Skip to main content

Correspondence and papers of Sir William Denis Battershill


  • How to
  1. Correspondence, mainly with the immediate Battershill family, 1908-1956
  2. Papers concerning administrative service, chiefly in Cyprus, Palestine and Tanganyika, 1935-1957
  3. Notes on safaris undertaken in Tanganyika and Kenya, 1945-1948
  4. Manuscript and printed material relating to the political situation in Cyprus, also typescript of personal reflections on the island, 1949-1960
  5. Typescripts, etc. of books, short stories and an article, by Battershill, 20th century
  6. Diaries and diary extracts, 1933-1940, 1951-1952
  7. Correspondence, reports and drafts in preparation for an official government guidebook to Cyprus, 1952-1959
  8. Letters and telegrams of condolence to Lady Battershill on her husband's death, 1959, with related press cuttings, 1938-1959


  • Creation: 1914-1952


14 boxes

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 467].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 467

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 654

Biographical / Historical

Sir William Denis Battershill (1896-1959) was a soldier and colonial administrator. Educated at King's School, Worcester, 1908-1914, he served in India and Iraq, 1914-1919 with the 6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. Entering civilian life in 1920 as a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service, he rose to the post of 2nd Assistant Secretary and Clerk to the Legislative Council in 1928. Continuing his career, he served as Assistant Colonial Secretary, Jamaica, 1929-1935, Colonial Secretary, Cyprus, 1935-1937, Chief Secretary to the Government of Palestine, 1937-1939, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Cyprus, 1939-1941, Assistant Under-Secretary of State, Colonial Office, 1941-1942, Deputy Under-Secretary, Tanganyika Territory, 1942-1945, and Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Tanganyika Territory, 1945-1949.

In 1924 he married Joan Gellibrand, with whom he had two daughters. He spent the last ten years of his life after 1949 in retirement on Cyprus.

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 557 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996). A handlist is also available in the library reading room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library through the Oxford Development Records Project in 1981 by Sir William Battershill's daughter, Joan D'Arcy.

Related Materials

Photographic collection of Sir William Denis Battershill, 1914-1959 (ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. t. 8.).

A typescript autobiography of Sir William Denis Battershill, 1950s, was donated to the library by Mrs. J. D'Arcy in 1959.

Correspondence and papers of Sir William Denis Battershill
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