Alec Kirkbride

Sir Alec Seath Kirkbride (1897–1978) was a British diplomat who served in Jordan and Palestine between 1920 and 1951.


He began his military career as an officer in the army of General Allenby from 1916 to 1921. In 1920, after the Battle of Maysalun and the fall of Faisal's government of Syria left Transjordan with no central authority, he was dispatched by the British government to Transjordan to help maintain order during this interregnum. "With a fine sense of history" he established the ephemeral but whimsically named "National Government of Moab" in Kerak with himself as President, which lasted until Abdullah took control of the country. (His younger brother Alan similarly formed the "Ammonite Government" in Amman.) From 1922 to 1927 and from 1937 to 1939, he was governor of Acre and of the district of Galilee in Palestine. He was Deputy Resident in Transjordan from (1927–1937) and Resident from 1939 to 1946, and was one of King Abdullah's leading British advisors.

In 1946, he was named ambassador of Great Britain to Amman and played an important diplomatic role during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

From 1952 to 1954, he was ambassador to Libya.

He ended his career as director of the British Bank of the Middle East, later writing academic books and articles on the Middle East, including two volumes of memoirs.



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