Governor of Southern Rhodesia

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Governor of Southern Rhodesia
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1952-1970).svg
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1952–1970)
Style His Excellency The Right Honourable
Appointer King/Queen of the United Kingdom
Formation1 October 1923
First holderThe Rt Hon. John Chancellor
Final holder The Lord Soames
Abolished18 April 1980

The Governor of Southern Rhodesia was the representative of the British monarch in the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia from 1923 to 1980. The Governor was appointed by The Crown and acted as the local head of state, receiving instructions from the British Government.

Monarchy of the United Kingdom Function and history of the British monarchy

The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952.

Southern Rhodesia self-governing British colony from 1923 to 1980

The Colony of Southern Rhodesia was a self-governing British Crown colony in southern Africa. It was the predecessor state of what is now Zimbabwe.

The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their sub-divisions. Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capacity, as Head of the Commonwealth, or as the king or queen of his or her realms. It can also refer to the rule of law; however, in common parlance 'The Crown' refers to the functions of government and the civil service.

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Constitutional role

The Governor was also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and as such, in theory at least, exercised considerable influence over the running of the colony and its government, but in practice, the Governor's main function was to maintain a satisfactory relationship between the British and Southern Rhodesian Governments and acted in an advisory capacity most of the time. From 1951, however, in contrast to other colonies, the British government was represented in Southern Rhodesia by a High Commissioner in Salisbury. [1]

Harare City and Province in Zimbabwe

Harare is the capital and most populous city of Zimbabwe. The city proper has an area of 960.6 km2 (371 mi2) and an estimated population of 1,606,000 in 2009, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area in 2006. Situated in north-eastern Zimbabwe in the country's Mashonaland region, Harare is a metropolitan province, which also incorporates the municipalities of Chitungwiza and Epworth. The city sits on a plateau at an elevation of 1,483 metres above sea level and its climate falls into the subtropical highland category.

When Southern Rhodesia was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the position of the Governor remained unchanged, but as Salisbury became the capital of the Federation, the Governor General resided at Government House, previously the Governor's official residence. [2] During this time, the Governor of Southern Rhodesia resided at Governor's Lodge in the suburb of Highlands. [3]

Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland former country in Africa

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was a federal semi-Dominion that consisted of three southern African territories—the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland—between 1953 and 1963.

Governor-General of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

The following is a list of the men who served as Governor-General of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The Federation was formed on 1 August 1953 from the former colonies of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and was formally dissolved on 31 December 1963.

UDI

Following the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, the government of Ian Smith ceased to recognise the authority of the then Governor, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, and appointed Clifford Dupont to exercise the Governor's powers as Officer Administering the Government. [4]

Rhodesias Unilateral Declaration of Independence

The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) was a statement adopted by the Cabinet of Rhodesia on 11 November 1965, announcing that Rhodesia, a British territory in southern Africa that had governed itself since 1923, now regarded itself as an independent sovereign state. The culmination of a protracted dispute between the British and Rhodesian governments regarding the terms under which the latter could become fully independent, it was the first unilateral break from the United Kingdom by one of its colonies since the United States Declaration of Independence nearly two centuries before. The UK, the Commonwealth and the United Nations all deemed Rhodesia's UDI illegal, and economic sanctions, the first in the UN's history, were imposed on the breakaway colony. Amid near-complete international isolation, Rhodesia continued as an unrecognised state with the assistance of South Africa and Portugal.

Ian Smith 20th-century Prime Minister of Rhodesia

Ian Douglas Smith was a politician, farmer, and fighter pilot who served as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. As the country's first premier that was not born abroad, he led the predominantly white government that unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1965, following prolonged dispute over the terms. He remained Prime Minister for almost all of the fourteen years of international isolation that followed, and oversaw Rhodesia's security forces during most of the Bush War, which pitted the unrecognised administration against communist-backed black nationalist guerrilla groups. Smith, who has been described as personifying white Rhodesia, remains a highly controversial figure—supporters venerate him as a man of integrity and vision "who understood the uncomfortable truths of Africa", while critics describe an unrepentant racist whose policies and actions caused the deaths of thousands and contributed to Zimbabwe's later crises.

Clifford Dupont President of Rhodesia

Clifford Walter Dupont, GCLM, ID was a Rhodesian politician who served in the internationally unrecognised positions of Officer Administrating the Government and President. Born in London and qualifying as a solicitor, Dupont served during the Second World War as an officer of the British Royal Artillery in North Africa before first visiting Southern Rhodesia in 1947. He returned a year later, started a ranch and emigrated full-time during the early 1950s, by which time the country had become a territory of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

However, Gibbs continued to occupy Government House, asserting his position as the Queen's de jure representative, and did not resign from the post until June 1969, following the decision of white voters in a referendum to approve a new constitution declaring Rhodesia, as Southern Rhodesia had become more commonly known, a republic. [5]

In 1977, Field Marshal The Lord Carver was designated Resident Commissioner for Rhodesia, but he resigned fourteen months later. [6]

Field Marshal has been the highest rank in the British Army since 1736. A five-star rank with NATO code OF-10, it is equivalent to an Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal Navy or a Marshal of the Royal Air Force in the Royal Air Force (RAF). A Field Marshal's insignia consists of two crossed batons surrounded by yellow leaves below St Edward's Crown. Like Marshals of the RAF and Admirals of the Fleet, Field Marshals traditionally remain officers for life, though on half-pay when not in an appointment. The rank has been used sporadically throughout its history and was vacant during parts of the 18th and 19th centuries. After the Second World War, it became standard practice to appoint the Chief of the Imperial General Staff to the rank on his last day in the post. Army officers occupying the post of Chief of the Defence Staff, the professional head of all the British Armed Forces, were usually promoted to the rank upon their appointment.

Michael Carver British field marshal

Field Marshal Richard Michael Power Carver, Baron Carver, was a senior British Army officer. Lord Carver served as the Chief of the General Staff (CGS), the professional head of the British Army, and then as the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), the professional head of the British Armed Forces. He served during the Second World War and organised the administration of British forces deployed in response to the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya and later in his career provided advice to the British government on the response to the early stages of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The office of Governor remained vacant until 11 December 1979, when The Lord Soames assumed the post, following the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, under which Southern Rhodesia would achieve de jure independence as Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980.

Flag

Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1924-1951) Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1924-1951).svg
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1924–1951)
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1951-1952) Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1951-1952).svg
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1951–1952)
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1952-1970) Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1952-1970).svg
Flag of the Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1952–1970)

In common with most other British colonies, the flag used by the Governor, as the Sovereign's representative in Southern Rhodesia was initially a Union Flag with a white roundel in the centre, charged with the shield from the colony's arms granted on 11 August 1924. Unique among the flags of the Governors of British Colonies, this shield of Arms was not surrounded by the customary wreath. This flag was adopted on 1 October 1924 and was flown until 30 July 1951.

On 31 July 1951, a new flag was put into use for the Governor of Southern Rhodesia. This was dark blue and charged in the centre with a Royal Crown, its height being four-sevenths of the hoist. Initially the Tudor Crown would have been used, but after her accession to the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II indicated her preference for St Edward's Crown and this version would have been used thereafter. Although the colony had attained 'Responsible Government' in 1923, it was never a fully fledged Dominion, and so did not have a Governor-General, whose flag in other Dominions would be dark blue, charged in the centre with the Royal Crest above a Crown, with the name of the Dominion written in a yellow scroll below.

Governors of Southern Rhodesia (1923–1980)

Took officeLeft officePortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Comments
1 October 192315 June 1928 John Chancellor portrait.jpg Sir John Chancellor
(1870–1952)
15 June 192824 November 1928 No image.png Sir Murray Bisset
(1876–1931)
Acting
24 November 19281 May 1934 No image.png Sir Cecil Hunter-Rodwell
(1874–1953)
1 May 19348 January 1935 No image.png Sir Fraser Russell
(1876–1952)
Acting; 1st Time
8 January 19358 January 1942 Sir Herbert James Stanley.jpg Sir Herbert Stanley
(1872–1955)
8 January 194210 December 1942 No image.png Sir Fraser Russell
(1876–1952)
Acting; 2nd Time
10 December 194226 October 1944 Evelyn Baring.jpg Sir Evelyn Baring
(1903–1973)
26 October 194420 February 1945 No image.png Sir Robert James Hudson
(1885–1963)
Acting; 1st Time
20 February 19452 February 1946 No image.png Sir Campbell Tait
(1886–1946)
2 February 194619 July 1946 No image.png Sir Fraser Russell
(1876–1952)
Acting; 3rd Time
19 July 194614 January 1947 No image.png Sir Robert James Hudson
(1885–1963)
Acting; 2nd Time
14 January 194721 November 1953 No image.png Sir John Noble Kennedy
(1893–1970)
21 November 195326 November 1954 No image.png Sir Robert Clarkson Tredgold
(1899–1977)
Acting
26 November 195428 December 1959 No image.png Sir Peveril William-Powlett
(1898–1985)
28 December 195924 June 1969 No image.png Sir Humphrey Gibbs
(1902–1990)
After the UDI on 11 November 1965, position not recognized by the Rhodesian government
24 June 196911 December 1979Position vacantOn 1 September 1977, Field Marshal The Lord Carver was named as Resident Commissioner-designate
11 December 197918 April 1980 Lord Soames.jpg The Lord Soames
(1920–1987)

For continuation after independence, see: President of Zimbabwe

See also

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References