Collection ROBERTS, GPB - ROBERTS, Maj Gen Philip (1906-1997)

Key Information

Reference code



ROBERTS, Maj Gen Philip (1906-1997)


  • 1940-1992 (Creation)

Level of description



3 boxes or 0.03 cubic metres

Scope and content

Papers relating to Roberts' life and career, 1940-1992, including twenty four detailed letters home to his father, Col William Bradley Roberts, from North Africa and North West Europe, 1940-1944; papers relating to operations in North Africa, 1941-1943, including memoranda, typescript intelligence summaries and typescript and manuscript notes, notably on operations of 22 Guards Bde and 7 Armoured Div, North Africa, Jun 1941; brief notes and correspondence on tank deployment, tactics and specifications, 1943-1944, including typescript copy of letter from Gen Sir Bernard Law Montgomery to Lt Gen Sir Ronald Weeks, Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, on tank specifications, Apr 1944; correspondence, accounts and notes relating to 11 Armoured Div operations in North West Europe, 1944-1945, notably planning notes and reports on Operation GOODWOOD, the 2 Army offensive south east of Caen, France, Jul 1944; typescript and manuscript accounts by personnel of 11 Armoured Div, dated 1982-1993, relating to operations in North West Europe, 1944-1945; correspondence, 1948-1992, including letters from Lt Gen Sir Henry Royds Pownall, Sep 1948, Lt Gen Sir Giffard Le Quesne Martel, 1951, Maj Gen Raymond Briggs, Feb 1951, Maj Gen Sir Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart, Sep 1952, and Maj Gen Ronald Frederick King 'David' Belchem, Nov 1978; correspondence between Roberts and the Daily Mail relating to articles written by Roberts on the possibility of a future war with the USSR, 1950-1951; press cuttings relating to service in World War Two, 1939-1945; correspondence between Roberts and The Guardian, Aug-Nov 1969, concerning the liberation of Antwerp, Belgium, 1944; newspaper cuttings, dated 1942-1967, relating to Roberts' service in World War Two, 1939-1945; one group photograph including Roberts [1945]; audiotape of BBC radio broadcast by Roberts, 1944, and after dinner speech, 1990.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged in sections as outlined above.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born 1906; educated at Marlborough and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst; commissioned into Royal Tank Corps, 1926; service with 3 Armoured Car Company, Royal Tank Corps, Egypt, 1928-1931; Lt, 1929; Assistant Instructor, Tank Driving and Maintenance School, Bovington, Dorset, 1933-1937; Capt, 1936; Adjutant, 6 Royal Tank Regt, Egypt, 1938-1939; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; temporary Maj, 1940; Bde Maj, 4 Armoured Bde, 1940; General Staff Officer 2, 7 Armoured Bde, Middle East, 1940; Commanding Officer, 3 Royal Tank Regt, 7 Armoured Div, 8 Army, Western Desert, 1941; awarded MC, 1941; wounded, Western Desert, 1942; commanded 22 Armoured Bde, 8 Army, Western Desert, 1942; awarded DSO, 1942; temporary command of 7 Armoured Div, North Africa, 1943; commanded 26 Armoured Bde, 1 Army, North Africa, 1943; commanded 30 Armoured Bde, UK, 1943; temporary Maj Gen, 1943; General Officer Commanding 11 Armoured Div, 1943-1946; served in North West Europe, 1944-1945; Maj Gen, 1945; awarded CB, 1945; General Officer Commanding 7 Armoured Div, 1947-1948; General Officer Commanding Hanover District, Germany, 1948; Director, Royal Armoured Corps, War Office, 1948-1949; retired, 1949; Director of Scribbans-Kemp, biscuit, cake and sweet manufacturers, 1949-1964; Justice of the Peace, Kent, 1960-1970; Hon Col, Kent and County of London Yeomanry Sqn, The Royal Yeomanry Regt, Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve, 1963-1970; died 1997. Publications: From the desert to the Baltic (Kimber, London, 1987).

Custodial history

The collection is arranged in sections as outlined above.

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

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 ›

Related materials

The papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart include correspondence with Roberts, 1948-1959, relating chiefly to Liddell Hart's The tanks: the history of the Royal Tank Regiment (Cassell, London, 1959) (Ref: LH 9/28/33, 84), also including an article by Roberts, 'The battle of Alam Halfa', written in 1955 (Ref: LH 9/28/48); note by Liddell Hart, dated 1-3 Aug 1944, relating to discussion with Roberts concerning Operation BLUECOAT, the 2 Army offensive to break out of the Normandy beachhead, south of Caumont, France, Jul 1944 (Ref: LH 11/1944/55); note by Liddell Hart on discussion with Roberts relating to tank design, Feb 1949 (Ref: LH 11/1949/5); note by Liddell Hart on discussion with Roberts concerning US forces and British tanks, Apr 1949 (Ref: LH 11/1949/13). The papers of Gen Sir Richard Nugent O'Connor include correspondenc with Roberts as General Officer Commanding 11 Armoured Div, 1944-1946 (Ref: O'Connor 5/2-4). The papers of FM Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein and Hindhead, at the Imperial War Museum, London, include a brief note, dated Jan 1945, by Roberts as General Officer Commanding 11 Armoured Div, on a memorandum on British armour by Montgomery, Jul 1944 (Ref: BLM 129/4).

Related descriptions


Decorations: CB, DSO, MC

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.


Accession area