Geoffrey Arthur

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Person.png Geoffrey Arthur  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Sir Geoffrey George Arthur.jpg
Born19 March 1920
Died15 May 1984 (Age 64)
Alma materAshby School, Christ Church (Oxford)
UK diplomat to the Middle East, then Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Employment.png UK/Ambassador/Kuwait Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
1967 - 1970

Employment.png Master

In office
1975 - 1984
EmployerOxford University/Pembroke College
Preceded byEric Ashby
Former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee

Sir Geoffrey George Arthur was a British diplomat and academic administrator. After a career in the Foreign Office, he was Master of Pembroke College, Oxford from 1975 until his death in 1984.

Early life and education

He was educated at Ashby-de-la-Zouch Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford.[1] His university education was interrupted by war service. He served in Egypt, Iran and Iraq, and on returning to Oxford, transferred from studying classics to Persian and Arabic. He graduated with first class honours.


He joined the Foreign Office in 1947, serving in Baghdad, Ankara, Cairo and Bonn.[2] He was Ambassador to Kuwait from 1967 to 1970. From 1970 to 1971, he was the last Political Resident in the Persian Gulf and oversaw the break up of the British territory in the Persian Gulf into the independent states of Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.[3][4] His final civil service appointment was as Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, serving between 1973 and 1975.[5]

In 1975, he was elected Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.[4] He was also on the governing body of Abingdon School from 1978.[6]

Personal life

In 1946, Arthur married Margaret, daughter of T. A. Woodcock (former headteacher of Ashby School). They had no children.[5]

He died on 15 May 1984, aged 64, after a short illness.[3][5] A memorial serve was held at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.[3]

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  1. Derby Evening Telegraph article
  2. The Sir Geoffrey Arthur archive, held at St Anthony's College, Oxford
  3. a b c Latham, J. Derek (1985). "Obituary: Sir Geoffrey Arthur (1920-1984)". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. British Society for Middle Eastern Studies. 12 (1): 119–120.
  4. a b Obituary: Sir Geoffrey Arthur". The Times. No. 61832. 16 May 1984. p. 12.
  5. a b c