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Papers of Alexander Falconer Giles (1915-1989: Balliol 1936)

Introduction

Biographical information

Born 16 September 1915, eldest son of AF Giles (Balliol 1904), of Edinburgh University.

Educated : Edinburgh Academy; Edinburgh University; Balliol College 1936-1939 (tutors: Kenneth Norman Bell, Vivian Hunter Galbraith, Benedict Humphrey Sumner); 2nd class results in Modern History final exams, 1939. Union Society (President, 1939).

Married 1953, Margaret Elinor, daughter of Lt-Col RFD Burnett, MC, and widow of Lt-Col JL Watson: 2 stepsons, 1 stepdaughter.

Career joined the Army January 1940; 2nd Lieutenant, The Royal Scots; volunteered for service in Africa September 1940; Captain, 1941; 5th Battalion Gold Coast Regiment 1941-1946; Gold Coast, Nigeria and India; 81st West African Division in Burma from December 1943; Major, February 1944; two campaigns in Kaladan Valley, Burma, 1944-5; Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding 5th Battalion GCR; mentioned in dispatches; MBE (military) 1946. Cadet Colonial Service, 1946, Tanganyika [Tanzania); District Commissioner, Kongwa, 1950; Administrator, St Vincent 1955-1962; Resident Commissioner Basutoland 1962-1965, British government Representative 1965 to Independence 1966; CMG 1960; KBE 1965; Chairman, Victoria League in Scotland 1968-1970; Director, Toc H 1968-1974; Scottish Council Royal Over-Seas League Member 1969-1970, Central Council Member 1971-1974, General Secretary 1976-1978; Member, Overseas Council, Church of Scotland 1979-.

Died 11 April 1989.

Source: Balliol College Registers

Provenance of the papers

Physical material with copyright given to Balliol College in 2017 by the owner, a member of AF Giles' immediate family.

Extent

2 fascicule volumes containing 82 and 56 items, 3 mounted photographs, 150 items. 1 archive box; photos stored separately.

Catalogue

Letters from AF Giles to his parents during his time as a student at Balliol College, Oxford, most written from the College, some with printed ephemera re concerts, Union debates etc. Most letters are signed 'S' for 'Sandy'.

Abbreviations:

ALS = autograph (i.e. handwritten by the author) letter, signed.

APCS = autograph post card, signed

Volume 1.

AF Giles 001. ALS, 7 October 1936. 'More satisfactory to write this morning + will reach you almost as soon as far as I can make out. Had a very good journey + arrived before time./ My rooms are very nice tho' the sitting room will be rather dark I fancy. They are top floor. I will describe the situation later./ A note to say [KN] Bell wants to see me at 11 this morning - I think he is seeing all the new arrivals so I am now issuing forth to buy things including masses of crockery.' 1p.

AF Giles 002. ALS, Balliol 8 October 1936. 9pp.

AF Giles 003. ALS, 5 November ['Gunpowder Treason'] 1936. 1p. Pasted in out of chronological sequence.

AF Giles 004. ALS, Balliol 11 October 1936. 8pp. NB some pages are only tipped in by one corner; turn with care, reinforce.

AF Giles 005. ALS, 16 October 1936. 1p.

AF Giles 006. ALS, 17 October [1936]. 1p. 'Sat. 10.30./ Yes, as far as I know, you may accept for the 22nd. / I have been having a sitting with the electric doctor this morning - very charming old chap who bemoans the neglect of his own branch of medicine which he believes to be the things of the future. If I feel no improvement I am to see him again on Monday. It's very annoying being constricted like this for I don't feel at all able for exercise and one needs a lot here. Writing a Master's Essay at the moment. S.'

AF Giles 007. ALS, Balliol 18 October 1936. 6pp.

AF Giles 008. ALS, Balliol 25 October 1936. 10pp.

AF Giles 009. APCS, postmark Oxford 30 October 1936. 'Tired but happy after a game of rugby, Dinner at Corpus with Dunneet, + a maiden speech at the Union + supper on invitation there after. S.'

AF Giles 010. ALS, Balliol 1 November 1936. 13pp. Some sketches.

AF Giles 011. ALS, Balliol 3 November 1936. 4pp.

AF Giles 012. ALS, Balliol 8 November 1936. 8pp.

AF Giles 013. ALS, Balliol 12 November 1936. 3pp.

AF Giles 014. ALS, Balliol 15 November 1926. 4pp. 'I'm afraid this will be rather short...'

AF Giles 015. ALS, 19 November 1936. 1p.

AF Giles 016. ALS, Balliol 22 November 1936. 5pp.

AF Giles 017. ALS, 24 November 1936. 1p.

AF Giles 018. ALS, 27 November 1936. 1p,

AF Giles 019. ALS, Balliol 29 November 1936. 4pp.

AF Giles 020. ALS, 1 December 1936. 1p. '10pm/ No timetable of P. Mods out yet. / I had one of the rector's step sons to tea yesterday. I have sent off a spool to Watsons with instructions to post to you. You can look at them + send them on to me. Also I want some more Macvita - I know it's a luxury but I want something to help me thro' exams! I haven't heard since Sat but I hope you are all flourishing all well here. S.'

AF Giles 021. ALS, Balliol 8 December 1936. 8pp.

AF Giles 022. ALS, Balliol 9 December 1936. 1p.

== no letters January - September 1937 ==

AF Giles 023. Envelope 'Letters and cards from Newlands 30th Sept-6th Oct.' [1937]. 6 items.

AF Giles 023.01

AF Giles 023.02

AF Giles 023.03

AF Giles 023.04

AF Giles 023.05

AF Giles 023.06

AF Giles 024. ALS, Balliol 8 October 1937. 2pp.

AF Giles 025. ALS, Balliol 10 October 1937. 13pp.

AF Giles 026. 8 pp. cut from printed programme of 'Victoria Regina' by Laurence Housman, production designed by Rex Whistler, directed by Norman Marshall.

AF Giles 026A. ALS, 15 October 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 027. ALS, Balliol 17 October 1937. 12pp.

AF Giles 028. Newspaper cutting: Manchester Guardian, 19 October 1937. Cartoon 'Low on Plain Speaking by Mr Eden. Revival of Old-time Melodrama.' [cartoonist DAC Low of the Evening Standard]

AF Giles 029. ALS, Balliol 19 October 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 030. ALS, Balliol 22 October 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 031. ALS, Balliol 24 October 1937. 9pp.

AF Giles 032. ALS, Balliol 28 October 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 033. ALS, Balliol 1 November 1937. 2pp.

AF Giles 034. ALS, Acland House [Nursing Home], Oxford, 2 November 1937. 6pp. 'This is writing - not the other thing - so don't think I'm reduced to the direst straits.'

AF Giles 035. ALS, Balliol 7 November 1937. 6pp.

AF Giles 036. ALS, Balliol 14 November 1937. 9pp.

AF Giles 037. small pencil sketch, profile. 'Sir T Inskip 17 Nov 37 A.G.' [Thomas Walker Hobart Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote CBE PC KC (5 March 1876 11 October 1947)]. Probably enclosed with 36.

AF Giles 038. ALS, Balliol 19 Nov 1937. 2pp.

AF Giles 039.ALS, Balliol 21 November 1937. 3pp.

AF Giles 040. ALS, Balliol 23 November 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 041. ALS, Balliol 26 November 1937. 3pp.

AF Giles 042. Printed notice, 'Oxford Union Society, Thursday November 25th 1937 at 8pm, Question for Debate: "That this House prefers Chamberlain to Attlee."' AF Giles, Balliol, 3rd speaker.

AF Giles 043. Envelope containing notes in pencil for AF Giles' speech to the Union on 25 November 1937 (see item 42). 6pp.

AF Giles 044. Printed programme, Balliol College Musical Society 1000th Concert, 28 November 1937. 6pp.

AF Giles 045. ALS, Oxford Union note paper 26 November 1937. 2pp.

AF Giles 046. ALS, Balliol 28 November 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 047. ALS, 29 November 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 048. Envelope 'Colonel Blimp' containing newspaper cutting Evening Standard 27 november 1937 p.7. 'Low's Topical Budget' cartoon.

AF Giles 049. ALS, Balliol 29 November 1936. 10pp.

AF Giles 050. The Isis magazine [Oxford student publication], 1 December 1937 p.6, account by Alan Fyfe (Union President) of Union debate "That this House prefers Chamberlain to Attlee."

AF Giles 051. The Cherwell magazine [Oxford student publication], 4 December 1937 p.7, account by RHW of Union debate "That this House prefers Chamberlain to Attlee."

AF Giles 052. ALS, Balliol 3 December 1937. 2pp.

AF Giles 052A. ALS (pencil), 7 December 1937. 1p.

AF Giles 053. ALS, Balliol 14 January 1938. 1p. '11pm. These seem to be new cards - blue printing. Pleasant journey with about six acquaintances. We dined in Oxford + I have been chatting with Ralph + Ronald + another in my room. Drizzling but not cold. S.'

AF Giles 054. ALS, Balliol 16 Jan 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 055. ALS, Balliol 21 January 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 056. ALS, Balliol 23 January 1938. 8pp

AF Giles 057. ALS, Balliol 28 January 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 058. ALS, Balliol 30 January 1938. 4pp.

AF Giles 059. ALS, Balliol 4 February 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 060. Printed notice, 'Oxford Union Society, Thursday February 3rd 1938 at 8pm, Question for Debate: "That this House deplores modern morality."' AF Giles 4th speaker.

AF Giles 061. Envelope containing notes in pencil for AF Giles' speech to the Union on 3 February 1938(see item 60). 6pp.

AF Giles 062. The Cherwell magazine [Oxford student publication], 12 February 1938, account by Edgar Jones of Union debate "That this House deplores modern morality."

AF Giles 063. The Isis magazine [Oxford student publication], 9 February 1938, account by RHW of Union debate "That this House deplores modern morality." With cartoon by 'Boyd' of 'Deakin speakin'.'

AF Giles 064. The Oxford Comment [student magazine founded by Woodrow Wyatt, Worcester College 1936], p.3, ND, late Jan-early Feb 1938. Account [incomplete] of Union debate, see item 66 for conclusion.

AF Giles 065. ALS, Balliol 6 February 1938. 8pp.

AF Giles 066. The Oxford Comment [student magazine founded by Woodrow Wyatt, Worcester College 1936], continuation of item 64, ND, late Jan-early Feb 1938. Account of Union debate, including note of 'Sandy Giles'' speech. No author given. Photograph.

AF Giles 067. Envelope containing notes in pencil for AF Giles' speech to the Union on 3 February 1938(see items 63, 64, 66). 2pp.

AF Giles 068. ALS, Balliol 11 February 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 069. ALS, Balliol 13 February 1938. 5pp.

AF Giles 070. ALS, Balliol 18 February 1938. 1p.

AF Giles 071. ALS, Balliol 20 February 1938. 8pp.

AF Giles 072. ALS, Union Society notepaper, 25 February 1938. 2pp. 'Just had lunch here with Niall. Sherry party this evening - JG Wilson. I stayed in bed yesterday to throw off a bad cold + didn't go out to hear Randolph Churchill at the Presidential Debate. I've kept the infection out of my throat - it has dried up today. I hope D's has been equally cured. / I attended the Carlton Club dinner + heard Ormesby Gore on the crisis. I suspect he is pro-Eden + he was very clever + advocated the government's case beautifully, but skated over the point! There were no reporters + he was very frank. He confirmed the fact that Schussnig [Kurt Schuschnigg] was practically put through third degree by escaped Austrian Nazis + Prussian generals before he was finally confronted by Hitler in the famous interview./ Chamberlain is sincere + believes he's taking the long view, the opposition as usual have missfired [sic], + LG + Winston have convinced nobody. If only there was a man! / I have a PC from GFB from Athens saying Robert is having a trial run this vac at Balliol. Love S.'

AF Giles 073. ALS, Balliol 27 February 1938. 7pp.

AF Giles 074. Envelope 'Mr Thomson is Twenty One / Mr Giles proposes his health and then steals the whisky.'

AF Giles 075. ALS, Balliol 1 March 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 076. ALS, Balliol 4 March 1938. 4pp.

AF Giles 077. ALS, Balliol 6 March 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 078. ALS, Balliol 9 March 1938. 5pp.

AF Giles 079. ALS, Balliol 11 March 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 080. The Cherwell magazine [Oxford student publication], 14 May1938, account by AW Wood of Union debate "That this House wishes it were dead." NB not attached. 1p.

AF Giles 081. The Isis magazine [Oxford student publication], 11 May 1938, account by JRJK of Union debate "That this House deplores modern morality."

AF Giles 082. Programme, The Balliol Players 1938, The Acharnians.

Volume 2.

AF Giles 083. ALS, Holywell Manor, 14 October 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 084. ALS, Balliol, 16 October 1938. 1p. 'All very well but very pressed this evening so will write tomorrow. the Master [AD Lindsay] has just announced to a JCR meeting that he "has gone mad", + is standing for the town - the socialist having at last stood down. Rearmament was in an awful mess; Liddel Hart [sic; BH Liddell Hart] was here on Friday + told us so. Many thanks for parcel. S.' 1p. NB detached.

AF Giles 085. ALS, Balliol 17 October 1938. 'I'll have to postpone writing for a day or two still. I have a tutorial tomorrow, + I'm afraid today has been rather filled with politics. Lovely weather here too. I hope all goes well for it does here. S.' 1p.

AF Giles 086. ALS, Holywell Manor 19 October 1938. 8pp.

AF Giles 087. ALS, Balliol 21 October 1938. 1p. 'Many thanks for tablecloth. I would like the breeks, for I rode my bike into a pile of sand in a dark lane this evening + made a bad rent in my new pair. All well, S.'

AF Giles 088. ALS, Holywell Manor 25 October 1938. 7pp. NB not attached except p.7.

AF Giles 089. ALS, Balliol 28 October 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 090. ALS, Balliol 30 October 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 091. A page from Isis or Cherwell magazine 9 November 1938, account of Union debate 'That this House deplores the indecision of the Government towards Palestine.' With cartoon of 'Mr George Mansur' by 'Blatch.'

AF Giles 092. ALS, Holywell Manor, 3 November 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 093. A page from Isis or Cherwell magazine 9 November 1938, account of Union debate 'That this House deplores the indecision of the Government towards Palestine.' Incomplete. With unsigned cartoon.

AF Giles 094. ALS, Holywell Manor 6 November 1938. 15pp. With sketch plan of AF Giles' room in Holywell Manor.

AF Giles 095. ALS, Holywell Manor 6 November 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 096. ALS, Balliol 11 November 1938. 1p.'All goes well. Many thanks for the BP programme - dinner tomorrow night. Life very full of a number of small things. Twenty years after - cheers for Chamberlain + prayers for the Jews - at the Cenotaph. S.' [re Kristallnacht 9-10 November 1938]

AF Giles 097. ALS, Holywell Manor 13 November 1939. 7pp. With comic sketch on p.7.

AF Giles 098. ALS, Holywell Manor 17 November 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 099. ALS, Balliol 18 november 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 100. Telegram 'ELECTED SECRETARY OF UNION FOR NEXT TERM.' 1p.

AF Giles 101. Printed notice on Union note paper, Election of Officers 18 November 1938. 2pp.

AF Giles 102. Newspaper cutting announcing Union election results [November 1938]: includes Balliol men Hugh Fraser as Treasurer, AF Giles as Secretary and ERG Heath as President.

AF Giles 103. ALS, Holywell Manor 21 November 1938. 9pp. Considering student and national politics and staying at Oxford another year. 9pp.

AF Giles 104. ALS, Balliol 28 November 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 105. ALS, Balliol 28 November 1938. 4pp.

AF Giles 106. ALS, Balliol 30 November 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 107. Envelope, 'Oxford Union Society Thurs Dec 1st 1938.' Printed notice for Oxford Uion Society debate, 1 December 1938L 'That oratory is the harlot of the arts.' On verso, pencil notes for speech. 2pp.

AF Giles 108. ALS, Balliol 30 November 1938. 2pp. '5.30 pm. I have just been to BHS [Benedict Humphrey Sumner]/ He was much more satisfactory to talk to than KNB [Kenneth Norman Bell]. But he too was in the main against my putting off schools + against another year. He like KNB considered the possibility of one more term. he thought my chance of a Commonwealth was pretty poor either this year or next. He advised going home and working very hard this vac, + as if for schools. I could think + talk over the whole position + have a talk with the Master next term early, + consider putting in an application for a Commonwealth next January. he advised not speaking to the Master till next term when things are clearer. He also said he didn't think the actual Presidencey [i.e. of the Union] would be much extra value to me. / Well, I think I'll come home + work, + we can thrash this thing out. Love, S.'

AF Giles 109. ALS, The Hollies, 36 Southborough Road, Bickley, Kent 4 December 1938. 3pp.

AF Giles 110. ALS, Holywell Manor, 15 January 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 111. ALS, Union Society notepaper 19 January 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 112. Printed notice for Union Society debate 26 January 1939 'That a return to religion is the only solution to our present discontents.' AFG notes in pencil on reverse. Pencil note on fascicule page 'Did not get report.'

AF Giles 113. ALS, Balliol 22 January 1938. 4pp.

AF Giles 114. ALS, Balliol 27 January 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 115. ALS, Balliol 30 January 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 116. ALS, Union Society note paper 6 February 1939, 4pp.

AF Giles 117. Envelope flap, Union Society note paper, annotated 'AFW's meeting postponed'. Probably belongs with item 116.

AF Giles 118. ALS, Holywell Manor ND. 1p. NB not attached.

AF Giles 119. ALS, Balliol 8 February 1939. 3pp.

AF Giles 120. The Isis magazine [Oxford student publication], 15 February 1939, account by ERGH [Ted Heath] of Union debate "That this House would like to appoint a dictator." With cartoon by 'Boyd' of 'Führer Agate'.'

AF Giles 121. Newspaper cutting 9 February [1939]. 'Oxford Union prefers democracy - despite Mr James Agate's witty advocacy of Dictatorship.' Account of Union debate.

AF Giles 122. Continuation and end of item 121.

AF Giles 123. The Cherwell magazine [Oxford student publication], 4 March 1939, account by AFG of Union Presidential debate "That this House would welcome the immediate introduction of ascheme of compulsory National service."

AF Giles 124. The Isis magazine [Oxford student publication], 1 March 1939, account by ERG Heath of Union Presidential debate "That this House would welcome the immediate introduction of ascheme of compulsory National service." With cartoon by Blatch.

AF Giles 125. Newspaper cutting, Oxford Mail [early March 1939] 'Oxford Union told " the Anderson Scheme has failed". Account by ERG Heath of Union Presidential debate "That this House would welcome the immediate introduction of ascheme of compulsory National service."

AF Giles 126.ALS, Balliol 10 February 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 127. ALS, Holywell Manor 12 February 1939. 1p.

AF Giles 128. Printed notice, 'Oxford Union Society, Thursday February 16th 1939 at 8pm, Question for Debate: "That the future of the working classes lies with Progressive Conservatism."' Moved by AF Giles, Balliol. Lady Astor to speak last.

AF Giles 129. Newspaper cutting [Oxford Mail], ND mid-Feb 1939. Account of Union ociety debate "That the future of the working classes lies with Progressive Conservatism."

AF Giles 130. The Isis magazine [Oxford student publication], 22 February 1939, account by ERG Heath of Union debate "That the future of the working classes lies with Progressive Conservatism." With cartoon by Blatch.

AF Giles 131. ALS, Holywell Manor 17 February 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 132. ALS, Holywell Manor 19 February 1939. 4pp.

AF Giles 133. ALS, Carlton Club Oxford, 22 February 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 134. Printed notice on Union note paper, Election of Officers 24 February 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 135. Newspaper cutting announcing Union election results [February 1939]: includes Balliol men Hugh Fraser as President and AF Giles as Librarian.

AF Giles 136. ALS, Balliol 3 March 1939. 2pp.

AF Giles 137. ALS, 8 March 1939. 1p. 'Two exams over + might have been worse. Sorry to be so long in writing - RG can't come will be in Oxford all vac. Two papesr tomorrow + then Union party. S.'

AF Giles 138. ALS, Holywell Manor 13 March 1939. 'I was up in London for a night with Pete + Bob + lunched with Peter Street before coming back here for hand shaking. but I seem to have got a gastric chill. The doctor has been + I am perfectly comfortable, + I am to stay in bed tomorrow to make sure. So I won't be home before Wed. evening. A very slight + brief attack + I feel quite happy. Hope you are flourishing. S.'

Photographs

AF Giles 139. Balliol College, June 1906. No identifications. Photographer: Gillman & Soame, Oxford. [re: AF Giles Balliol 1904] b/w, print 11 1/2x14 1/2, with mount 18x22".

AF Giles 140. Balliol College Freshmen, October 1936. No identifications. Photographer: Gillman & Soame, Oxford. b/w, print 11 1/2x14 1/2, with mount 18x22".

AF Giles 141. Oxford Union Society Standing Committee, Hilary Term 1939. No identifications. Photographer: Gillman & Soame, Oxford. b/w, print 9x12, with mount 14x17".

 

- Anna Sander, 2017


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