Skip to main content

Correspondence and papers of Arthur Casswell Spooner


  • How to

The collection mainly consists of letters home to his mother, Mrs. Casswell Spooner, his two brothers, Edward Tenney Casswell Spooner (called "Ten") and William Henry Casswell Spooner ("Pullet") and his sister, Dorothea Mary Casswell Spooner ("D"). There are also some typed and handwritten notes and memoirs of his stay and travels in the Gold Coast, diaries and miscellaneous papers relating to the Colonial Service. Additionally the collection includes photographs taken by Spooner illustrating his work and travels in the Gold Coast.


  • Creation: 1928-95


0.75 Linear metres (12 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS.Afr.s.2438, Box 1, File 1, fols. 1-2].

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

Full range of shelfmarks:

Shelfmark: MSS. Afr. s. 2438/1/1-2, MSS Afr. s. 2438/2/1-2, MSS Afr. s. 2438/3/1-4, MSS Afr. s. 2438/4/1-3, MSS Afr. s. 2438/5/1-12

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 4328


Correspondence, papers, diaries and photographs of Arthur Casswell Spooner (1906-96), Colonial Service Administrative Cadet, later Commissioner of Labour Department, in the Gold Coast (1928-52).

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Casswell Spooner was born in Blandford in 1906 and educated at Epsom College from 1920 to 1924. After attending the Cambridge Colonial Service course at Clare College in 1928-9, he was posted to the Gold Coast in July 1929 as a Cadet in the Administrative Service. He was soon appointed Assistant District Commissioner and served in various areas of Ashanti and the Northern Territories until 1938. His tasks comprised office and court work as well as much travelling through the district.

In 1939 Spooner was seconded as Commissioner of the Labour Department in Kumasi and in 1942 was appointed Assistant Director of Labour, General Headquarters West African Command, involved in raising Pioneer Groups in Sierra Leone and Nigeria primarily for the North African campaign. He was a member of the Gold Coast Defence Force and in 1942 appointed as a temporary Lieutenant Colonel. In 1945 he returned to the Administrative Service and five years later was appointed Assistant Chief Commissioner of the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast. Arthur Spooner retired in 1952.

After his service for the Colonial Office Spooner worked for Eastbury Estates Ltd. in the United Kingdom. He returned to Africa in 1956, working for the Gambian Government in the Establishments and Training Department until 1959. From 1961 to 1963 he was employed by the Government of Northern Nigeria to run the President's offices in Makurdi and Ilorin.

Arthur Spooner married Sylvia Blest in Accra in 1944. He died in January 1996.


The material is arranged in chronological order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Mrs ST Spooner (Arthur Caswswell Spooner's widow), in May 2001.

Catalogue of the correspondence and papers, 1928-95, of Arthur Casswell Spooner (1906-96)
Finding aid prepared by Marion Lowman, Lucy McCann, Solveig Mueller
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom