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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Divers
DIVERS, Brig Sydney Thomas (1896-1979)
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
0.035 cubic metres (3Ā½ boxes)


Name of creator(s)
Divers, Sydney Thomas, 1896-1979, Brigadier
Administrative / Biographical history

Born, 1896; educated at Greenwich Central School; Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1910-1914; served in the ranks in World War One, 1914-1918; service with Transport and Supply Column, 40 (London) Div, Territorial Force, and 25 Div Motor Transport Company, Army Service Corps, Western Front, 1914-1918; joined 47 (London) Div, Royal Army Service Corps, Territorial Army, 1924; service with Territorial Army, 1924-1951; HM Customs and Excise, 1919-1934; Assistance Board, 1935-1946; transferred to 50 (Northumbrian) Div, Royal Army Service Corps, Territorial Army [1937]; served in World War Two, in France, Cyprus, Iraq, Iran, North Africa and Italy, 1939-1945; awarded OBE, 1940; Commanding Officer, 50 (Northumbrian) Div, Royal Army Service Corps, Territorial Army, Cyprus and North Africa, 1940-1942; awarded DSO, 1942; Deputy Director Supply and Transport, 10 Corps, North Africa and Italy, 1942-1943; Officer Commanding Troops, HMS HILARY, Salerno, Italy, 1943; awarded CBE, 1944; Deputy Director Supply and Transport, British Increment, US 5 Army, Italy, 1944; Deputy Director Supply and Transport, 8 Army, Italy, 1944-1945; Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, 1946-1954; Controller, Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, 1951-1954; UN Adviser, Administration, Burma, 1954-1955; awarded CB, 1955; Under-Secretary (Special Duties), Ministry of Supply, 1956; Under Secretary, Secretary's Department, Admiralty, 1957-1959; UN Adviser, Administration, Nepal, 1959-1962, Asia and Far East, 1962-1964; UN Adviser, Social Security, Iraq, 1965-1966, Trinidad, 1967, and Saudi Arabia, 1971; Member of Institute of Public Administration and the British Institute of Management; died, 1979.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Placed in the Centre by Divers' family in 1987.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers, 1914-1979, of Brig Sydney Thomas Divers, including correspondence and papers relating to service with Territorial Force and Army Service Corps, 1915-1926; correspondence and papers relating to employment in Civil Service and other civilian posts, 1915-1952; Tropical topics magazine , produced on Troopship ARANDORRA STAR, 1941; account of 50 Div, Cyprus, 1941; correspondence and cuttings relating to award of DSO, 1942; 'Ships Orders' by Divers, Officer Commanding Troops, HMS HILARY, 1943; RASC Depot on Operation AVALANCHE, 1943; account of invasion of Italy, 1943; recommendation of award of US Legion of Merit; report to RASC services, Italian campaign, 1945; 'Supply and transport 8th Army Operation Instruction No 1' on formation of RASC Regt for assault on Argenta, Italy, 1945; Deputy Director Supply and Transport 8 Army Administrative Instructions, 1945; Deputy Director Supply and Transport 8 Army Appreciation, Spring offensive, 1945; message of appreciation from Lt Gen Sir Richard (Loudon) McCreery, General Officer Commanding 8 Army; Deputy Director Supply and Transport 8 Army planning memoranda on supplies for British troops in Austria, 1945; report of Deputy Director Supply and Transport on 'Lessons of the fighting in Italy 1945'; '8th Army Leave Scheme', papers, cuttings and photographs, 1945; 'A collection of Gen Montgomery's, Lt Gen Leese's and Lt Gen McCreery's messages to the 8th Army, 1942-1945'; Special Order of Thanks from Divers to the RASC on leaving 8 Army, 1945; commendation of Divers from US Lt Gen Mark Wayne Clark, commanding US 5 Army, 1945; correspondence with Lt Gen McCreery, 1944-1953; personal correspondence, 1948-1979, including with US Gen Mark Wayne Clark and US Gen Alfred Maximilian Gruenther; account entitled 'Left hook at Mareth' on 1943 North African campaign, 1948; RASC Review, 1951, including article by Divers on formation of RASC Regt in 1944, with related notes and correspondence, including with McCreery; 'A wanderer returns', Divers' reflection on post-war UK, 1945; notes on career and on 50 Div, TA, during World War Two, compiled for inclusion in The story of the Reserve Army (1968). Printed material comprises issues of the periodical The illustrated war news (1914-1915); Generals of the British Army [1917]; The war in North Africa [1943]; The advance on Rome [1944]; The road to Rome [1944]. The collection also contains programmes for a reception of 56 Div and 47 Div, TA, at the Guildhall, 1934; Silver Jubilee of George V, 1935; visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Newcastle upon Tyne, 1954; 'Last reunion, El Alamein', 1976; menu for El Alamein dinner, signed by Montgomery (FM Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein); photographs, chiefly groups and functions [1940-1945].

System of arrangement

The papers are arranged in the following sections: early military career, 1915-1939; service with Royal Army Service Corps in Cyprus and North Africa, 1941-1943; service in Italy, 1943-1945; post war and civilian career; photographs; publications; commissions, citations and awards.

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 reading room.

Allied materials

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

Description control

Archivist's Note
Compiled by Iain Mutch; revised by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.
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
Nov 1999, Mar 2001, updated 2016

Box List(s)

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  • Armed forces
  • Defence
  • Desert warfare
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Military engineering
  • Military operations
  • Military organizations
  • Operation Avalanche (1943)
  • Organizations
  • State security
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Clark, Mark Wayne, 1896-1984, US General
  • Divers, Sydney Thomas, 1896-1979, Brigadier
  • Divers, Sydney Thomas, 1896-1979, Brigadier
  • McCreery, Sir, Richard Loudon, 1898-1967, Knight, General

Corporate names

  • RASC, Royal Army Service Corps


  • Cyprus
  • El Alamein, Egypt, North Africa
  • Italy

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