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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Courtney
COURTNEY, Cdr Anthony Tosswill, RN (1908-1988)
1922-1985, 1991
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1 box or 0.01 cubic metres


Name of creator(s)

Courtney, Anthony Tosswill, 1908-1988, RN Commander

Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1908; educated at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; Mid, HMS RAMILLIES, 1925; served on HMS RENOWN during world cruise of HRH Albert Frederick Arthur George, Duke of York, and HRH Elizabeth Angela Marguerite, Duchess of York, 1927; Sub Lt, HMS CORNWALL, China Station, 1930; Lt, 1930; served on HMS MALAYA, 2 Battle Sqn, Home Fleet, 1931-1933; qualified as Interpreter in Russian after language study in Bessarabia, 1934; qualified in Signals and Wireless Telegraphy, HM Signal School, Portsmouth, 1935; served at Admiralty and on the staff of V Adm Hon Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, 1936; Flag Lt and subsequently Flag Lt Cdr to R Adm Lionel Victor Wells, Flag Officer commanding 3 Cruiser Sqn, Mediterranean Fleet, HMS ARETHUSA, 1937-1939; acting Sqn Signals and Wireless/Telegraphy Officer, 3 Cruiser Sqn, Mediterranean Fleet, 1937-1939; Lt Cdr, 1938; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; Staff of Adm commanding 3 Battle Sqn and North Atlantic Escort Force, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1939-1941; Deputy Head of Naval Mission to USSR, 1941-1942; Flag Lt and Signals Officer to R Adm Sir Clement Moody, Flag Officer commanding Aircraft Carriers, Home Fleet, 1943; Signals Officer, Staff of V Adm Sir (William Eric) Campbell Tait, Flag Officer commanding South Atlantic Station, 1944; Signals Officer, Staff of R Adm Sir Harold Martin Burrough, Flag Officer, Gibraltar and Mediterranean Approaches, 1945; Naval and Marine Staff, Naval Intelligence Division, Admiralty, 1946-1948; acting Cdr, 1946-1953; awarded OBE, 1949; Chief Staff Officer (Intelligence), to R Adm Stephen Harry Tolson Arliss, Flag Officer Commanding British Naval Forces, Germany, and Chief British Naval Representative in the Allied Control Commission, HMS ROYAL ALBERT, Hamburg, Germany, 1949-1951; qualified as Interpreter in German; Intelligence Div, Naval Staff, Admiralty, 1952-1953; retired 1953; Export Consultant, ETG Consultancy Services, 1954-1965; contested Hayes and Harlington as Conservative Party candidate, UK General Election, 1955; Conservative MP for Harrow East, 1959-1966; Vice Chairman, Conservative Navy Committee, 1964; Chairman, Parliamentary Flying Club, 1965; Managing Director, New English Typewriting School Limited, 1969-1988; Chairman, Wiltshire Monday Club, 1977; Chairman of Governors, Urchfont School, 1982-1988; died 1988.Publications: Sailor in a Russian frame (Johnson, London, 1968).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Sailor in a Russian frame (Johnson, London, 1968).

Presented to the Centre by Cdr Geoffrey Briscoe Penn in 1997.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Typescript intelligence report by Courtney entitled 'Remarks on a visit to Soviet Russia-August 1935', with notes, publications and related correspondence, 1922-1936; group photograph of Courtney and officers of the Naval Mission to the USSR [1942]; two notebooks with manuscript notes by Courtney on German and Allied ship movements, USSR [1942]; papers relating to the USSR, 1943-1978, including typescript notes by Courtney entitled 'Soviet Russia and the war', Feb 1943, article by William Laurence Burn entitled 'Anglo-Russian relations: an historical retrospect', from The nineteenth century, Jan 1946; edition of US restricted publication 'The Soviet Union', US Government Printing Office, 1947; manuscript notes on Soviet governmental personnel, 1953; typescript note on internal security in the USSR, 1978; correspondence with the Admiralty, 1949-1958, relating to pay and allowances, Courtney's civilian business matters, 1954-1958, and the Admiralty's refusal to grant permission for Courtney to travel in the USSR as a private businessman, 1953-1955; personal and business correspondence relating to the development of Windermere Island, Bahamas, 1963; correspondence, publications and texts of speeches relating to the Monday Club, 1978-1985, including typescript text of speech by Courtney entitled 'The Soviet fifth column', Jun 1978; correspondence between Cdr Geoffrey Briscoe Penn and the Ministry of Defence relating to the vetting and declassification of the Courtney papers, 1991.

System of arrangement

5 files

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

This Summary Guide, 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 papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart include an article by Courtney entitled 'Ships of the Soviet' from The Listener, 15 Oct 1953 (Ref: LH 15/5/322). The papers of AVM Stewart William Blacker Menaul include a paper by Courtney, Chairman of the Wiltshire branch of the Monday Club, entitled 'Defence', Jun 1982 (Ref: Menaul 5/4/60).



Decorations: OBE

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.

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  • Armed forces
  • Diplomacy
  • East West relations
  • Foreign relations
  • Government
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Law enforcement
  • Military missions
  • Military organizations
  • Organizations
  • Photographs
  • Political science
  • Political theory
  • Public administration
  • Social control, formal
  • Sociology
  • State security
  • Visual materials
  • War
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Burn, William Laurence, 1904-1966, Professor of History
  • Courtney, Anthony Tosswill, 1908-1988, RN Commander
  • Courtney, Anthony Tosswill, 1908-1988, RN Commander
  • Penn, Geoffrey Briscoe, fl 1991-1997, RN Commander

Corporate names

  • RN, Royal Navy


  • USSR, Eastern Europe
  • Windemere Island, Bahamas, Caribbean

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