Ronald Storrs Is Appointed Military Governor of Jerusalem

December 28, 1917

Born in 1881, Ronald Storrs was educated at Pembroke College in Cambridge, England. He began his career in the Foreign Service as a member of the Finance Ministry of the Egyptian Government in 1904.  He then served as the British Oriental Secretary in Cairo from 1907 to 1917.  In Cairo, Storrs was at the center of British negotiations with Sharif Hussein.  The subject was Arab involvement in the British campaign against the Turks during WWI.

In 1917, British General Edmund Allenby appointed Storrs as Military Governor of Jerusalem.  Storrs was acutely aware of the magnitude of his position in Jerusalem.  In his memoir he wrote,

I cannot pretend to describe or analyze my love for Jerusalem… For me, Jerusalem stood and stands alone among the cities of the world. There are many positions of greater authority and renown within and without the British Empire, but in a sense that I cannot explain, there is no promotion after Jerusalem.

Ronald Storrs weakly supported Zionism while advocating for the interests of the Arabs in Palestine.  In 1921, following riots in Jaffa and Jerusalem, Jewish leaders in Palestine insisted that Storrs step down from his position, and accused him of passivity in the face of violence.  Storrs was subsequently appointed Civil Governor of Jerusalem and Judea.  In 1926, Storrs moved from Jerusalem and was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Cyprus. 

Photo Credit: Ronald Storrs in Jerusalem in 1920