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Collection Level Description: Papers of Brian Parry

Reference: GB 0162 MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 365
Title: Papers of Brian Parry
Dates of Creation: c1930-1941
Extent: 1 folder, 3 volumes

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

Brian Berey Parry graduated in geology at Cambridge. He then joined the Shell Group and was posted to Sarawak Oilfields Ltd., whose headquarters were in Miri. His work in prospecting for oil led to the discovery of the rich Brunei field. After five years, he was sent to Mexico, and after a further eight years, to Bogota, Colombia, c1937-1938, where he was Assistant Manager. In 1939 he worked for six months at the company's office in London and was married. He returned to Bogota with his wife, Mary, just before the start of World War Two. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Miri as Assistant Manager. After July 1941 British women and children were evacuated from Sarawak due to the threat from Japan. Mary left for Singapore, where she worked at the Naval Base (GHQ Far East); she was then transferred with her office to Java, and returned to Britain via Ceylon. When the Japanese invaded Borneo, Parry refused to leave the island with the other European staff, and only later vacated Miri. Supposedly making for Long Nawan (?Longiram) in Dutch territory (Kalimantan), Parry and a party of c20-30 others were killed, though the exact circumstances of his death remain unclear.

Scope and Content

Letters from Parry, mostly from Miri, Sarawak, to his parents and to his wife Mary in Singapore, 1939-1941; three albums of photographs, mostly of Sarawak, but including some of Brunei, Sumatra and Hong Kong, and some depicting his period at school and college, 1918-c1941.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library by Mary Parry on 30th June 1999.

Access Conditions

Bodleian reader's ticket required.

Reproduction Restrictions

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

Further Information

Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Access Points

Parry | Brian | d 1941 | oilworker

Sarawak Oilfields Ltd.

Sarawak | Description and travel

Brunei | Description and travel | Views

Indonesia | Description and travel | Views

Hong Kong (China) | Description and travel | Views

Dayak (Indonesian people) | Pictorial works

Oilfields | Malaysia | Sarawak

World War, 1939-1945 | Sarawak

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
02 March 2012