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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Charteris
CHARTERIS, Brig Gen John (1877-1946)
1895-[1920], 1925, 1928-1931, [1933]-1934, 1940, 1944-1946
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
4 reels, 1 file


Name of creator(s)
Charteris, John, 1877-1946, Brigadier General
Administrative / Biographical history

Born in 1877; educated at Kelvinside Academy, Göttingen University and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; 2nd Lt, Royal Engineers, 1896, and posted to India; served on North West Frontier with Military Works Services; transferred to Bengal Sappers and Miners, [1899]; Capt, 1905; Staff College, Quetta, 1907-1909; Staff Capt, HQ, India, 1909-1910; General Staff Officer Grade 2, Operations Section, General Staff, Simla, 1910-1912; unofficial war correspondent with Bulgarian Army, 1912; Assistant Military Secretary to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Aldershot, 1912-1914; Maj, 1914; ADC to General Officer Commanding 1 Army Corps, BEF, 1914; General Staff Officer Grade 2, 1 Army Corps HQ, 1914-1916; Brig Gen (Head of Intelligence Service), BEF General HQ, 1916-1918; Deputy Director of Transportation, General HQ, France, 1918; Director of Movements and Quartering, India, 1920-1921; Col, 1921; Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Eastern Command, India, 1921-1922; retired, 1922; MP (Conservative) for Dumfriesshire, 1924-1929; publication of Field-Marshal Earl Haig (Cassell and Co, London, 1929), At GHQ (Cassell and Co, London, 1931) and Haig (Duckworth, London, 1933); died in 1946.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Copies made by the Centre in 1990 from originals loaned by the family.

Content & structure

Scope and content


Microfilm copies of papers relating to his life and career, dated 1906, 1913, 1914-1918, 1925, 1928-1931, [1933]-1934, 1940, 1944-1946, principally comprising letters, telegrams and postcards to his wife Noel Charteris, 1914-1918, notably describing his intelligence work at 1 Army HQ and BEF General HQ, 1914-1918; letters from Brig Gen Sir James Edward Edmonds commenting on the proofs of At GHQ (Cassell and Co, London, 1931), 1929, 1931; correspondence relating to his writings on FM Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, 1928-1931; typescript text of lecture on the role of the Intelligence Service during World War One, dated 1925; notes and newspaper cutting concerning allegations about British use in World War One of a propaganda story about the German Army boiling down dead troops for fats, 1925; obituary reprinted from The Royal Engineers Journal, 1946. Copies of group and family photographs, [1895-1920], with photograph of railway bridge over the River Beas at Rohi, India, under construction by No 1 Company, 1 Prince of Wales' Own Sappers and Miners, 1910.


System of arrangement

Arranged in the following sections: papers relating to early life and career; letters to his wife; other official and family papers, 1914-1922; notes, texts and other writings; photographs.

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 supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material
Finding aids

Draft catalogue 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
Related units of description

The Intelligence Corps Museum holds books of newspaper cuttings, copies of letters to the press, 1920-1941, notes and commentaries on military subjects, photos and published material. The Public Record Office holds essays written by Charteris as a student in the Junior Division, Staff College, Quetta, 1907 (ref: WO 79/61), while the British Library Manuscripts Collection holds correspondence with Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, 1916-1919 (ref: Add MS 621159). The family retains additional personal papers (see Centre's detailed catalogue for further information).

Publication note

Charteris' letters to his wife formed the basis for his book At GHQ (Cassell and Co, London, 1931). Michael Occleshaw consulted Charteris' letters for his book Armour against fate, British military intelligence in the First World War (Columbus, London, 1989).



Decorations: CMG, DSO

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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  • Armed forces
  • Communication process
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Military engineering
  • Military intelligence
  • Military organizations
  • Organizations
  • Persuasion
  • Photographs
  • Propaganda
  • State security
  • Visual materials
  • War
  • War propaganda
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • World War One (1914-1918)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Charteris, John, 1877-1946, Brigadier General
  • Charteris, John, 1877-1946, Brigadier General
  • Charteris, Noel, fl 1914-1918, wife of Brigadier General John Charteris
  • Edmonds, Sir, James Edward, 1861-1956, Knight, Brigadier General, military historian
  • Haig, Douglas, 1861-1928, 1st Earl Haig, Field Marshal

Corporate names

  • British Army
  • British Expeditionary Force
  • First Army
  • German Army
  • Royal Engineers


  • Beas, River, India, South Asia
  • India
  • Rohi, State of Jammu and Kashmīr, India

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