Collection BROOKE-POPHAM - BROOKE-POPHAM, ACM Sir Robert (1878-1953)

Original Digital object not accessible

Key Information

Reference code



BROOKE-POPHAM, ACM Sir Robert (1878-1953)


  • [1907]-1953 (Creation)
  • 1890-1902 (Creation)

Level of description



11 boxes or 0.11 cubic metres

Scope and content

Papers relating to early career, including material on early aviation, 1911-1913, and texts of lectures given at the RAF Staff College, Andover, 1922-1926. Material relating to post as Air Officer Commanding, British Forces in Iraq, 1928-1935, including correspondence, memoranda and telegrams relating to operations in Iraq and Kuwait, 1928-1930, and negotiations for the Anglo-Iraq Treaty, 1930; news cuttings and notes relating to political and military affairs in Iraq, and the situation of the Assyrians and Kurds, 1930-1935. Papers created as Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Air Defence of Great Britain, 1933-1935, mainly relating to a Royal Review of the RAF at Mildenhall, Suffolk, and Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Papers relating to post as Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Middle East, notably memoranda, cypher signals, letters and notes, 1931-1936, relating to RAF operations, mainly planning and preparation for the possibility of war between the League of Nations and Italy following the Italian invasion and annexation of Abyssinia; correspondence with ACM Sir Edward Leonard Ellington, Chief of Air Staff, 1935-1936; memoranda, telegrams, correspondence and newscuttings on operational matters relating to the Arab Rebellion against the British Mandate in Palestine, 1936; material collated by Brooke-Popham for lectures on the Middle East, 1930, 1936; correspondence, memoranda and minutes relating to the formation and working of an Executive Committee on Assyrian Settlement, 1943-1947. Papers relating to the creation and implementation of the Empire Air Training Scheme in Canada and South Africa, 1939-1945, including personal correspondence with Arthur William Street, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Air, 1940. Papers relating to post as Commander in Chief, Far East, notably telegrams and memoranda relating to the requirements of the RAF and Army in the Far East, 1940-1949; personal correspondence with Maj Gen Sir Hastings Lionel Ismay, Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence, 1940-1941; semi-official correspondence with Street, 1940-1941; material relating to the replacement of Brooke-Popham as Commander in Chief, Far East, Nov 1941; telegrams relating to reconnaissance sightings of Japanese convoys, the decision not to launch Operation MATADOR, the outbreak of war with Japan, and the sinking of RN battleships HMS PRINCE OF WALES and HMS REPULSE, Dec 1941; papers, correspondence and proofs relating to the publication of various despatches and reports concerning operations in Malaya, 1941-1947. Papers created whilst Inspector General of the Air Training Corps, 1942-1947, 1950-1952, mainly comprising inspection reports and material relating to the post-war organisation of the Air Training Corps. Booklets, memoranda, and reports collated by Brooke-Popham relating to RAF training, policy and operations, [1914]-1946. Material relating to research for and writing of articles, lectures and pamphlets, mainly relating to history, aviation or training, 1923-1952. Printed material, 1890-1953, mainly relating to aviation. Maps and photographs, 1917-[1945], including aerial photographs of the Western Front during World War One, 1917-1918.

System of arrangement

Arranged in sections as above.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born 1878; educated at Haileybury College, Hertfordshire, and Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Surrey; 2nd Lt, Oxfordshire Light Infantry, 1898; Capt, 1904; gained additional name of Popham, by Royal Warrant, 1904; attended Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, 1910; gained pilot's certificate, 1911; transferred to Air Bn, Royal Engineers, commanding 2 (The Aeroplane) Company, 1912; Commander, 3 (Fighter) Sqn, Royal Flying Corps, 1912; Brevet Maj, 1913; Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General to the Royal Flying Corps, at Headquarters, BEF (British Expeditionary Force), 1914-1916; Maj, 1915; formed 3 Wing (1 and 4 Sqns), Royal Flying Corps, 1915; Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster General to the Royal Flying Corps, 1916; Controller of Aircraft Production, Air Ministry, 1918-1919; Air Cdre, 1919; Director of Research, Air Ministry, 1919-1921; Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Andover, Hampshire, 1921-1926; AVM, 1924; Air Officer Commanding Fighting Area, Air Defence of Great Britain, 1926-1928; Air Officer Commanding, British Forces in Iraq, 1928-1930, and High Commissioner and Commander in Chief of Iraq, Sep-Oct 1929; Commandant, Imperial Defence College, 1931-1933; AM, 1931; Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Air Defence of Great Britain, 1933-1935; Principal Air Aide de Camp to HM King George V, 1933-1937; Inspector General of the RAF, 1935; ACM, 1935; Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Middle East, 1935-1936; retired list, 1937; Governor and Commander in Chief of Kenya, 1937-1939; rejoined RAF as Head of Training Mission to Canada (where the Air Training Scheme was set up) and South Africa, 1939-1940; Air Commander in Chief, Far East, 1940-1941; retired list, 1942; Inspector General of the Air Training Corps until 1945; President of the Navy, Army and Air Force Institute, 1944-1946; died 1953.

Custodial history

Presented to the Centre by the family in 1966.

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

  • Arabic
  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, with some items in Arabic

Finding aids

This collection level description and detailed catalogue.

Existence and location of originals

Rhodes House Library at Oxford University holds correspondence and papers relating to Brooke-Popham's post as Governor and Commander in Chief of Kenya, 1936-1953, which were removed from the main body of the collection following its deposit at LHCMA.

Related materials

Papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart include correspondence with Brooke-Popham, 1925-1932 (Ref: Liddell Hart 1/111/1-6), notes by Liddell Hart on various RAF personalities including Brooke-Popham, 1935 (Ref: Liddell Hart 11/1935/122), and a text of a lecture by Brooke-Popham on the history of the RAF, 1927-[1928] (Ref: 15/3/123). Papers of Maj Gen Richard Henry Dewing contain a manuscript diary relating to his service as Chief of Staff to Brooke-Popham, 1939-1941. Correspondence by Brooke-Popham relating to East Africa, 1936-1939, is held at The National Archives, Kew, (Ref: CO967/60-61, 163-65).

Related descriptions

Publication note

Operation Matador: Britain's war plans against the Japanese, 1918-1941, by Ong Chit Chung (Times Academic Press, 1997), uses material from the Brooke-Popham collection relating to his post as Commander in Chief, Far East, 1940-1941.


Compiled Aug 1999

Alternative identifier(s)

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

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


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