King's College London
Online Exhibitions
West of Suez: Britain and the Mediterranean, 1704-1967

Post-Second World War Cyprus

Photograph showing the new British army base at Dhekelia, with military vehicles and buildings visible, and men workingPhotograph showing the new British army base at DhekeliaTurkish claims to sovereignty in Cyprus were relinquished in the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) and in 1925 the island became a British crown colony, coming under English rule for the first time since Richard, Coeur de Lion was Lord of Cyprus in the 12th century.

During the era of decolonisation that followed the Second World War questions arose about the future of Cyprus.

However, Britain valued the strategic importance of its ‘Gibraltar in the east’ and made the island its new British Middle East Land Force Headquarters, after the withdrawal from Egypt in 1954.

The introduction to this collection of 12 photographs, published by the Central Office of Information in 1955, states:

The island is today an essential part of the defensive system of the free world.  Cyprus enjoys a stable exchange within the sterling area.  Its trade prospers and much progress is being made in agriculture, education, forestry and other fields through the £8,000,000 development plan.

This image shows the new British army base at Dhekelia. The United Kingdom still retains two Sovereign Base Areas at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

ARCHIOS™ | Total time:1.1422 s | Source:database