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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 Irvine
IRVINE, Sqn Ldr Anthony Thorburn (1914-1941)
1922-1941, 1982-1996
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
2 boxes (0.2 cubic metres)


Name of creator(s)

Irvine, Anthony Thorburn, 1914-1941, Squadron Leader, Irvine, James, b 1940, son of Sqn Ldr A T Irvine

Administrative / Biographical history

Born, 1914; educated at Eton College and Balliol College, Oxford; joined RAF, 1936; service with 211 Sqn, UK and Egypt, 1937-1938; on staff, RAF Headquarters, Amman, Transjordan, 1938; service with 14 Sqn, Ismailia, Egypt, 1938; service with 14 Sqn at Port Sudan, Sudan, 1940; made an unauthorised raid on Italian naval base, Massawa, Eritrea, June 1940; service with 113 Sqn, Western Desert, 1940-1941; service with 211 Sqn, Greece, 1941; killed in action, Parymythia, Greece, Apr 1941

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Placed in the Centre by the family in 2002.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Correspondence and papers of Sqn Ldr Anthony Thorburn Irvine, 1922-1941, including; letters to his parents from Eton and Oxford, 1922-1935; letters to his parents from flying training, Yorkshire, 1935; letters to his parents from RAF Amman, Transjordan, 1939; letters to Katherine Lowick (subsequently Katherine Irvine) and to his parents, 1940, including an account of his unauthorised raid on the Italian naval base at Massawa, Eritrea, June 1940; telegrams to Katherine Irvine from Egypt, Feb-Mar 1941; letters of condolence to family, 1941; family correspondence with Red Cross and with Air Ministry, 1941-1942, concerning Irvine's death. Also papers relating to research on Irvine by James Irvine (son), including: correspondence, 1982-1996, relating to 211 Squadron in Greece, 1941; account of Irvine family history by James Irvine, with detailed account of Irvine's last raid, Parymythia, Greece, Apr 1941; autobiography by Diana Athill, Instead of a letter (this edition Granta, London 2001), detailing her relationship with Irvine (whom she names 'Paul').

System of arrangement

The files are arranged chronologically, as described in scope and content.

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

Collection level description

Allied materials

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

Description control

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Kate O'Brien

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

Sep 2003

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  • Air warfare
  • International conflicts
  • Military engineering
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Athill, Diana, b 1917, publisher and author
  • Irvine, Anthony Thorburn, 1914-1941, Squadron Leader
  • Irvine, Anthony Thorburn, 1914-1941, Squadron Leader
  • Irvine, James, b 1941, son of Sqn Ldr A T Irvine
  • Irvine, Katherine, wife of Sqn Ldr A T Irvine

Corporate names

  • Eton College, public school
  • RAF, Royal Air Force


  • Egypt, North Africa
  • Parymythia, Greece

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