Richard Gordon Turnbull (b. 1909) was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Tanganyika in 1958, after serving as Chief Secretary in Kenya for three years. It was a period of considerable political tension, outlined in John Iliffe's 'Tanganyika: a modern history' (1979) pp. 563-576, and included the Constitutional Conference of 27 March 1961, at which Colonial Secretary, Iain Macleod agreed to Independence the following December. After independence on 9 December 1961, Sir Richard Turnbull became Governor-General, a post he held until the following year. He was High Commissioner for Aden and the Protectorate of South Arabia 1965-67 (see plates 221-235).
For the most part the photographs relate to Turnbull's post as Governor-General and a return visit in 1971, but there are also some historical photographs extending back in some cases to the German period (see plates 170-220). Most items in the collection were taken by official photographers in Tanganyika or by the East African Railways and Harbours. Some have official descriptions on the back; others have been carefully identified by Sir Richard and Lady Turnbull, usually with the names of those shown, though these have not in all cases been included in the following catalogue. The collection can be summarised:
1-23 Legislative Council, including first unofficial members, visitors, ceremonies, conferences etc. 1958-1961.
24-78 Visit of Iain Macleod and Constitutional Conference, March 1961.
79-81 Other events of 1961.
82 Governor-General Sir Richard Turnbull opening the Legislative Assembly 1962.
83-98 Celebrations of the 10th Anniversary of Independence December 1971.
99-129 Miscellaneous ceremonies, chiefly in the Provinces.
130-145 Opening of Mwanza South New Port 4 June 1960.
146-158 Railway activities.
159-165 Kilambero Valley Sugar Project.
170-175 Views of former German official buildings, taken after World War I and showing damage.
176-202 Interior and exterior view of Government House, pre-1958.
203-210 Interior views of Government lodges at Arusha and Lushoto.
211-220 Historical photographs from the German period.
221-235 Servants of Government House, Aden, 1965-66. Fifteen groups with identifications.
Presented to the Royal Commonwealth Society by Sir Richard Turnbull in 1980.