Crocker, Walter Russell 1902-2002

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CROCKER, Walter Russell 1902-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 25, 1902, in Parnaroo, South Australia, Australia; died November 14, 2002. Farmer, civil servant, ambassador, politician, and author. Crocker was an Australian loyal to the ideas of the British Empire who had a diverse career in governmental service around the globe. He attended schools in Australia, England, and the United States, receiving his B.A. from the University of Adelaide in 1925, a second bachelor's degree from Oxford University in 1927, and a master's degree from Oxford in 1928; he also attended graduate school at Stanford University for two years. Before World War II Crocker worked in the British Colonial Service in Nigeria and at the League of Nations. Although he supported British imperialism, he was not afraid to criticize some of England's policies in Nigeria, for which he was reprimanded by his superiors. With the onset of the war, he joined the British Army, despite the fact that the horrors of World War I had made him an ardent pacifist. He nevertheless believed that German Chancellor Adolph Hitler was a threat to world peace. Crocker served in Sierra Leone and worked as an interpreter. After the war he returned to Australia and farmed the land, an occupation he had enjoyed as a boy growing up on a farm. In 1949 he accepted a job as professor of international relations at the Australian National University, where he remained until 1952 and served as acting vice chancellor for a year. After leaving teaching Crocker became an ambassador for his country, and he served in that post in Nepal, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Italy. Returning home in 1970, Crocker ran for lieutenant governor of South Australia. Winning the election in 1973, he was also acting governor for six months in 1977. Crocker retired from political office in 1982. His extensive knowledge of national affairs helped Crocker to write several books, including Nigeria: Critique ofBritish Colonial Administration (1936), Self-Government of the Colonies (1949), Nehru (1966), and The Role of Sir Raphael Cilento at the United Nations (1985). Crocker also wrote the biography SirThomas Playford: A Portrait (1983).



Daily Telegraph (London, England), December 4, 2002.

Times (London, England), December 13, 2002, p. 41.