Collection ALISON - ALISON, Gen Sir Archibald, 2nd Bt (1826-1907)

Key Information

Reference code



ALISON, Gen Sir Archibald, 2nd Bt (1826-1907)


  • 1851-1919 (Creation)

Level of description



3 boxes or 0.03 cubic metres

Scope and content

Papers, 1851-1919, relating to the military career of Sir Archibald Alison, including: detailed sketch map of Lucknow Garrison, India, 1851; memoranda to Alison from Lt Gen Sir Colin Campbell, Commander of British expedition to suppress Indian Mutiny, concerning troop movements, India, and operations at Lucknow for the relief of Lucknow Garrison, India, 1857; correspondence relating to British military operations in India, 1858-1862; records of service and correspondence relating to Alison's appointments, 1858-1892, with correspondents including Sir Henry Thurston Holland, 1st Lord Knutsford, Secretary of State for the Colonies, George William Frederick Charles, 2nd Duke of Cambridge, Commander in Chief of the British Army, and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Secretary of State for War; press cuttings relating to Alison's career, 1863-1907, including article, 'The brains of the Army', The Word, 17 Nov 1880, detailing the work of the Intelligence Department under Alison; official correspondence, 1868-1892; lithograph map of the battle of Amoaful (Amoafo), Ghana, printed by the Topographical Department of the War Office, 1874; letter from Alison's cousin, Gen Sir Montagu Gilbert Gerard, with detailed account of the capture of Kabul, Afghanistan, 1880; official correspondence relating to the campaign in Egypt, 1882-1883, chiefly concerning appointments, the state of the troops, organisation, and the necessity of retaining a permanent force in Egypt; memoranda by Alison, 1885-1886, on subjects including the Government of India proposals for a permanent increase in British troops in India, demobilisation in Egypt, Colonel Sir Charles Wilson's failure to reach Khartoum in time to relieve General Charles Gordon, and the importance of mounted infantry; notes [1889], by Alison on his career, 1845-1881; correspondence and press cuttings relating to Alison's death and funeral, 1907; correspondence between the Alison family and Blackwoods publishers, 1914-1918, concerning a possible biography of Alison; article, 'The European Brigade under Brigadier General Sir Archibald Alison in the Ashanti War, 1873-1874' by Major General Sir Charles Walker Robinson, Alison's son-in-law, [1919].

System of arrangement

The collection is broadly arranged in chronological sections as outlined above.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born, Edinburgh, 1826; educated at Glasgow University; commissioned into 72 Foot, 1846; Lieutenant, 72 Foot Headquarters, Barbados, 1849; Nova Scotia, Canada, 1851; Captain, 1853; Crimea, Russia, May 1855; service with Highland brigade, Sevastopol (Sebastopol), Russia, Jun 1855; Major, 1856; Military Secretary to Lt Gen Sir Colin Campbell (later General Sir Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde), Commander in Chief, Indian Mutiny expedition, 1857; wounded, losing his left arm at second relief of Lucknow Garrison, India, 1857; Lieutenant Colonel, 1861; Assistant Adjutant General in office of Inspector General of Infantry, 1862-1864; Assistant Adjutant General, South Western District, 1864-1867; Colonel, 1867; succeeded father as Baronet, 1867; Assistant Adjutant General, Aldershot, 1870; Commander, British troops, second Anglo-Asante War, Ghana, 1873-1874; battle of Amoaful (Amoafo), capture of Bequah (Bekwai) and capture of Kumasi, Ghana, 1873-1874; Deputy Adjutant General, Ireland, 1874; Major General, 1877; Commandant, Staff College Camberley and Deputy Quartermaster General, Intelligence, 1882; Commander, British troops, Suez Canal, Egypt, 1882; Lieutenant General, 1882; Commander, British Force in Egypt, 1882-1883; Commander, Aldershot Division, 1883-1888; General, 1889; retired, 1893; died, London, 1907.

Custodial history

Deposited by the family in July 2004.

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, via the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Uploaded finding aid

Existence and location of originals

Off-campus collection

Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus. Read more ›

Related materials

Letter books, 1849-1916, held by Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts (MSS Eng lett c 448-52, d 419-20, e 151); 1843-1898: correspondence with Blackwoods held by National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections (MSS 4063-4709 passim), 1870-1871: correspondence with Sir Frederic Goldsmid in the British Library, Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections (MSS Eur F 134 no. 10); c1840: mathematical notes in the National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections (MSS 9585 Passim).

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

People and Organisations

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Archivist's note

Compiled by Katie Mooney

Accession area