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3. CHARLES VYNER de WINDT BROOKE

 

Transcription of Panel 3:

Charles Vyner de Windt Brooke, eldest surviving son of the Second Rajah, was born in London September 26 1874 and taken as an infant to Sarawak where he stayed for three years. At birth, he was granted the title of Rajah Muda*. He was educated in England, and on leaving Winchester, returned to Sarawak to tour the country and be introduced to the people before going to Magdalene College, Cambridge. He entered the Sarawak Service at the age of twenty three, working in out-stations and taking part in expeditions.

 

From 1904. he was in charge of the country when the Rajah was absent and in 1916, the administration of Dayak Affairs was formally entrusted to him. He was in Sarawak when Sir Charles Anthoni Johnson died and one week later, he was proclaimed Rajah. The years that followed the First World War were prosperous and revenues increased. Works were further developed and included the making of roads, much rebuilding and extension of the wireless system. The Officer personnel was enlarged and the Legal System reformed.

 

In 1923, the Rajah went up-country in his yacht to preside over a reconciliation ceremony that virtually ended the inter-racial troubles of the interior. By 1940, the occasional outbreaks of head-hunting had almost ceased and the First Rajah's aims of peaceful co-operation among the tribes appeared to have been achieved. At the beginning of the the Second World War, the Rajah was able to make gifts amounting to nearly three million Sarawak dollars from his treasury to Great Britain.

 

In 1941, at the Centenary Celebrations of the State, he proclaimed his intention of of divesting himself of his absolute rule and establishing a Constitution. This established, he was on leave in Australia when his country was engulfed by the Japanese War and Occupation in December 1941. Engaged in its life and death struggle with Germany, the British Government was unable to protect Sarawak, which, like the rest of Borneo, suffered great devastation. After the liberation in 1945, feeling that his resources were unequal to the task of restoring the country, the Rajah ceded Sarawak to Great Britain. In 1963, after eighteen years as a Crown Colony, its people joined with Malaya, Singapore and North Borneo in the Federation of Malaysia.

 

The Third Rajah was created GCMG in 1927 by King George V. He married the Hon. Sylvia Brett, younger daughter of the second Lord Esher, by whom he had three daughters. He died in London  May 9 1963.

* Heir Apparent

 

The inscription on the tomb of Charles Vyner Brookes

Inscription on the tomb of Sir Charles Vyner Brookes

© Richard J. Brine

 

CONTINUED

 

 
 
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