Biographical entry: Sasabule, Peter (1900 - 1964)

24 April 1964


Peter Sasabule was born at Munda in 1900 and attended a village school on Simbo in the Western Solomons. He signed on as a greaser on W. R. Carpenter's SS Durumba in 1925, and later, as an engineer, he joined the Marine Department serving in the SS Ranadi, and then in the AV Tulagi, which was then the High Commissioner's ship. He was eventually given command of the Tulagi, and at the beginning of the war it and other vessels were used to return to their villages over two thousand labourers who had been deserted on plantations, dodging danger from bombing and strafing by Japanese aircraft and ships. He was awarded the British Empire Medal for this and other wartime work. From 1945 he was Senior Chief Bosun with the Marine Department. He developed trouble with his eyesight and after 1953 Sasabule was posted to the Marine Base at Tulagi, where in 1962 he was promoted to Senior Rigger. Sasabule was still serving at Tulagi when he died on 24 Apr. 1964.

Tom Russell knew Sasabule when he was posted in the Western Solomons in the early 1950s. He described him as taciturn, a superb navigator, and with a peculiar dignity that made him respected throughout the Marine Department. Dark-skinned, tall and thin, with startlingly bloodshot eyes, as a youth he had worn two bone cylinders as ornaments threaded through holes punched in his earlobes. His earlobes had stretched with the weight and without the ornaments they hung down the side of his round bald face. (Horton 1965, 21; NS 30 Apr. 1964; Russell 2003, 34)

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Published resources


  • Horton, Dick C., The Happy Isles: A Diary of the Solomons, Originally published: 1965, Heinemann, London, 1965. Details
  • Russell, Tom, I Have The Honour to Be: A Memoir of a Career Covering Fifty-Two Years of Service for British Overseas Territories, The Memoir Club, Spennymoor, Great Britain, 2003. Details


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details