Sir Alexander Grantham became Governor of Hong Kong in 1947 and served until 1957. His term of office saw rapid reconstruction and growing prosperity after World War II. Civil war and revolution in China drove hundreds of thousands of refugees into the British colony, while tense relations between Britain and the new People’s Republic gave rise to difficult and potentially explosive incidents in Hong Kong. Plans for democratic reform were quietly dropped as Grantham instead crafted an authoritarian form of government that combined strong leadership with gradual social reform – a system that lasted almost to the end of colonial rule. In this elegant memoir, first published by the Hong Kong University Press in 1965, Grantham describes his thirty-five years in the British colonial service, which began in Hong Kong in 1922 and ended here in 1957; he also held senior positions in Bermuda, Jamaica, Nigeria and the South Pacific. Only a few of Hong Kong’s former governors have published anything about their terms of office here, but Grantham’s stands out as the most interesting and substantial. Via Ports is an important first-hand account of the workings of Britain’s colonial system. It also contains vivid, often amusing anecdotes about life behind the scenes in Government House during the long twilight of the British Empire.