Gaston Thornicroft

Gaston Thomas Thornicroft was a leader of the Coloured (mixed-race) community in Southern Rhodesia from the 1930s to the 1960s. His father was Harry Scott Thornicroft, a British colonial administrator, who married a native African woman.[1] Gaston was president of two groups advocating rights for Coloureds: the Coloured Community Service League from 1933,[2] and the Rhodesia National Association from 1952 until it was eclipsed in the early 1960s by more radical black unity groups.[3] He led talks to unite competing Coloured representative associations.[4] Initially, he emphasised the Coloured community's separateness from and superiority to black Africans,[5] but later he was sympathetic to the non-white unity movement, without ever formally joining it.[6] He was a businessman, running 18 stores by 1945.[7] In the 1953 general election in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, one seat was reserved for a European representing African interests; Thornicroft applied to stand but was refused as not being European.[8] He represented "Coloured & Eurafrican Communities" at the 1961 Southern Rhodesia constitutional talks.[9] He ran unsuccessfully in the 1962 and 1970 general elections in (Southern) Rhodesia.


  • Muzondidya, James (2005). Walking a Tightrope: Towards a Social History of the Coloured Community of Zimbabwe. Africa World Press. ISBN 9781592212460. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  1. ^ Macmillan, Hugh (December 2000). "Book review". Journal of Southern African Studies. Taylor & Francis. 26 (4 Special Issue: African Environments: Past and Present): 863–865. JSTOR 2637576.
  2. ^ Muzondidya 2005, p.62
  3. ^ Muzondidya 2005, pp.92, 156, 220, 224
  4. ^ Muzondidya 2005, pp.86, 87, 92
  5. ^ Muzondidya 2005, pp.62–3
  6. ^ Muzondidya 2005, pp.95
  7. ^ Muzondidya 2005, pp.111,226
  8. ^ Muzondidya 2005, p.288
  9. ^ "Southern Rhodesia: Southern Rhodesia constitution". Archive Footage. Independent Television News. 17 January 1961. Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2012.