Papers of Lieutenant-Colonel O.F. Watkins relating to the First World War in East Africa
The papers comprise files relating to the organisation of military labour in East Africa, a draft of the official history of the war in East Africa and a copy of Watkins' report as Director of Military Labour during the war.
- Creation: 1906-1937
0.6 Linear metres (4 boxes)
Language of Materials
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 5901/1, file 1].
Full range of shelfmarks:
MS. 5901/1-MS. 5901/4
Collection ID (for staff)
CMD ID 5901
Papers of Lieutenant-Colonel O.F. Watkins relating to the Carrier Corps and other military work in East Africa during World War I.
Biographical / Historical
Oscar Ferris Watkins was born in Allahabad in 1877 and educated at Marlborough College and the University of Oxford. From 1900 to 1901 he served in the South African War before joining the South African Constabulary, 1902-1904, and the Transvaal Civil Service, 1904-1907. Watkins moved to the British East Africa Protectorate Service in 1908 and served as Director of Military Labour to the British East Africa Expeditionary Force during the First World War.
Following the war Watkins was a member of the Legislative Council and a Deputy Native Commissioner, retiring from the Kenya Civil Service in 1933. In 1939 he became editor of Baraza, a Swahili weekly newspaper. He died in 1943.
The papers have generally been retained in the order in which they were received. Some of the arrangement was created by O.F. Watkins' daughter and some of her notes have been kept with the papers.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to the Bodleian Library by June Knowles, the daughter of O.F. Watkins, in 1986 and 1987.
- Oscar from Africa: the biography of Oscar Ferris Watkins, 1877-1943 by Elizabeth Watkins (Radcliffe Press, 1995)
- Catalogue of the Papers of Lieutenant-Colonel O.F. Watkins relating to the First World War in East Africa CMD ID 5901
- Lucy McCann
- Language of description
- Script of description