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Sir Walter Crocker (1902-2002)
Papers 1922-2002

MSS 327 C938p

Biographical Note

Walter Russell Crocker was born on 25 March 1902, the eldest son of Robert Crocker and Alma Bray. He was educated at the University of Adelaide, Balliol College, Oxford and Stanford University in the United States.

From 1952 to 1970 Sir Walter served Australia with distinction for 18 consecutive years at ambassadorial level in a variety of countries including India (1952-1955 and 1958-1962), Indonesia (1955-1956), Canada (1957-1958), Nepal (1960-1962), Belgium and The Netherlands (1962-1965), Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda (1965-1967) and Italy (1967-1970).

Following his retirement from the diplomatic service in 1970, Sir Walter returned home to Adelaide where he served as a member of the Council of Adelaide University from 1971-1978. In 1973 he was appointed Lieutenant-governor of South Australia, a position he held until 1982. He was appointed K.B.E in 1978.

Sir Walter was a prolific writer publishing numerous magazine articles, lectures and books during his illustrious career. His books include Japanese population problem (1931), Nigeria: a critique of British colonial administration (1936), On governing colonies (1947), Self-government for the colonies (1949), Nehru: a contemporary estimate (1966), Australian Ambassador (1971), Travelling Back: memoirs (1981),and Sir Thomas Playford: a portrait (1983).

Sir Walter Crocker died in 2002.


Contents Listing



Series 1 Journals 1952-1992

Series 2 Memoirs and interviews

Series 3 General correspondence 1930-2002

Series 4 1922-30  Three universities - Adelaide, Oxford, Stanford

Series 5 1930-34  Nigeria, and other later material on Africa

Series 6 1934-40  Geneva and I.L.O. (and other related material)

Series 7 1940-46  War years and after

Series 8 1946-49  United Nations (and other related material)

Series 9 1949-52  Origins and early days of A.N.U.

Series 10 1952-70  Ambassador of Australia.

  • Despatches
  • Reports and correspondence
  • Correspondence with colleagues
  • Menzies and Casey, together with some diplomatic portraits and essays
  • Letters of credence, diplomatic lists, photographs, etc.
  • Crocker's book Australian ambassador : letters,  reviews, correspondence with publishers
  • Australian Diplomatic Service - illustrations of the functioning and malfunctioning
  • Australia. Department of Foreign Affairs, 1952-70 - some illustrative papers on the administrative side
  • Personal business relations with the Department of Foreign Affairs, 1952-70.
  • 1952-55  High Commissioner to India.
  • 1955-56  Ambassador to Indonesia (and related material)
  • 1956-58  High Commissioner to Canada
  • 1958-62  High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to Nepal
  • 1962-65  Ambassador toThe Netherlands and to Belgium
  • 1965-67  Ambassador to Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya
  • 1967-70  Ambassador to Italy

Series 11 Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and in retirement. 1972-[2002]

Series 12 Personal correspondence and documents

Series 13 Photographs

Series 14 Press cuttings and notes

Series 15 Other writings by Sir Walter Crocker 
see also Series 2.3, 5.1.5, 5.2.2, 8.1, 8.8, 8.9, 10.12.7 and 16

Series 16 Lectures and addresses

Series 17 Writings (published and unpublished) by others

Series 18 Papers of Claire Crocker  [Restricted Access. The permission of Dr Robert Crocker is required]

  • Correspondence with Walter Crocker, her family and others.  1951-64.
  • Journal, appointment diary and address book, India 1952-55.
  • Cards received (official), India 1957-62.
  • Peacocks dancing [novel] by Claire Crocker, ed. Sally Cook, 2001.
  • ‘Claire Crocker – an appreciation: given at Thanksgiving service, Kooyong’ by Robert Crocker, July 2000
  • ‘A voyage round my parents: a personal memoir’ by Robert Crocker, September 2003.

University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


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