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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 till 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 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.

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