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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Penney
PENNEY, Maj Gen Sir (William) Ronald Campbell (1896-1964)
Created 1920-1962
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
3 boxes or 0.03 cubic metres


Administrative / Biographical history

Born in 1896; attended Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; commissioned into Royal Engineers, 1914; served in World War One in France and Belgium; Capt, 1917; transferred to Royal Signals, 1921; served in India, 1921-1926; Maj, 1927; Staff College, Camberley, 1928; War Office, 1929-1930; Bde Maj, Shanghai, 1931-1933; Lt Col, 1935; India, 1935-1939; North West Frontier, India, 1937; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; Col, 1939; Maj Gen, 1941; Signal Officer in Chief, Middle East, 1941-1943; commanded 1 Infantry Div, Italy, 1943-1944; Director of Intelligence, HQ Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, 1944-1945; Assistant Controller of Supplies (Munitions), Ministry of Supply, 1946-1949; Col Commandant, Royal Signals, 1947-1957; employed in London Communications Security Agency, Foreign Office, 1953-1957; died in 1964.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Placed in the Centre by the family in 1968.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers relating to his command of 1 Infantry Div, Anzio, Italy, 1944, dated 1943-1962, principally comprising correspondence and memoranda, 1943-1944; diary and typescript diary entries, 1943-1944; operation orders, tactical notes and maps, 1944; written accounts of operations carried out by 1 Div and individual regiments and battalions, 1944; correspondence relating to historical accounts of the landings, 1945-1962, notably Anzio by Wynford Vaughan Thomas (Longmans, London, 1961). Other papers relating to his life and career, 1920-1958, notably including an article by Penney on his service in Wazaristan, India, 1937, reprinted from the Royal Signals Quarterly Journal, Oct 1938 and Jan 1939; memoranda from General Staff, Shanghai, from the City Government of Shanghai and from W R Connor Green, British Embassy, Tokyo, concerning relations between the Chinese and Japanese, and the role of the British garrison in the protection of Shanghai, 1931-1933; diary, 1932, referring principally to matters affecting British troops in Shanghai; press cuttings, [1932]; anti-Japanese propaganda posters produced by the Shanghai Municipality National Salvation Committee to Resist Japan, [1932]; itinerary of Penney's movements in the Middle East and North Africa, 1941-1943; diary, 1943-1944, including description of Allied Forces HQ, Algiers, and reflections on the differences between US and British signals procedure; official and personal correspondence relating to his service as Director of Intelligence, HQ Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, [1945].

System of arrangement

Arranged in sections as follows: miscellaneous personal papers; Bde Maj, Shanghai; Mediterranean and Middle East; Director of Intelligence, HQ Supreme Allied Commander; papers relating to Anzio landing.

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
Mainly English, but some Chinese
Finding aids

Detailed catalogue available online and also 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 Basil Liddell- Hart contain correspondence between Maj Gen (William) Ronald Penney, HQ 8 Army and Maj Gen William Watson Richards, Deputy Quartermaster General (Army Equipment), GHQ, Middle Eastern Forces, on difficulties in distribution of ordnance stores to 8 Army, May 1942 (Liddell-Hart, 15/10/4 1939-1943). Royal Signals Museum holds additional papers relating to his career.

Publication note
Royal Signals Museum holds additional papers relating to his career.



Decorations: KBE, CB, DSO, MC

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
  • Communication process
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign relations
  • Group communication
  • Humanitarian law
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Military communications
  • Military engineering
  • Military intelligence
  • Military organizations
  • Occupied territories
  • Organizations
  • Persuasion
  • Propaganda
  • State security
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Green, W R Connor, fl 1931-1933, diplomat
  • Thomas, Lewis John Wynford, Vaughan-, 1888-1972, writer and broadcaster

Corporate names

  • British Army


  • Algiers, Algeria, North Africa
  • Anzio, Italy
  • India, South Asia
  • Middle East
  • Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China, East Asia
  • South East Asia
  • Tokyo, Japan, East Asia
  • Waziristan, Pakistan, South Asia

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