John Paul (colonial administrator)

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His Excellency
Sir John Paul
22nd Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Sir Peter Stallard
Succeeded by Sir Nigel Cecil
Personal details
Born John Warburton Paul
29 March 1916
Weymouth, Dorset
Died 31 March 2004(2004-03-31) (aged 88)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) (Kathleen) Audrey Weeden
Children Three daughters
Alma mater Selwyn College, Cambridge
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1937–1947
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II

Sir John Warburton Paul GCMG OBE MC (29 March 1916 – 31 March 2004) was a British government official, best known as a prolific administrator for 20 years of various British overseas territories around the world. He is probably most notable for being the last British administrator of the Gambia and the Bahamas as they gained independence during his service in those countries.


Paul was educated at Weymouth College and Selwyn College, Cambridge.[1] He was commissioned into the Royal Tank Corps Supplementary Reserve in 1937 and into the regular Royal Tank Regiment in 1938.[1] He won a Military Cross for his bravery during the German invasion of France in 1940.[1] However, he was captured by the Germans in 1940 and was a prisoner of war until the end of the war in 1945.[1] He was promoted Lieutenant in 1941 and Captain in 1946 and resigned his commission in 1947.[1] He then entered colonial administration, serving in Sierra Leone in various positions until that country’s independence in 1961.[1] He was knighted in 1962.[1]

He served as governor of the Gambia from 1962 to 1965, when it gained independence, and then served as the first governor-general of the Gambia[2] until 1966[1] when he was replaced by a Gambian. He then went to British Honduras (now Belize) of which he served as governor until 1972.[1] He dealt with demonstrations which were sparked by rumours that the territory would be annexed by Guatemala.

Paul then went to the Bahamas where he worked for one year.[1] He served as governor until that country gained independence on 10 July 1973.[1] He then served as governor-general of the Bahamas until the end of that month.

Finally, Paul served as lieutenant governor of the Isle of Man from 1974 to 1980.[1] He then retired from colonial administration.

Personal life

Paul married (Kathleen) Audrey Weeden in 1946.[1] They had three daughters[1] and were married for 58 years, until he died in March 2004. Audrey died in December 2004.


Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Henry Windley
Governor of The Gambia
Post abolished
New creation Governor-General of The Gambia
Succeeded by
Farimang Mamadi Singateh
Preceded by
Sir Peter Stallard
Governor of British Honduras
Succeeded by
Sir Richard Neil Posnett
Preceded by
Lord Thurlow
Governor of the Bahamas
Post abolished
New creation Governor-General of the Bahamas July 1973 Succeeded by
Sir Milo Butler
Preceded by
Sir Peter Stallard
Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man
Succeeded by
Sir Nigel Cecil