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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Aston S C
ASTON, Col Dr Stanley Collin (1915-1992)
Created 1914-1919, 1938-1944
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
4 boxes or 0.04 cubic metres


Name of creator(s)
Aston, Stanley Collin, 1915-1992, Colonel, Professor of Modern Languages
Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1915; educated at City School, Lincoln, St Catherine's College, Cambridge University, and the University of Clermont, France; Bye-Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1938-1943; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; service with The Suffolk Regt, Royal Marines Div and the Intelligence Corps, 1939-1946; served as General Staff Officer 3 (Intelligence), Royal Marines Div, [1941]-Mar 1942; service as General Staff Officer 2 (Intelligence), 121 Force, Operation IRONCLAD, the British capture, from the Vichy French, of Diego Suarez, Madagascar, May 1942; Fellow of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, 1943; Secretary, Modern Humanities Research Association, 1945-1950; Dean, St Catherine's College, Cambridge, 1946-1957; service with the Cambridgeshire Regt and the Royal Anglian Regt, Territorial Army, 1946-1980; University lecturer, Cambridge, 1946-1982; Chairman, Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force, 1947-1977; Territorial Army and Auxiliary Forces, Cambridgeshire Regt, and Cambridge University Officer Training Corps, from 1948; Chairman, Modern Humanities Research Association, 1950-1968; Member, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Sciences, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), 1952-1975; Secretary General, International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures, 1954-1978; Visiting Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, 1955-1956 and 1961-1962; Tutor, St Catherine's College, Cambridge, 1957-1959; Deputy Lieutenant, Cambridgeshire, 1960; Bursar, St Catherine's College, Cambridge, 1961-1979; Chairman, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Territorial Army, 1967-1977; President, Modern Humanities Research Association, 1970; Deputy Honorary Col (Territorial Army), Royal Anglian Regt, 1972-1980; awarded OBE, 1973; Vice President, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Sciences, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), 1975-1979; President, International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Sciences, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), from 1979; President, St Catherine's College, Cambridge, 1980; died 1992. Publications: Peirol, troubadour of Auvergne (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1953).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Peirol, troubadour of Auvergne (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1953).

Presented to the Centre by Aston in 1991.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers, photographs, publications and maps relating to Aston's service as General Staff Officer 2 (Intelligence), 121 Force in Operation IRONCLAD, the British capture, from the Vichy French, of Diego Suarez, Madagascar, May 1942, including typescript intelligence report entitled 'Special report on specified parts of Madagascar', prepared by the Inter Services Topographical Department, 24 Feb 1942, with printed street map of Antsirann, Diego Suarez, and 18 photographs of the topography and infrastructure of Madagascar, 1942; typescript 'Intelligence notes: Madagascar', War Office, 15 Mar 1942; typescript 'Operation IRONCLAD 121 Force operation order No 1', relating to the planned capture, by 121 Force, of Vichy French naval and air base at Thurso Bay, Madagascar, with typescript security instructions, 19 Mar 1942; typescript orders and instructions, landing tables and lists of French military and civilian personnel in Diego Suarez, Apr 1942; typescript memorandum on the interrogation of German prisoners and typescript interrogation reports on Germans and Italians, captured on Madagascar, Jun 1942; printed map of Majunga, Madagascar, annotated with positions of Vichy French defences, Jun 1942; one hundred and eighty eight photographs, some captioned, relating to Madagascar, 1942, notably Maj Gen Robert Grice Sturges, commanding Royal Marines Force, and Brig Francis Wogan Festing, commanding 29 Infantry Bde, Diego Suarez, 12 May 1942; R Adm (Edward) Neville Syfret, Flag Officer commanding Force H, in discussion with French officer, Diego Suarez, May 1942; the British amphibious landings at Tamatave, Sep 1942. Three photograph albums and two autograph books, originally belonging to Aston's stepmother, Sister L A Rowson, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve), containing numerous autographs, poems and illustrations, and 335 photographs relating to Rowson's service in Salonika and Millbank Military Hospital, London, 1915-1919. Publications, photographs and maps relating to World War One, 1914-1918, originally the property of Lt A V Kidman, 513 Field Company, Royal Engineers, including one hundred captioned stereoscopic photographs of World War One, mostly relating to the Western Front, 1914-1918, with stereoscope photograph viewer [1918]; edition of Cavalry training 1912 (HMSO, London, 1916), Field Service Regulations. Part II, Organisation and Administration (HMSO, London, 1916), and Engineer Field Manual (US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, USA, 1917); one printed trench map of Neuville Vitasse, France, May 1918, and one printed map of Belgium and France, Nov 1918. Seventeen, mostly official, publications produced in the UK and France, 1938-1944, notably restricted pamphlets 1-4 of the 'Manual of Military Intelligence in the field', War Office, 1938-1939; four editions of La France Libre, Feb-Jun 1942; The Royal Marines. The Admiralty account of their achievement 1939-1943 (HMSO, London, 1944).

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged in sections as outlined above.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided forresearch use only. Requests to publish original material should besubmitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for MilitaryArchives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material
English, and some French.
Finding aids

Box list available online and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives



Decorations: OBE, TD

Description control

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Updated 2016

Box List(s)

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  • Amphibious warfare
  • Armed forces
  • Army personnel
  • Cavalry
  • Central government
  • Government
  • Health services
  • Higher science education
  • Hospitals
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Maps
  • Medical institutions
  • Medical sciences
  • Military education
  • Military engineering
  • Military intelligence
  • Military medicine
  • Military operations
  • Military organizations
  • Operation Ironclad (1942)
  • Organizations
  • Photographs
  • Public administration
  • Social sciences
  • Social welfare
  • State security
  • Surgery
  • Visual materials
  • War
  • War prisoners
  • War victims
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • World War One (1914-1918)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Aston, Stanley Collin, 1915-1992, Colonel, Professor of Modern Languages
  • Aston, Stanley Collin, 1915-1992, Colonel, Professor of Modern Languages
  • Kidman, A V, fl 1914-1918, Lieutenant
  • Rowson, L A, fl 1915-1919, nursing sister, stepmother of Colonel Doctor Stanley Collin Aston
  • Sturges, Sir, Robert Grice, 1891-1970, Knight, Lieutenant General
  • Syfret, Sir, Edward Neville, 1889-1972, Knight, Admiral

Corporate names

  • British Army
  • German Army
  • Italian Army
  • RN, Royal Navy
  • Royal Marines


  • Antsirana, Madagascar, East Africa
  • Belgium
  • Diego Suarez, Madagascar, East Africa
  • Neuville Vitasse, France
  • Salonika, Greece
  • Tamatave, Madagascar, East Africa
  • Thurso Bay, Madagascar, East Africa

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