Collection PINCHER, HC - PINCHER, Chapman (1914-2014)

Key Information

Reference code



PINCHER, Chapman (1914-2014)


  • 1937-1993 (Creation)

Level of description



30 boxes, 37 volumes

Scope and content

37 volumes of Pincher's published press articles, 1937, 1940 and 1946-1993, published chiefly in the Daily Express, on defence, security, scientific and medical topics including:

UK rocket research, 1946-1963, nuclear weapon testing, 1946-1976

atom bomb development and testing, 1946-1954, hydrogen bomb development and testing, 1954-1956, atomic power, 1946-1976

human longevity, 1946-1968

supersonic flight, 1947-1976, including the development of the supersonic passenger airliner, Concorde, 1972-1976

the expulsion of former Communists from defence establishment posts, 1948, and MI5 screening of defence and atomic energy research scientists, 1948-1952

smoking and health, 1948-1969

space travel, 1950-1969

the convictions on spying charges of Klaus Fuchs, 1950, and John Vassall, 1962

air pollution and smog, 1953-1971

chemical and biological testing, 1953-1974

UK arms exports, 1971-1979

Northern Ireland, 1972-1979

reductions in UK defence spending, 1974-1978

the naming of Anthony Blunt as a spy for the USSR, 1979

Also articles by Pincher published in the Daily Mail, and coverage in many other newspapers and magazines, relating to his book Their trade is treachery, 1981, and accusations that the late former Director General of MI5, Roger Hollis, and the late Labour MPs Tom Driberg and Bernard Floud, among others, were agents for the USSR.

Notes and correspondence relating to Pincher's investigative journalism on British-Soviet espionage during the Cold War, 1950s-1980s, CLOSED pending cataloguing.

System of arrangement

The press cuttings books are arranged chronologically.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born, India, 1914. 

Educated: Darlington Grammar School and King's College London; BSc in Botany, 1935. 

Taught at Liverpool Institute High School for Boys, 1936-1940. 

World War Two, 1939-1945: joined Royal Armoured Corps, 1940; Technical Scientific Officer, Rocket Division, Ministry of Supply, 1943-1946. 

Defence, science and medical editor, Daily Express, 1946-1973. 

Assistant Editor, Daily Express, and Chief Defence Correspondent, Beaverbrook Newspapers, 1972-1979.


Breeding of farm animals (Harmondsworth: New York: Penguin, 1946)

A study of fishes (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1947)

Into the atomic age (London: Hutchinson, 1947)

Spotlight on animals (London: Hutchinson & Co, 1950)

Evolution (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1950)

co-author with Bernard Wicksteed, It's fun finding out (1950)

Sleep, and how to get more of it (London: Daily Express, 1954)

novel, Not with a bang (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1965)

novel, The giantkiller (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1967)

novel, The penthouse conspirators (London: Joseph, 1970)

Sex in our time (London: Weidenheld & Nicholson, 1973)

novel, The skeleton at the Villa Wolkonsky (London: Joseph, 1975)

novel, The eye of the tornado (London: Joseph, 1976)

Inside story: a documentary of the pursuit of power (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1978)

novel, The four horses (London: Joseph, 1978)

novel, Dirty tricks (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1980)

Their trade is treachery (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1981)

novel, The private world of St John Terrapin: a novel of the Cafe Royal (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1982)

Too secret too long: the great betrayal of Britain's crucial secrets and the cover-up (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1984)

The secret offensive: active measures: a saga of deception, disinformation, subversion, terrorism, sabotage and assassination (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1985)

Traitors - the labyrinths of treason (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1987)

A web of deception: the Spycatcher affair (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1987)

novel, Contamination (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1989)

The truth about dirty tricks: from Harold Wilson to Margaret Thatcher (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1991)

One dog and her man, by Dido (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1991)

autobiography, Pastoral symphony: a bumpkin's tribute to country joys (Shrewsbury: Swan Hill Press, 1993)

A box of chocolates, by Dido (London: Bantam, 1993)

Life's a bitch: a canine commentary on human affairs, by Dido (Shewsbury, Swan Hill, 1996)

Tight lines: the accumulated lore of a lifetime's angling (London: Robert Hale, 1997)

Treachery: betrayals, blunders and cover-ups: six decades of espionage (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 2011)

autobiography, Dangerous to know (London: Biteback, 2014)

Custodial history

Donated by Mr Pincher in 2013.

Conditions governing access

Some material is CLOSED but most of the collection is open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Files containing personal data are closed for 80 years from the date of the most recent document in the file.

Access may be granted to researchers, and upon signature of a special undertaking, providing such research is for purely statistical purposes and published data is anonymised such as to prevent the identification of individuals.

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

Finding aids

This collection level description.

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 ›

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


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