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Sir William Denis Battershill (1896-1959) was a soldier and colonial administrator. Educated at King's School, Worcester, 1908-1914, he served in India and Iraq, 1914-1919 with the 6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. Entering civilian life in 1920 as a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service, he rose to the post of 2nd Assistant Secretary and Clerk to the Legislative Council in 1928. Continuing his career, he served as Assistant Colonial Secretary, Jamaica, 1929-1935, Colonial Secretary, Cyprus, 1935-1937, Chief Secretary to the Government of Palestine, 1937-1939, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Cyprus, 1939-1941, Assistant Under-Secretary of State, Colonial Office, 1941-1942, Deputy Under-Secretary, Tanganyika Territory, 1942-1945, and Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Tanganyika Territory, 1945-1949.
In 1924 he married Joan Gellibrand, with whom he had two daughters. He spent the last ten years of his life after 1949 in retirement on Cyprus.
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A typescript autobiography of Sir William Denis Battershill, 1950s, was donated to the library by Mrs. J. D'Arcy in 1959.
Listed as no. 557 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996). A handlist is also available in the library reading room.Related Units of Description
Photographic collection of Sir William Denis Battershill, 1914-1959 (ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. t. 8.).
Battershill | William Denis | 1896-1959 | Sir | Knight and colonial administrator
Great Britain | Colonies | Administration
Mandates | Palestine
World War, 1914-1918 | India
World War, 1914-1918 | Iraq
World War, 1939-1945 | Tanzania
Tanzania | History | 20th century
Palestine | History | 1917-1948
Cyprus | History | 20th century
Kenya | History | 1895-1963
India | History | 1885-1920
Iraq | History | 1909-
Sri Lanka | History | 20th century
Jamaica | History | 20th century