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John Stokes

John Stokes was the first British representative in the European Commission of the Danube (ECD) and one of the leading British experts in international rivers and inland navigation. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and the Military Engineering School at Chatham, Stokes served in Africa and later volunteered for the East after the British involvement in the Crimean War. In 1856 he was appointed British Delegate in the European Commission established under the Treaty of Paris for the improvement of the mouths of the Danube River. He withdrew from the ECD in 1871, after he managed to negotiate the conditions for the prolongation of the institution based in Galaţi. Since this period, Stokes became the official consultant of the Foreign Office in problems related to navigation on the Danube, his vast experience being used all along the forthcoming decades by the British diplomats in shaping London’s Danubian policy. After a short period back to Britain, he was sent to another vital area for the British interests, as a member of the International Commission assembled at Constantinople for dealing with the Suez Canal Company. He then served as the British Representative on Board of Suez Canal Company and the representative of the British Government in Egypt.

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