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The Private Letters and Diaries of Sir Ronald Storrs (1881-1955) from Pembroke College, Cambridge


ALLENBY, 1st Viscount, Sir Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby (1861-1936)
Field Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary force, 1917-1919, in Palestine. High Commissioner, Egypt, 1919-1925.

ASHBEE, Charles Robert (1863-1942)
Architect and founder of the Guild of Handicraft. Civic Adviser to the Palestine Administration, 1918-1922, appointed by Storrs as Secretary of the Pro-Jerusalem Society for "the preservation and advancement of the interests of Jerusalem, its district and inhabitants."

BALFOUR, Arthur James, 1st Earl of Balfour (1848-1930)
Prime Minister, 1902-1905, supported Anglo-French détente. Member of War Cabinet and chaired he Near and Middle East Committee for which Storrs was Secretary. Foreign Secretary, 1916-1919, and issued Balfour declaration in favour of Jewish homeland in 1917.

BELL, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian (1868-1926)
Writer, Oriental scholar and archaeologist. Travelled extensively in the Middle East, 1892-1914. Wrote The Desert and the Sown (1907). Appointed to Arab Intelligence Bureau, Cairo, 1915, Assistant Political Officer, Basra, 1916, and Oriental Secretary to Civil Commissioner in Baghdad, 1917 and to the High Commissioner in Baghdad, 1920. Wrote Review of the Civil Administration of Mesopotamia. Founded National Museum in Baghdad, 1923.

BOTTOMLEY, Sir Cecil (1878-1954)
Assistant Under-Secretary, Colonial Office, 1927-1938. Senior Crown Agent, Colonies, 1938-1943.

CROMER, 1st Earl of, Evelyn Baring (1841-1917)
Statesman and diplomat, went to Cairo in 1877 as first British Commissioner of Caisse de la Dette, appointed British Controller of Egypt, 1879-1880, and, after a spell in India, Consul General in Egypt, 1883-1907. Reluctantly supported Gordon’s ill-fated mission to Sudan, 1884. Supported irrigation programme, dam construction, educational reforms and the expansion of railways. Supported Kitchener’s successful expedition to Sudan, 1896-1898. Resigned in 1907 and wrote Modern Egypt (1908).

CUNLIFFE-LISTER, Philip, 1st Earl of Swinton (1884-1972)
Conservative MP for Hendon, 1918-1935. Colonial Secretary, 1931-1935.

CURZON, George Nathaniel, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859-1925)
Author and statesman, travelled extensively, 1887-1894. Wrote Russia in Central Asia (1889), Persia and the Persian Question (1892) and Problems of the Far East (1894). Viceroy of India, 1899-1905. Clashed with Kitchener. Member of War Cabinet, including the Near and Middle East Committee for which Storrs was Secretary. Foreign Secretary, 1919-1924.

CUST, Henry John Cockayne (1861-1917)
"Harry" Cust, Storrs’ uncle, educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, Unionist MP for Stamford, Lincolnshire, 1890-1895, and Bermondsey, 1900-1906. Editor of The Pall Mall Gazette, 1892-1896.

FAISAL, Emir Hussein (1885-1933)
Commander of the Northern Army in the Arab Revolt, 1916-1918. King of Syria, 1918-1920, until deposed by the French. King of Iraq, 1921-1933.

GASELEE, Sir Stephen (1882-1943)
Librarian and Keeper of the Papers, Foreign Office, 1920-1943. University friend of Storrs and a fellow member with Storrs, Charles Tennyson, Lytton Strachey and John Maynard Keynes of the Decemviri, a society of ten elected from different Cambridge colleges who met every Wednesday evening to debate topics.

GORST, Sir (John) Eldon (1861-1911)
Consul General in Egypt, 1907-1911, son of John Eldon Gorst (1835-1916) the Conservative politician who extended party support to the middle and lower classes and established Conservative Party Central Office.

HADDAD, Gabriel Bey
Trusted local adviser in Jerusalem, a Syrian Christian "as able as he was loyal and charming, whose services in those first days of general ignorance and suspicion I cannot overrate." (Orientations, p335).

HOGARTH, David George (1862-1927)
Archaeologist, Director of the British School of Archaeology in Athens, 1897-1900 and Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1908-1927. Commander, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, 1915-1919 and Director of the Arab Bureau, 1916.

HUSSEIN, ibn Ali (c1854-1931)
Leader of the Arab Revolt, 1916-1918. Proclaimed as King of the Hejaz in 1916, but deposed in 1924 by ibn Saud.

IBN SA’UD (1880-1953)
Arab leader in the Arabian Peninsula. Captured Riyadh in 1902 and by 1921 had brought all of central Arabia under his rule. Captured the Hejaz in 1924. The Sultan of Nejd, 1921-1931, King of the Hejaz, 1924-1931, and first King of Saudi Arabia, 1932-1953.

KITCHENER, 1st Earl, Sir Horatio Herbert (1850-1916)
Field Marshal. Won Battle of Omdurman, 1918, in the Sudan. Chief of Staff during the Boer War, 1900-1902. Commander in Chief in India, 1902-1909. Agent and Consul General, Egypt, 1911-1914. Secretary of State for War, 1914-1916. Drowned when his ship was sunk en route to Russia.

LAW, Andrew Bonar (1858-1923)
Conservative and Unionist politician, Colonial Secretary, 1915-1916, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1916-1919, Lord Privy Seal, 1919-1921, Prime Minister, 1922-1923.

LAWRENCE, Thomas Edward (1888-1935)
Author and soldier. Gained first in modern history at Jesus College, Oxford, and studied Arabic under the influence of D G Hogarth. Travelled to Syria, 1909 and assisted in archaeological digs in Carchemish, 1910-1914. Served in Arab Bureau, 1914-1916, directed by Hogarth. Adviser to Emir Hussein Faisal, 1916-1918. Helped to bring Hejaz under Arab-British control and was given £1,000,000 by Allenby to co-ordinate Arab Revolt. Led Arab forces into Damascus, 1 October 1918. Adviser on Arab affairs at the Colonial Office, 1921-1922. Enlisted as an ordinary airman in the RAF in 1922 as John Hume Ross, changing to the Tanks Corps in 1923 as T E Shaw, then reverting back to the RAF. Wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926) and Revolt in the Desert (1927) which secured his mythical status as Lawrence of Arabia. Died as a result of a motorcycle accident.

LLOYD-GEORGE, David, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor (1863-1945)
Liberal politician, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1908-1915, introducing welfare reforms, Minister of Munitions, 1915-1916, Secretary of State for War, 1916, Prime Minister, 1916-1922, supporting Balfour Declaration.

MARSH, Sir Edward Howard (1872-1953)
"Eddie" Marsh, in his leisure a poet and patron of the arts, at work a civil servant initially assigned to the Colonial Office, but who became Churchill’s right hand man. He shared Storrs’ love of Horace and he visited Egypt in 1907-1908.

MAXWELL, Sir John Grenfell (1859-1929)
Soldier, served in Egypt, 1882-1900 and took part in the attempted relief of Gordon. Also served with Kitchener in reconquest of Sudan. Military Governor of Pretoria, 1900-1902. Chief Staff Officer to the Duke of Connaught, 1902-1908. Commanded British troops in Egypt, 1908-1912 and 1914-1916.

McMAHON, Colonel Sir (Arthur) Henry (1862-1949)
Soldier and diplomat. Entered Indian political department, 1890. Resolved border disputes with Afghanistan and Baluchistan and Persia, 1903-1905, agent in Baluchistan, 1905-1911. Foreign secretary to Indian government, 1911-1914, negotiating treaty between China and Tibet. High Commissioner in Egypt, 1914-1916. British Commissioner at the Middle East International Commission (Peace Conference), 1919.

MILNER, Alfred, Viscount Milner (1854-1925)
Statesman. Director-General of accounts, Egypt, 1889; Under secretary for Finance, Egypt, 1890-1892. Author of England in Egypt (1892). Chairman of Board of Inland Revenue, 1892-1897; High Commissioner for South Africa, 1897-1905. Worked closely with Kitchener. Member of War Cabinet, including the Near and Middle East Committee for which Storrs was Secretary. Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1918-1921, and visited Egypt in 1919-1920 to report on her future status as a crown colony. A close friend of Arnold Toynbee.

SAMUEL, 1st Viscount, Sir Herbert Louis (1870-1963)
British Jewish Liberal politician, a member of the "Rainbow Circle" with H G Wells, Shaw and the Webbs. MP for Cleveland, Yorkshire, 1902-1918, joining Asquith's Cabinet in 1909. Worked extensively in the Home Office on the Children’s Charter, the Mines Eight Hours Bill and for workmen’s compensation for accidents. Home secretary 1916-1919. First High Commissioner and Commander in Chief in Palestine, 1920-1925. Chairman of Royal Commission to examine the Coal Industry, 1926. Negotiated with the TUC for the end of the General Strike, 1926. MP for Darwen, Lancashire, 1929-1935. Home Secretary, 1931-1932.

STORRS, Rev John (1846-1928)
Father of Ronald Storrs. Married Lucy Anna Maria Cust, February 1881, and had six children: Ronald (see below); Francis Edmund (born 1883, barrister and Lieutenant, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, died at the Vale, 1918); Bernard St John (born 1884, Captain in the Army); Christopher Evelyn (born 1889, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Perth, Australia, Temporary chaplain to the Forces, 1916-1919); Monica Melanie (born 1888); and Lucy Petronella Noel (born 1896). Vicar of Saint Peter’s, Eaton Square, 1883-1913. Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral, 1900-1913. Chaplain to His Majesty the King, 1912-1913. Rural Dean of Westminster, 1902-1913. Dean of Rochester, 1913-1928. His wife died in 1923.

STORRS, Sir Ronald Henry Amherst (1881-1955)
Born at Bury St Edmunds, 19 November 1881, eldest son of the Rev John Storrs and Lucy Anna Maria Storrs (née Cust). Educated at Charterhouse and Pembroke College, Cambridge, receiving a First Class in Classics, 1903. Formed friendships with Stephen Gaselee, Keynes and others and sought to emulate his brilliant uncle, Harry Cust. Entered Egyptian Civil Service, 1904, during Lord Cromer’s tenure. Oriental Secretary to the British Agency in Cairo, under Sir Eldon Gorst, 1909-1911, Lord Kitchener, 1911-1914, Sir Henry McMahon, 1914-1916, and Sir Reginald Wingate, 1917. Assistant Political Officer to the Anglo-French political mission of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, met Lawrence and helped to organise the Revolt in the Desert. Returned home in 1917 and served as Secretary to the Near and Middle East Committee of the War Cabinet. Military Governor of Jerusalem, 1917-1919, and first Civil Governor of Jerusalem and Judaea, 1920-1926, from the beginning of the mandate. Organised the Pro-Jerusalem Society to safeguard antiquities with Charles Ashbee as Secretary. He married Louisa Lucy Littleton in 1923 and was knighted in 1924. Governor of Cyprus, 1926-1932, at the time of the Enosis disturbances. Government House, his residence, was burnt down in 1931, destroying his collections of art, antiquities and books and many of his diaries and papers. Governor of Northern Rhodesia, 1932-1934, organising the transfer of the capital from Livingstone to Lusaka. Toured Barotseland, Congo, South Africa and Zanzibar, before retiring due to ill health. After he had regained his health, Storrs pursued an active retirement - writing, lecturing and travelling the world. His diaries describe visits to Tunisia, Canada, USA, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Balkans, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Iran, Libya, Abyssinia, and Sudan. There is a fine World War II diary and a he kept in touch with Arab opinion through meetings with ibn Saud, Aga Khan, King Faisal, Aziz al-Masri, Prince Muhammed Ali, Albert Hourani and King Abdullah. He wrote his memoir Orientations (1937) and served as a member for East Islington on the London County Council, 1937-1945.

He also worked for many church and musical organisations. He died 1 November 1955.

SYKES, Sir Mark (1879-1919)
Politician, diplomat and author. Travelled extensively in the Middle East as a young man and made honorary attaché to the British Embassy in Constantinople, 1905-1907. Conservative MP for Central Hull, 1911 and brokered the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 which defined British, French and Russian spheres of influence in the Middle East. Foreign Office adviser on Near Eastern policy, 1916, and advocate of Arab Independence and Zionism.

VANSITTART, 1st Baron, Sir Robert Gilbert (1881-1957)
Diplomat, Assistant Under-Secretary and PPS to Prime Minister, 1928-1930, Permanent Under-Secretary to the Foreign Office, 1930-1938, and Chief Diplomatic adviser to the Foreign Secretary, 1938-1941.

WINGATE, Sir (Francis) Reginald (1861-1953)
Educated at Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, joining the Army in 1880. Joined Egyptian Army, 1883, and took part in the Gordon relief expedition. Appointed Director of Military Intelligence in the Sudan, 1889, and assisted with Kitchener’s reconquest of this territory, 1895-1898. Governor-General of the Sudan, 1899-1916. High Commissioner in Egypt, 1917-1919.

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