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Journal, notebooks and photographs of Major-General Stephen Seymour Butler

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Eleven personal notebooks, with accounts of, and notes on, military service in East Africa, 1939-1943, with manuscript journal of journey into "unknown Arabia", 1907-1908, and photographs of Butler in uniform of Bimbashi or the Egyptian Army, c.1909.


  • 1907-1909, 1939-1943


1 box

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS.Afr.r.199].
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Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 1054

Biographical / Historical

Major-General Stephen Seymour Butler (1880-1964) joined the 3rd Northumberland Fusiliers in 1897, then the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1899. He fought in the South African War before joining the King's African Rifles, 1905-1907. He explored Northern Arabia, 1907-1908, disguised as a Bedouin, and lectured to the Royal Geographical Society on his return. He transferred to the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1908, then the Egyptian Army, 1909-1915. During World War One he served with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1915, saw action in the Dardanelles, 1915-1916 and in France, 1916-1918, and held the position of Deputy Chief of Intelligence, GHQ, 1918. From 1919 to 1920 he worked as Head of Naval Intelligence, Constantinople. He held a non-commissioned post in India, 1921-1923 and was Military Attache, Bucharest, 1923-1926. He served as Inspector-General Royal West African Frontier Force, 1926-1930 and Kaid Sudan Defence Force, 1930-1935, then with the 48th Division, Territorial Army, 1935-1939, after which he retired briefly. Then, during World War Two, he was made Head of the Military Mission to Turkey, 1939-1940, undertook liaison work in Africa, 1940-1941, and was Head of the British Military Mission in Ethiopia, 1941-1943. Frequently decorated, he was awarded the DSO in 1917, CMG in 1919 and CB in 1936.

Other Finding Aids

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

Listed as no. 905 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).
Journal, notebooks and photographs of Major-General Stephen Seymour Butler
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom