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Papers of Brian Parry


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Letters from Parry, mostly from Miri, Sarawak, to his parents and to his wife Mary in Singapore, 1939-1941; three albums of photographs, mostly of Sarawak, but including some of Brunei, Sumatra and Hong Kong, and some depicting his period at school and college, 1918-c 1941.


  • Creation: c1930-1941


1 folder, 3 volumes

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 365].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 365

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 3625

Biographical / Historical

Brian Berey Parry graduated in geology at Cambridge. He then joined the Shell Group and was posted to Sarawak Oilfields Ltd., whose headquarters were in Miri. His work in prospecting for oil led to the discovery of the rich Brunei field. After five years, he was sent to Mexico, and after a further eight years, to Bogota, Colombia, c 1937-1938, where he was Assistant Manager. In 1939 he worked for six months at the company's office in London and was married. He returned to Bogota with his wife, Mary, just before the start of World War Two. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Miri as Assistant Manager. After July 1941 British women and children were evacuated from Sarawak due to the threat from Japan. Mary left for Singapore, where she worked at the Naval Base (GHQ Far East); she was then transferred with her office to Java, and returned to Britain via Ceylon. When the Japanese invaded Borneo, Parry refused to leave the island with the other European staff, and only later vacated Miri. Supposedly making for Long Nawan (?Longiram) in Dutch territory (Kalimantan), Parry and a party of c20-30 others were killed, though the exact circumstances of his death remain unclear.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library by Mary Parry on 30th June 1999.

Papers of Brian Parry
Paul Davidson
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom