Sir Ronald Henry Amherst Storrs

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Sir Ronald Henry Amherst Storrs

Also Known As: "First Governor of Jerusalem"
Birthplace: Bury St Edmunds, UK
Death: November 01, 1955 (73)
London, Greater London, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Reverend John Storrs and Lucy Anna Maria Storrs
Husband of Louisa Lucy Storrs
Brother of Petronella Storrs; Francis Storrs; Bernard Storrs; Christopher Storrs; Monica Storrs and 1 other

Occupation: British Governor of Jerusalem, Cyprus & Northern Rhodesia
Managed by: Yigal Burstein
Last Updated:

About Sir Ronald Henry Amherst Storrs

Sir Ronald Henry Amherst Storrs, KCMG, CBE (Bury St Edmunds, 19 November 1881 – London, 1 November 1955) was an official in the British Foreign and Colonial Office. He served as Oriental Secretary in Cairo, Military Governor of Jerusalem, Governor of Cyprus, and Governor of Northern Rhodesia.


Ronald Storrs was educated at Charterhouse School and Pembroke College, Cambridge where he gained a first class degree in the Classical Tripos.

Foreign service


Storrs entered the Finance Ministry of the Egyptian Government in 1904, five years later becoming Oriental Secretary to the British Agency, succeeding Harry Boyle in this post. In 1917 Storrs became Political Officer representing the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia as Liaison officer for the Anglo-French mission in Baghdad and Mesopotamia where he met Gertrude Bell and Sir Percy Cox.

T. E. Lawrence commented in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom:

"The first of all of us was Ronald Storrs, Oriental Secretary of the Residency, the most brilliant Englishman in the Near East, and subtly efficient, despite his diversion of energy in love of music and letters, of sculpture, painting, of whatever was beautiful in the world's fruit... Storrs was always first, and the great man among us".

Storrs is credited with a classic example of British understatement when referring to the behaviour of the British toward the many tribal and regional leaders that the British were trying to influence in the Great Game: "we deprecated the imperative, preferring instead the subjunctive or even, wistfully, the optative mood".

During the First World War Storrs was a member of the Arab Bureau and a participant in the negotiations between the Sharif Husayn and the British government and in the organization of the Arab Revolt. His own personal positions were that the Sharif Husayn was asking for more Arab territory than he had any right to, and that Syria and Palestine should be incorporated into a British-sponsored Egyptian Empire as a replacement for the Ottoman Empire, a plan which was never implemented. Storrs is thought to have underestimated Arab Muslim resistance to non-Muslim rule.


In 1918 Storrs became Military Governor of Jerusalem, for which purpose he was given the army rank of colonel. In 1921 he became Civil Governor of Jerusalem and Judea. In both positions he attempted to support Zionism while protecting the rights of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, and thus earned the hostility of both sides. He devoted much of his time to cultural matters, including town planning, and to Pro-Jerusalem, a cultural organization that he founded.

In 1919, Storrs was appointed a Commander of the Order of the Crown of Italy.

He married Lucy Cust in Jerusalem in 1923. No children.

Cyprus and Rhodesia

From 1926-1932 Storrs was Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Cyprus, a period which included an attempted revolt during which Government House was burned to the ground. He was then appointed Governor of Northern Rhodesia in 1932. He retired for health reasons in 1934, at the age of 53.

Later years

Storrs was one of the six pallbearers at the funeral of T.E. Lawrence in 1935.

In 1937 he published his memoirs Orientations (US edition The Memoirs of Sir Ronald Storrs). Between 1937 and 1945 he served on the London County Council, and during the Second World War he broadcast for the Ministry of Information. He died in 1955.


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Sir Ronald Henry Amherst Storrs's Timeline

November 19, 1881
Bury St Edmunds, UK
- 1903
Age 18
Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 1904
Age 21
Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 1920
Age 35
Jerusalem, pre-British Mandate of Palestine
- 1926
Age 38
Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine
- 1932
Age 44
Nicosia, Cyprus
- 1934
Age 50
November 1, 1955
Age 73
London, Greater London, UK