Arthur Grimble
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Arthur Grimble

Sir Arthur Francis Grimble, KCMG (Hong Kong, 11 June 1888 - London, 13 December 1956) was a British civil servant and writer.


Grimble was educated at Chigwell School and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He then went to France and Germany for postgraduate studies. After joining the Colonial Office in 1914 he became a cadet administrative officer in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, of which he became Resident Commissioner in 1926. He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) on 1 January 1930.[1] He learned the Gilbertese language and became a specialist in the myths and oral traditions of the Kiribati people. He remained in the islands until 1933, after which he served as Governor of the Seychelles (1936-1942) and then of the Windward Islands (1942-1948).

Literary career

After retiring and moving to Britain in 1948 Grimble became a writer and broadcaster. He wrote A Pattern of Islands (London, John Murray 1952, published in the United States as We Chose the Islands) and Return to the Islands (1957), both of which were bestsellers. Pacific Destiny, a film based on his experiences, was released in 1956.[2] Grimble's scholarly work on Gilbertese culture is covered in Henry Evans Maude's book Tungaru Traditions: Writings on the Atoll Culture of the Gilbert Islands (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8248-1217-4).

He is credited with designing the coat of arms for the Gilbert and Ellice Islands British colony, which was adapated for the current Flag of Kiribati.

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Gordon James Lethem
Governor of the Seychelles
Succeeded by
Sir William Logan
Preceded by
Sir Henry Bradshaw Popham
Governor of the Windward Islands
18 May 1942-1948
Succeeded by
Brigadier Sir Robert Arundell


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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