Papers of Sir Jack Johnston

Scope and Content

Recollections, typescript memoirs, 1997, ofSir Jack Johnston, covering his service, 1950-1978.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Jack Johnston, GCMG (b 1918), was educated at Banbury County School and the University of Oxford. During World War Two he was stationed in Northern Ireland, 1941-1942 with the 2nd Buckinghamshire Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, then posted as 2nd Lieut. to the 1st Buckinghamshire Battalion. He saw active service in Normandy, Holland and Germany, was promoted to Major and appointed Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General at 30 Corps Headquarters. In 1947 he was taken on by the Colonial Office as Assistant Principal and was later seconded to Accra, Ghana till 1951. He then worked in London in the International Relations Department and in 1953 was appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State. In 1956 he was made Head of the Far Eastern Department and in 1957 Head of the Defence Department, Commonwealth Relations Office. In 1959 he was appointed Deputy High Commissioner, South Africa, in 1961 High Commissioner, Sierra Leone and in 1963, High Commissioner, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. In 1965 he took the post of Assistant Under-Secretary in charge of relations with India and Pakistan, and of information work before gaining a diplomatic post in Malaysia in 1971, and in Canada in 1974. He retired in 1978, and in the same year was made a Governor of the BBC, position he held until 1985. He was one of a group of independent observers at the 1980 Rhodesia elections, was a member of the Board of the Centre for International Briefing at Farnham Castle, Surrey from 1979, and Chairman of the ARELS Examination Trust for 10 years from 1982.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.