Transcript of an interview with Colonel Charles William G. Walker

Scope and Content

Transcript of an interview (1972) with Walker relating to his time as secretary to the Conference of Governors of the East African Dependencies (1925-1936). Interview conducted by Dame Margery Perham and John Tawney. Typescript.

Administrative / Biographical History

Colonel Charles William Garne Walker, CMG (1933), was born on the 2 July 1882 and educated at King's School, Canterbury, and Sandhurst. He was commissioned in 1902 and the following year joined the Indian Army. In 1911 he became a Captain and for the next 2 yeas was at the Staff College, Camberley. During the First World War Walker was twice mentioned in despatches and was awarded the DSO in 1918. He attained the rank of Colonel in 1923.

Walker was Assistant Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence (1921-1925) before being appointed Secretary to the newly formed Conference of Governors of the East African Dependencies (1925-1936). The Governors' Conference, formed to consider common problems of transport, trade, and native policy, met for the first time in January 1926 in Nairobi. The Chairman was Sir Edmund Grigg, Governor of Kenya, who also held the newly created post of High Commissioner of Transport to which Walker was also appointed Secretary.

In June 1927 the Governors assembled at the Colonial Office and Grigg suggested the establishment of a central legislature in which each territory would have equal representation. A Royal Commission was then appointed to consider questions relating to the closer union of the dependencies of Eastern and Central Africa, under the Chairmanship of Sir Edward Hilton Young, with H.F. Downie and Walker as Joint Secretaries. The Commission explored economic, political and racial problems from the Sudan to South Africa before publishing their Report in January 1929. A Joint Select Committee was subsequently set up to consider this Report.

On his return to England, Walker worked for H.M. Treasury (1936-1940), acted as Principal Officer of the Southern Civil Defence Region (1940-1942), and was employed by the War Cabinet Office (1943-1947) and the Association of Consulting Engineers (1948-1960). In 1944 he was Secretary to Lord de la Warr's mission to Ethiopia. Colonel Walker died on the 7 November 1974.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, 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.

Listed as no. 224 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977 and Cumulative Index, compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978).

Conditions Governing Use

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

Geographical Names