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Collection Level Description: Correspondence and papers of Sir William Denis Battershill

Reference: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 467
Title: Correspondence and papers of Sir William Denis Battershill
Dates of Creation: 1914-1952
Extent: 14 boxes

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

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.

Scope and Content

Administrative Information

Access Conditions

Bodleian readers ticket required:

Reproduction Restrictions

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.


A typescript autobiography of Sir William Denis Battershill, 1950s, was donated to the library by Mrs. J. D'Arcy in 1959.

Further Information

Finding Aids

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.).

Access Points

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

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
27 June 2011