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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Prain
PRAIN, Lt Col John Murray (1902-1985)
Created [1918]-1959
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1Ā½ boxes or 0.015 cubic metres


Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1902; educated at Charterhouse and Clare College, University of Cambridge; service as Capt, Cupar Section, Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, Territorial Army, 1935; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; service with the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, Territorial Army, Belgium and France, 1940; wounded in action, France, 1940; awarded DSO, 1940; transferred to Special Operations Executive (SOE), 1941; General Staff Officer 2, 1943-1944; awarded TD, 1943; Lt Col (Administration and Quartering), Royal Armoured Corps Officer Cadet Training Unit, Royal Military College, Sandhurst, 1944-1945; Chairman, James Prain and Sons Ltd, Dundee, 1945-1956; Member, Jute Working Party, 1946-1948; Member, Scottish Committee, Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation, 1946-1955; Director, Tayside Floorcloth Company Ltd, 1946-1969; Director, Alliance Trust Company Ltd, 1946-1973; Chairman, Jute Importers Association, 1947-1949; Chairman, Dundee District Committee, Scottish Board for Industry, 1948-1962; Director, The Scottish Life Assurance Company Ltd, 1949-1972; Chairman, Association of Jute Spinners and Manufacturers, 1950-1952; part time Member, Scottish Gas Board, 1952-1956; Member, Employers' Panel, Industrial Disputes Tribunal, 1952-1959; Director, Royal Bank of Scotland, 1955-1971; awarded OBE, 1956; Vice Chairman, Caird (Dundee) Ltd, 1956-1964; Deputy Lieutenant, County of Fife, 1958; Member, Employers' Panel, Industrial Court, 1959-1971; Member, Industrial Arbitration Board, 1971-1972; member of Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland and Royal Company of Archers; Honorary President, Fife and Kinross Area Council, Royal British Legion (Scotland); died 1985.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Placed in the Centre by the family in 1986.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers and maps chiefly concerning the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, [1918]-1959, including typescript copy of war diary, 1 Armoured Reconnaissance Bde, British Expeditionary Force (BEF), Belgium and France, 30 Mar-30 May 1940, with typescript recommendations for awards, 1940; typescript account, dated Jun 1942, of dispositions and operations of B Sqn, 1 Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, Belgium and France, 14 May-1 Jun 1940; typescript list entitled '1 Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, nominal roll of casualties sustained in France, 1940'; article by Maj Otho Munton Bullivant, Adjutant, 1 Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, entitled 'With the BEF [British Expeditionary Force] in Flanders', from The Tank [1941]; typescript 'Precis of activities of 1st Fife and Forfar Yeomanry', British Liberation Army, North West Europe, Oct 1944-Feb 1945, and 'Details of activities of 1st Fife and Forfar Yeomanry', 1-31 Mar 1945; correspondence with various officers concerning Regimental affairs, 1943-1945, including Col James Younger, 2nd Viscount Younger of Leckie, Honorary Col, Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, 1945; correspondence, dated 1944-1945, relating to the return of the Regimental band instruments, abandoned by the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry during the retreat to Dunkirk, 1940, and kept by the local townspeople, France, 1940-1944; official correspondence concerning Prain's Army pension and war disablement compensation, 1946-1956; correspondence, dated 1947-1959, relating to the writing and publication of The Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, 1919-1956 by Robert James Batchen Sellar (William Blackwood, Edinburgh and London, 1960). Twenty five photographs relating to the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, 1923-1945, including group photograph of Armoured Car Company, Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, Annesmuir camp, Scotland, Jul 1923; five photographs of Fife and Forfar Yeomanry Vickers Light Tanks Mark VIB and Universal carriers, France, 1940; official photograph of Infantry Tank Mark IV Churchill Crocodile flame-throwing tank, storming of the Senio river, Italy, Apr 1945.

System of arrangement

The papers and photographs are arranged separately in chronological order.

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



Decorations: DSO, OBE, TD

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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This catalogue may contain links to external data sources as part of the W3C Semantic Web initiative.


  • Armed forces
  • Awards
  • Chemical actions and uses
  • Diaries
  • Documents
  • Information sources
  • Information sources
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Literary forms and genres
  • Literature
  • Military awards
  • Military organizations
  • Motor vehicles
  • Nonfiction
  • Organizations
  • Pharmaceutic aids
  • Primary documents
  • Prose
  • Social behaviour
  • Social norms
  • Specialty uses of chemicals
  • State security
  • Tanks
  • Vehicles
  • War
  • War diaries
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Bullivant, Otho Munton, fl 1941, Major
  • Prain, John Murray, 1902-1985, Lieutenant Colonel
  • Sellar, Robert James Batchen, fl 1947-1960, author
  • Younger, James, 1880-1946, 2nd Viscount Younger of Leckie, Colonel

Corporate names

  • British Army


  • Belgium
  • Dunkirk, France
  • Fife, Scotland
  • Forfar, Angus, Scotland
  • London, England
  • Senio, river, Italy

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