15th February 1914

Wartime diplomat Arthur de la Mare is born

Born on a farm in St John, Arthur de la Mare forged a career in the diplomatic service that culminated in his appointment as High Commissioner of Singapore.

Although educated at Victoria College, de la Mare, who grew up speaking Jèrriais, won a scholarship to Cambridge to study modern languages. This would have been essential training for a man who was to be posted to locations as far flung as Seoul, Kabul and San Francisco.

A quick promotion

Just two years after he joined the Foreign Service, it dispatched him to Japan as acting general consul, where he almost immediately became vice consul in South Korea. Thus, over the years, followed the ambassadorships of Afghanistan and Thailand.

The once great British Empire was in its last flush when de la Mare entered the Service, and it was shrinking through a large part of his career as its constituent states were granted their independence. Singapore broke away from Britain while de la Mare was High Commissioner there – something he would apparently rather not have witnessed, as he was convinced that the Empire was a force for good.

He retired to Jersey in the late 1980s and wrote his memoirs. They were published in 1994 under the title Perverse and Foolish: A Jersey Farmer’s Son in the British Diplomatic Service. He died on 15 December that same year.


FREE Jersey history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Jersey's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.



Other events that occured in February