Thomas Southorn

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Wilfrid Thomas Southorn (1879–1957) (Chinese Translated Name: 修頓), known as Tom, was a British colonial administrator, spending the large part of career in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He was the Colonial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1925–1936 and served as Acting Administrator of the colony from February to March 1930 and from May to September 1935, and then in November the same year, basically at either end of the tenure of Sir William Peel as Governor.[1] His official (summer) residence was Mountain Lodge.[2]

In 1921 he married author Bella Sidney Woolf (1877–1960), whom he met through her (later) more famous brother Leonard Woolf, when the two men were colleagues in Ceylon. In 1904, then a humble 'Office Assistant', Southorn had met Leonard Woolf on his arrival in Ceylon from England.[2][3]

In 1936, he was made Governor of The Gambia, notably describing the colony as "a geographical and economic absurdity".[2]

Places named after him[edit]

Southorn Playground in Wan Chai, Hong Kong was named for him in 1934, while he was Colonial Secretary. Also bearing his name are the associated Southorn Stadium and adjacent Southorn Centre.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Signs of a Colonial Era, pp36, 69; by Yanne, Andrew and Heller, Gilles; HK University Press; ISBN 9789622099449
  2. ^ a b c Out and about - Bella Southorn's stories reflect the life she loved as the wife of a colonial civil servant, SCMP Post Magazine, Jason Wordie, 24 Apr 2011
  3. ^ Letter in Daily News, Sri Lanka, quoting Leonard Woolf's biography
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Claud Severn
Colonial Secreaty of Hong Kong
1925–1936
Succeeded by
Norman Lockhart Smith
Preceded by
Sir Cecil Clementi
Acting Administrator of Hong Kong
1930
Succeeded by
Sir William Peel
Preceded by
Sir William Peel
Acting Administrator of Hong Kong
1935
Succeeded by
Acting Administrator Norman Smith
Preceded by
Acting Administrator Norman Smith
Acting Administrator of Hong Kong
1935
Succeeded by
Sir Andrew Caldecott
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Frederick Richards
Governor of The Gambia
1936–1942
Succeeded by
Hilary Rudolph Robert Blood