High Commissioner for the Western Pacific

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High Commissioner of Western Pacific
Style His Excellency The Right Honourable
Residence Suva, Fiji (1877-1952)
Honiara, British Solomon Islands (1953-1976)
Appointer King/Queen of the United Kingdom
Formation 13 August 1877
First holder The Rt Hon. Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon
Final holder The Rt Hon. Sir Donald Luddington
Abolished 2 January 1976

The High Commissioner for the Western Pacific was the chief executive officer of the British Western Pacific Territories, a British colonial entity, which existed from 1877 through 1976. Numerous colonial possessions were attached to the Territories at different times, the most durable constituent colonies being Fiji (1877 — 1952) and the Solomon Islands (1893 — 1976).

The office of High Commissioner never existed independently, but was always filled ex officio by the Governor of one of the constitutive British islands colonies. The High Commissioners were concurrently Governor of Fiji from 1877 to the end of 1952, although the office was suspended from 1942 through 1945, with most of the islands under British military rule and others, namely the Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands and Phoenix Islands, under Japanese occupation. From 1 January 1953 to 1976, when the office was abolished, the Governor of the Solomon Islands doubled as High Commissioner. They administered from Suva and Honiara, respectively.

List of High Commissioners for the Western Pacific (1877–1976)[edit]

# Incumbent Portrait Tenure Monarch Concurrent office
Took office Left office
High Commissioner for the Western Pacific
1. Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon.jpg 13 August 1877 1880 Victoria Governor of Fiji
2. Sir William Des Vœux Sir G. William Des Voeux.jpg 20 December 1880 21 January 1885 Victoria Governor of Fiji
John Bates Thurston
Acting
John Bates Thurston.jpg 21 January 1885 1 January 1887 Victoria Governor of Fiji
(acting)
3. Sir Charles Mitchell Charles Mitchell.jpg 1 January 1887 February 1888 Victoria Governor of Fiji
4. Sir John Bates Thurston John Bates Thurston.jpg February 1888 7 February 1897 Victoria Governor of Fiji
5. Sir George T. M. O'Brien George Thomas Michael O'Brien.jpg March 1897 1901 Victoria Governor of Fiji
Sir William Allardyce
Acting
William Lamond Allardyce.jpg 1901 10 September 1902 Edward VII Governor of Fiji
(acting)
6. Sir Henry Jackson 10 September 1902 11 October 1904 Edward VII Governor of Fiji
7. Sir Everard im Thurn 11 October 1904 1910 Edward VII Governor of Fiji
Sir Charles Major
Acting
1910 21 February 1911 Edward VII
George V
Governor of Fiji
(acting)
8. Sir Francis May Francis Henry May.gif 21 February 1911 25 July 1912 George V Governor of Fiji
9. Sir Ernest Sweet-Escott 25 July 1912 10 October 1918 George V Governor of Fiji
Sir Eyre Hutson
Acting for Sweet-Escott
1915 1916 George V Governor of Fiji
(acting)
10. Cecil Hunter-Rodwell 10 October 1918 25 April 1925 George V Governor of Fiji
Sir Eyre Hutson
Acting for Hunter-Rodwell
1919 1919 George V Governor of Fiji
(acting)
11. Sir Eyre Hutson 25 April 1925 22 November 1929 George V Governor of Fiji
12. Sir Arthur Fletcher 22 November 1929 May 1936 George V
Edward VIII
Governor of Fiji
Sir Cecil Barton
Acting
May 1936 November 1936 Edward VIII Governor of Fiji
(acting)
13. Sir Sir Arthur Richards 28 November 1936 August 1938 Edward VIII
George VI
Governor of Fiji
Sir Cecil Barton
Acting
August 1938 September 1938 George VI Governor of Fiji
(acting)
14. Sir Harry Luke 16 September 1938 1942 George VI Governor of Fiji
Office suspended 1942 1945
15. Sir Alexander Grantham 1945 21 March 1947 George VI Governor of Fiji
Sir John Nicoll
Acting
21 March 1947 8 October 1947 George VI Governor of Fiji
(acting)
16. Sir Brian Freeston 8 October 1947 3 July 1952 George VI
Elizabeth II
Governor of Fiji
17. Sir Robert Stanley 3 July 1952 July 1955 Elizabeth II Governor of the Solomon Islands
(From 1 January 1953)
18. Sir John Gutch 1955 4 March 1961 Elizabeth II Governor of the Solomon Islands
19. Sir David Trench 4 March 1961 16 June 1964 Elizabeth II Governor of the Solomon Islands
20. Sir Robert Sidney Foster 16 June 1964 6 March 1969 Elizabeth II Governor of the Solomon Islands
21. Sir Michael Gass 6 March 1969 1973 Elizabeth II Governor of the Solomon Islands
22. Sir Donald Luddington 10 October 1973 2 January 1976 Elizabeth II Governor of the Solomon Islands

Sources, References & External Links[edit]

  • WorldStatesmen
  • Deryck Scarr, Fragments of Empire. A History of the Western Pacific High Commission. 1877-1914, Canberra: Australian National University Press & London: C. Hurst & Co., 1967.