Collection WAVELL - WAVELL, FM Rt Hon Archibald Percival (1883-1950)

Key Information

Reference code



WAVELL, FM Rt Hon Archibald Percival (1883-1950)


  • 1909 (Creation)

Level of description



4 files

Scope and content

Papers collected or created by Lt Archibald Percival Wavell (later FM Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell) during his studies at Staff College Camberley, 1909, principally comprising lecture notes and texts of lectures on the Waterloo campaign, 1815, the American Civil War, 1861-1865, and international and military law.

System of arrangement

4 files

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born 1883; educated at Summer Fields, Oxford, Winchester College and Royal Military College, Sandhurst; commissioned into The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), 1901; served in the Second Boer War, South Africa, with 2 Bn, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), 1901-1902; service in India with 2 Bn, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), 1903-1908, including Bazar Valley campaign, North West Frontier, 1908; Lt, 1904; graduated from Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, 1910; visited Russia to learn Russian language, 1911; acting Capt, 1912; General Staff Officer 3, Russian Section, Directorate of Military Operations, War Office, 1912-1914; Capt, 1913; service in World War One, 1914-1918; appointed Bde Maj, 9 Infantry Bde, 3 Div, 2 Corps, British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Belgium and France, 1914; served on Western Front, 1914-1916, seriously wounded and awarded MC, Ypres, Belgium, 1915; General Staff Officer 2, 64 (Highland) Div, Territorial Force, UK, 1915; General Staff Officer 2, General Headquarters, France, 1915-1916; Maj, 1916; temporary Lt Col, 1916; British Military Representative to Russian Gen Grand Duke Nicholas (Nikolai Nikolaevich Romanov), Commander-in-Chief and Governor, Caucasus, 1916-1917; Brevet Lt Col, 1917; Liaison Officer between Gen Sir William Robert Robertson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and Gen Sir Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, General Officer Commanding in Chief Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1917-1918; Staff Officer, Allied Supreme War Council, Versailles, France, 1918; Brig Gen General Staff, 20 Corps, 1918-1919; awarded CMG, 1919; Brig Gen General Staff, Egypt and Palestine, 1919-1920; service with 2 Bn, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), Germany, 1921; Col, 1921; Assistant Adjutant General, Adjutant General's Department, War Office, 1921-1923; General Staff Officer 1, Military Operations 1, Operations Directorate, War Office, 1923-1926; placed on half pay, 1926; General Staff Officer 1, 3 Div, UK, 1926-1930; temporary Brig, 1930; commanded 6 Infantry Bde, Aldershot, Hampshire, 1930-1934; Aide de Camp to HM King George V, 1932-1933; Maj Gen, 1933; placed on half pay, 1934-1935; awarded CB, 1935; General Officer Commanding 2 Div, Aldershot, 1935-1937; Head of British Military Delegation to observe Red Army manoeuvres, Minsk, USSR, 1936; General Officer Commanding, Palestine and Transjordan, 1937-1938; Lt Gen, 1938; General Officer Commanding in Chief Southern Command, 1938-1939; Lees Knowles Lecturer, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, 1939; created KCB, 1939; Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, 1939-1941; Gen, 1940; appointed GCB, 1941; Commander-in-Chief, India, 1941-1943; Aide de Camp General to HM King George VI, 1941-1943; Supreme Allied Commander, South West Pacific, ABDA (American, British, Dutch and Australian) Command, 1942; FM, 1943; appointed GCSI and GCIE, and created Viscount Wavell of Cyrenaica and of Winchester, 1943; Privy Councillor, 1943; Viceroy and Governor General of India, 1943-1947; Chancellor of Aberdeen University, 1945-1950; Honorary Col, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), 1946-1950; created 1st Earl Wavell, 1947; High Steward of Colchester, Essex, 1947-1950; Constable of the Tower of London, 1948-1950; Lord Lieutenant of the County of London, 1949; Governor, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, 1949-1950; died 1950.

Publications: Tsar Nicholas II by Andrei Georgievich Elchaninov, translated by Archibald Percival Wavell (Hugh Rees, London, 1913); The Palestine campaigns (Constable, London, 1928); Allenby: a study in greatness (Harrap, London, 1940); Generals and Generalship. The Lees Knowles Lectures delivered at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1939 (The Times, London, 1941); Allenby in Egypt (Harrap, London, 1943); The war in the Far East. a meeting of the Study Committees of the Empire Parliamentary Association...1943 (Printed for private circulation, London, 1943); Other men's flowers. An anthology of poetry compiled by A P Wavell (Jonathan Cape, London, 1944); Allenby: soldier and statesman (Harrap, London, 1946); Speaking Generally. Broadcasts, orders and addresses in time of war, 1939-1943 (Macmillan, London, 1946); The good soldier (Macmillan, London, 1948); Speeches by Earl Wavell. From 26th October 1943 to 21st March 1947 (New Delhi, India, 1948); The triangle of forces in civil leadership (WalkerTrust Lectures on Leadership, Oxford University Press, London, 1948); Minerva's owl or education in the Army (Haldane Memorial Lecture, London, 1948); Arms and the man [Presidential address delivered to the Virgil Society, 1948] (Rupert Hart-Davis, London, 1949); National and international history (Stevenson Memorial Lecture, Oxford University Press, London, 1949); Soldiers and soldiering, or Epithets of war, compiled by Maj Archibald John Arthur Wavell, 2nd Earl Wavell (Jonathan Cape, London, 1953).

Custodial history

The papers were formerly the property of Brig Sir Bernard Edward Fergusson (later Brig Sir Bernard Edward Fergusson, Baron Ballantrae of Auchairne and The Bay of Islands), and were placed in the Centre in 1970. Fergusson served as Wavell's Liaison Officer in the Middle East, 1941. Until Nov 1999 the collection was known as the Fergusson collection.

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.

Related materials

The papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart include correspondence with Wavell, 1926-1950, and correspondence between Liddell Hart and Eugenie Marie Wavell, Countess Wavell, 1964 (Ref: KCLMA Liddell Hart 1/733). Papers of FM Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke include correspondence with Wavell, 1938-1946 (Ref: KCLMA Alanbrooke 6/5/1-22). Papers of FM Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and of Felixstowe include papers and correspondence, 1936-1946, relating to Wavell's biography of Allenby, Allenby: a study in greatness (Harrap, London, 1940) and Allenby in Egypt (Harrap, London, 1943) (Ref: KCLMA Allenby 6/1-11 and 7/1-7/4). Letters relating to to Wavell's poetry anthology Other men's flowers (Jonathan Cape, London, 1944) are held at the Imperial War Museum, London; correspondence with Gen (later FM) Sir Claude John Eyre Auchinleck, 1941-1948, is held at the John Rylands Library, Manchester University (Ref: Auchinleck papers); correspondence with Lt Gen Sir Alan Gordon Cunningham, 1940-1944, is held at the National Army Museum, London (Ref: 8303/104); personal and regimental correspondence, 1940-1950, are in the Black Watch Museum, Perth. The British Library, Oriental and India Office, London, hold Wavell's correspondence with Col Rt Hon Sir Reginald Hugh Dorman-Smith, 1943-1946 (Ref: MSS Eur E 215); correspondence with Sir Hugh Dow, 1943-1947 (Ref: MSS Eur E 372); correspondence with Sir (Robert) Francis Mudie, 1946-1947 (Ref: MSS Eur F 164) and copies of papers relating to India, 1943-1947 (Ref: MSS Eur D 977). Correspondence with John Dover Wilson, 1943-1950, is in the Department of Manuscripts, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh (Ref: MS 14314); correspondence with Walter Turner Monckton (later 1st Viscount Monckton of Brenchley), 1946, is held at the Department of Western Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford University (Ref: Dep Monckton); correspondence of Eugenie Marie Wavell, Lady Wavell with Sir Sydney (Carlyle) Cockerell, 1935-1958, is in the Manuscript collections, British Library, London (Ref: Add MS 52759). Other correspondence, papers and diaries relating to Wavell's life and career are still in the possession of the family.

Related descriptions

Publication note

From Wellington to Wavell by Sir George Compton Archibald Arthur, 3rd Bt (Hutchinson, London, 1942); The campaigns of Wavell. The inner story of the Empire in action by Donald John Cowie (Chapman and Hall, London, 1942); Wavell in the Middle East by Henry Rowan Robinson (Hutchinson, London, 1942); Three against Rommel. The campaigns of Wavell, Auchinleck and Alexander by Alexander Clifford (Harrap, London, 1943); The military Viceroy. Being a brief account of the life and campaigns of Field Marshal Viscount Wavell (John Crowther, London, 1943); Wavell by Reginald Hugh Kiernan (Harrap, London, 1945); Lord Wavell, 1883-1941. A military biography by Maj Gen Robert John Collins (Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1947); The campaigns of Wavell, 1939-1943 by Robert Woollcombe (Cassell, London, 1959); Wavell: portrait of a soldier by Brig Bernard Edward Fergusson (Collins, London, 1961); Wavell: scholar and soldier. To June 1941 by John Connell (pseudonym of John Henry Robertson) (Collins, London, 1964); Wavell: Supreme Commander, 1941-1943 by John Connell, edited by Brig Michael Rookherst Roberts (Collins, London, 1969); Wavell: the Viceroy's journal, edited by Penderel Moon (Oxford University Press, London, 1973); Wavell's offensive, compiled by Bryan Perrett (Allan, London, 1979); The Chief. Field Marshal Lord Wavell, Commander-in-Chief and Viceroy, 1939-1947 by (George) Ronald Lewin (Hutchinson, London, 1980); Jinnah-Wavell correspondence, 1943-1947, edited by Shev Muhammad Garewal (Research Society of Pakistan, University of the Punjab, Lahore, 1986); Wavell in the Middle East, 1939-1941, a study in Generalship by Harold E Raugh (Brassey's, London, 1993); Wavell and the war in the Middle East, 1940-1941 by FM (Richard) Michael (Power) Carver, Baron Carver (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin, USA, 1993); Massacre at Alamein? Were Generals Wavell and Auchinleck treated unjustly and was Montgomery over-rated during the desert wars of 1940-1941, 1941-1942 and 1942-1943 by Robert Clarson-Leach (Square One, Upton upon Severn, 1996); Attlee, Wavell, Mountbatten, and the transfer of power by H M Close (National Book Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan, 1997).


Decorations: GCB, GCSI, GCIE, CMG, MC

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.


Accession area