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Papers of Laurence Giles relating to Canada and Nigeria


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Papers of Laurence Giles relating to his visit to Canada in 1928 and to his time in the Colonial Service in Nigeria.


  • Creation: 1926-1992


0.83 Linear metre (5 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, [followed by shelfmark eg MS. 12073/1]

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 12073/1-5

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12073, 12108, 12241


Papers of Laurence Giles relating to Canada and Nigeria.

Biographical / Historical

Laurence Cranmore Giles was born in 1909 and educated at King Edward VI Grammar School in Birmingham. In 1928 he won a newspaper competition to tour Canada in a group of 50 young 'ambassadors of Empire', an experience which greatly influenced him. He read Classics at Queen's College, Oxford, and joined the Colonial Service in 1932.

Giles served as a district officer in Zaria Province, Nigeria, for three tours where he worked on local infrastructure and mediated in disputes. He learned Hausa and Fulani and in 1939 launched the Hausa monthly newspaper Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo. During World War II he enlisted in the Royal West African Frontier Force Reserves and, posted to military intelligence, liaised with the French West African territories. He worked closely with Félix Éboué, the governor of Chad, and with visiting Free French officers. After the war Giles continued in the Colonial Service in Northern Nigeria for ten years, apart from spending 1948 to 1950 as Supervisor of the Colonial Service Course in Oxford.

Giles worked for ICI from 1956 to 1970 and retired to Liphook, Hampshire. He died in 2007.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the daughter and son of Laurence Giles in 2016.

Related Materials

Further papers of Laurence Giles relating to Nigeria and Chad have shelfmarks MSS. Afr. s. 887 and MSS. Afr. s. 1085 respectively.

Catalogue of the Papers of Laurence Giles relating to Canada and Nigeria
Lucy McCann
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom