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Papers of Ken Flower


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The papers include minutes of meetings, correspondence, reports, notes and photographs created by Flower or accumulated in the course of his work.


  • 1964-1980


0.5 Linear metres (3 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 6360/1, folio 1].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. 6360/1-2; MS. 6360 Photogr. 1

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 6360


Papers of Ken Flower, founding director of the Central Intelligence Organisation in Rhodesia, which he used to write his book, Serving Secretly. An Intelligence Chief on Record: Rhodesia into Zimbabwe, 1964 to 1981.

Biographical / Historical

Ken Flower emigrated to Southern Rhodesia in 1937 to join the British South Africa Police (BSAP). From 1941 he spent seven years in the Horn of Africa as part of the British Military Administration and then returned to the BSAP, becoming Deputy Commissioner in 1961. He became head of the Central Intelligence Organisation, which was established in Southern Rhodesia upon the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland at the end of 1963, and served in this role under five consecutive Prime Ministers, retiring in 1981. He died in 1987.


The original arrangement of the papers has been maintained with the documents grouped by the chapters of Flower's book.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Ken Flower's daughter, 2009-2011.


  • Flower, Ken, Serving secretly. An Intelligence Chief on Record: Rhodesia into Zimbabwe, 1964 to 1981 (John Murray, 1987)
Catalogue of the papers of Ken Flower
Finding aid prepared by 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