Catalogue of the papers of Cyril Sims Davies

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

C. Parker


Department of Special Collections
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Papers of Cyril Sims Davies, 1964-96

Letters of Cyril Sims Davies from Rhodesia

Shelfmarks: MS. Africa s. 2498

Extent: 1 shelfmark
Language of Material: English

Biographical History

Cyril Sims Davies was born in 1902 in Aberdare, South Wales, to David Griffith Davies, a school-master, and his wife, Margaret, née Jones. He was educated at Neath County School, and the Intermediate School before going to Cambridge to study medicine. After graduating he worked at St. Bartholomews Hospital, London, and Worcester Royal Infirmary, where he met his future wife, Eva Park. In 1929 he went to Kenya as a medical officer with the Kings African Rifles. In 1932 he did a course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and then joined the colonial service. He was posted to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and remained there for most of his career. On his retirement in 1950, he joined the British South Africa Company, and became the doctor on the Mazoe Citrus Estates, outside Salisbury (Harare), Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). At his instigation a 16-bed hospital was built for the estate. His wife Eva died there in 1964, and in 1966 he married the local post-mistress, Elaine Wilkins. They remained in Rhodesia until his death in 1997.

Scope and Content

Letters describing the deterioration of living conditions in Rhodesia, with papers containing reminiscences of Sims Davies by friends and family.


Donated by Stewart Bell, Nov. 2002.

Preferred Form of Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Library [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Afr. s. 2498, fols. 1-2].

Personal names (NCA Rules)

Davies | Cyril Sims| 1902-1997 | medical officer

Place names (NCA Rules)

Salisbury | Rhodesia

Subjects (LCSH)

Rhodesia | History | 20th century

Descriptive List

Letters from Rhodesia, and papers relating to Sims Davies
Date: 1964-97
Shelfmark: MS. Africa s. 2498
Extent: 59 leaves

Scope and Content:


  • (fols. 1-23) letters from Sims Davies to his friends, Stewart and Evelyn Bell, written from Mazoe, Salisbury, Rhodesia, describing his work, living conditions, political unrest in the country, the effect of sanctions (especially the difficulties caused by restrictions on moving money from Britain to Rhodesia), the impact of the 'Bush War' on daily life, deteriorating conditions for white citizens, and news of his daughters' families, Dec. 1964-July 1985
  • (fols. 24-48) letters from Sims Davies to Stewart and Evelyn Bell, written from Salisbury, Rhodesia, describing their eviction from their home in Mazoe, life in retirement in Salisbury, the rising crime and unemployment in the country, shortages of basic commodities, news of his family, and his failing health, Dec. 1985-July 1996
  • (fol. 49) letter from Elaine Sims Davies to Stewart and Evelyn Bell, describing life in Salisbury and her husband's poor health, Nov. 1996
  • (fol. 50) note by Evelyn Bell, 2002, describing her husband's long friendship with Sims Davies, and providing context for his reminiscences of his visits (fols. 51-4)
  • (fols. 51-4) Stewart Bell's reminiscences of visits by Sims Davies in 1987 and 1990, typed transcripts
  • (fols. 55-6) short biography of Sims Davies by Meriel Goodchild, the daughter of his only sister, Olive, n.d.
  • (fols. 57-9) funeral tribute to Sims Davies, author unidentified, [1997]

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
07 November 2011