (The 15 small islands are now a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand)
  • Niue [to 1901] (also known as "Rock of Polynesia"; presently self-governing, in free association with New Zealand)
  • Union Islands [to 1926] (presently Tokelau)
  • the native kingdom of Tonga [to 1952]
  • The Pitcairn Islands [to 1952] (five islands, of which only Pitcairn Island — the second largest — is inhabited, the only remaining British colony in the Pacific; became home of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and accompanying Tahitians)
  • cfr. supra Tuvalu

Bounty can refer to different things: The Bounty a 1984 film with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins A bounty is an amount of money or other reward offered by an organization for the capture of a person or thing Bounty is a brand of paper towel manufactured by Procter & Gamble...

In Micronesia

  • Nauru till 1921 (After World War I, Nauru became a League of Nations Mandate territory in 1920, administered by Australia; in 1947, a trusteeship was approved by the United Nations; it achieved independence in 1968)
  • cfr. supra Kiribati

In Melanesia

  • Fiji; its governor, in Suva, was also the joint High Commissioner until it was separated from the High commission in 1952
  • the British Solomon Islands [to 1974]; their governor, in Honoria, was also the High Commissioner, after Fiji had left, since 1952
  • New Hebrides (present Vanuatu), a condominium shared with France, which appointed its own Haut commissaire here

The New Hebrides are an island group in the South Pacific that now form the nation of Vanuatu. ...

The High Commissioners

The office was never an independent one, but always filled ex officio the Governorship of one of the constitutive British islands colonies


to 3 July 1952 also governors of Fiji, hence capital Suva

  • 1877 - January 1880 Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon (b. 1829 - d. 1912)
  • January 1880 - January 1887 Sir George William Des Voeux (b. 1834 - d. 1909)
  • January 1887 - February 1888 Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell (b. 1836 - d. 1899)
  • February 1888 - 7 February 1897 Sir John Bates Thurston (b. 1836 - d. 1897) *March 1897 - 1901 Sir George Thomas Michael O'Brien (b. 1844 - d. 1906)
  • 1901 - 10 September 1902 William Lamond Allardyce (acting) (b. 1861 - d. 1930)
  • 10 September 1902 - 11 October 1904 Sir Henry Moore Jackson (b. 1849 - d. 1908)
  • 11 October 1904 - 21 February 1911 Sir Everard F. im Thurn (b. 1852 - d. 1932)
  • 21 February 1911 - 25 July 1912 Sir Francis Henry May (b. 1860 - d. 1922)
  • 25 July 1912 - 10 October 1918 Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott (b. 1857 - d. 1941)
  • 10 October 1918 - 25 April 1925 Cecil Hunter Rodwell (from 1919, Sir Cecil Hunter-Rodwell) (b. 1874 - d. 1953)
  • 25 April 1925 - 22 November 1929 Sir Eyre Hutson (b. 1864 - d. 1936)
  • 22 November 1929 - 28 November 1936 Sir Arthur George Murchinson Fletcher (b. 1878 - d. 1954)
  • 28 November 1936 - 16 September 1938 Sir Arthur Frederick Richards (b. 1885 - d. 1978)
  • 16 September 1938 - 1942 Sir Harry Charles Luke (b. 1884 - d. 1969)
  • 1942 - 1945 Vacant: high commission suspended, while most islands were under British military administration, but Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands, and Phoenix islands came under Japanese occupation.
  • 1945 - 1946 Sir Alexander William George Herder Grantham (b. 1899 - d. 1978)
  • 20 January 1948 - 3 July 1952 Sir Leslie Brian Freestone (b. 1892 - d. 1958)

then also governors of the Solomon Islands, hence capital Honiara

  • 3 July 1952 - 1952 Sir Robert Christopher Stafford Stanley (b. 1899 - d. 1981)
  • 1952 - 1955 Henry Graham Gregory-Smith
  • 1955 - 4 March 1961 John Gutch from 1957, Sir John Gutch) (b. 1905 - d. 1988)
  • 4 March 1961 - 16 June 1964 David Trench (from 1961, Sir David Trench) (b. 1915 - d. 1988)
  • 16 June 1964 - 6 March 1969 Sir Robert Sidney Foster (b. 1913 - d. 2005)
  • 6 March 1969 - July 1971 Sir Michael David Irving Gass (b. 1916 - d. 1983)
  • July 1971 - 1973 Vacant
  • 1973 - 2 January 1976 Donald Collin Cumyn Luddington (b. 1920)

On 2 January 1976 the office and the entity were abolished, after nearly all island groups had been given separate statehood.


Sources and references

  • WorldStatesmen

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Pacific Ocean (1860 words)
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The Andesite Line follows the western edge of the islands off California and passes south of the Aleutian arc, along the eastern edge of the Kamchatka Peninsula[?], the Kuril Islands, Japan, the Mariana Islands[?], the Solomon Islands, and New Zealand.
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