MIDDLE EAST POLITICS & DIPLOMACY, 1904-1950
The Private Letters and Diaries of Sir Ronald Storrs (1881-1955) from Pembroke College, Cambridge
KEY FIGURES IN
THE PAPERS OF SIR RONALD STORRS
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,
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
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
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 Gordons
ill-fated mission to Sudan, 1884. Supported irrigation programme,
dam construction, educational reforms and the expansion of
railways. Supported Kitcheners successful expedition to
Sudan, 1896-1898. Resigned in 1907 and wrote Modern Egypt
CUNLIFFE-LISTER, Philip, 1st Earl of
Conservative MP for Hendon, 1918-1935. Colonial Secretary,
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
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
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,
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 SAUD (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
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 Churchills right hand man.
He shared Storrs love of Horace and he visited Egypt in
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
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 Childrens Charter,
the Mines Eight Hours Bill and for workmens 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 Peters,
Eaton Square, 1883-1913. Prebendary of St Pauls 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 Cromers 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
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
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 Kitcheners
reconquest of this territory, 1895-1898. Governor-General of the
Sudan, 1899-1916. High Commissioner in Egypt, 1917-1919.