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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Sowrey
SOWREY, AM Sir Frederick (Beresford) (1922-2019)
1917-1925, 1940-1985
Level of description
Collection (Fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
10 boxes (0.10 cubic metres)


Name of creator(s)
SOWREY, Sir, Frederick Beresford, 1922-2019, Knight, Air Marshal
Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1922; educated at Charterhouse; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; joined RAF, 1940; flying training in Canada, 1941; Fighter Reconnaissance Sqn, European theatre, 1942-1944; Flying Instructors School, 1944; Airborne Forces, 1945; 615 (County of Surrey) Sqn, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, 1946-1948; Fighter Gunnery School, 1949-1950; Commanding Officer, 615 Sqn, 1951-1954; awarded AFC, 1954; RAF Staff College, Bracknell, Berkshire, 1954; Chiefs of Staff Secretariat, 1955-1958; Commanding Officer, 46 Sqn, RAF, 1958-1960; Personal Staff Officer to ACM Sir Thomas (Geoffrey) Pike, Chief of the Air Staff, 1960-1962; Commanding Officer, RAF Abingdon, Oxfordshire, 1962-1964; Imperial Defence College, London, 1965; awarded CBE, 1965; Senior Air Staff Officer, Middle East Command (Aden), 1966-1967; awarded CB, 1968; Director of Defence Policy, Ministry of Defence, 1968-1970; Senior Air Staff Officer, RAF Training Command, 1970-1972; Commandant, National Defence College, 1972-1975; Director General, RAF Training, 1975-1977; UK Representative, Permanent Military Deputies Group CENTO (Central Treaty Organisation), 1977-1979; created KCB, 1978; Research Fellow, International Institute of Strategic Studies, 1980-1981; Chairman, Sussex Industrial Archaeology Society, 1981-1993; Member, Board of Conservators, Ashdown Forest, since 1984; Chairman, Victory Services Association, 1985-1989; Chairman, RAF Historical Society, 1986-1996; President, Victory Services Association, 1989-1993; Trustee, Guild of Aviation Artists, since 1990; Trustee, Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, since 1990; Vice Chairman, Board of Conservators, Ashdown Forest, 1991-1993; President, Sussex Industrial Archaeology Society, since 1993; Life Vice President, RAF Historical Society, 1996. Publications: Contributited to D Day Encyclopedia , edited by David G Chandler and James Lawton Collins, Jr (Simon Schuster, New York, 1994).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Placed in the Centre by AM Sowrey in 1995 and 1996.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers relating to AM Sir Frederick Beresford Sowrey's life and career, 1940-1985, including manuscript meeting notes taken by Sowrey, on night air attacks, 17 Sep 1940; typescript lectures, notes and correspondence relating to course on Allied Defence at Royal College of Defence Studies, 1950; two volumes of typescript speeches by Chief of the Air Staff, ACM Sir Thomas (Geoffrey) Pike, Mar 1961-Jun 1962; typescript notes from the RAF School of Work Study, relating to management training [1962]; personal correspondence, 1968-1972, relating to Sowrey's service as Director, Defence Policy, Ministry of Defence, 1968-1970, and Senior Air Staff Officer, RAF Training Command, 1970-1972; typescript delegation list for '5 Power meeting on Defence', Canberra, Australia, Jun 1969; timetables and guest lists for Battle of Britain commemorations, Sep 1971-Sep 1972; typescript notes and memoranda relating to the introduction of management by objectives into RAF Training Command, 1972; RAF Finningley graduation ceremony brief and speech notes, Feb 1972; notes and correspondence relating to prospective book on RAF vehicles, 1974; personal correspondence, 1974-1977, mostly relating to Sowrey's service as Director General, RAF Training, 1975-1977; invitations and souvenir booklet relating to the Royal Review, HM Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, 1977; personal correspondence, 1977-1979, relating to Sowrey's service as UK Representative, Permanent Military Deputies Group CENTO (Central Treaty Organisation); typescript report by Sowrey entitled 'The use of existing national resources in the UK defence effort', Ministry of Defence, 1979; typescript article 'Western military capability in the Middle East', for publication in NATO's 15 Nations, with correspondence, 1980; typescript text of speech by Sowrey on the future of the military (later published in Survival), 1982; conference papers and correspondence relating to colloquium on contingency operations, Centre for Defence Studies, Aberdeen University, 1982-1983; unpublished Royal United Services Institute study entitled 'Defence of the vulnerable society', chaired by Sowrey, 1983-1985. Also, correspondence, dated 1917-1925, relating to a claim by Sowrey's father, Gp Capt Frederick Sowrey, of a Ā£1000 reward for shooting down a German Zeppelin in World War One [1917].

System of arrangement

The arrangement of the papers is broadly chronological.

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

Allied materials

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

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.

Date(s) of descriptions
Jun 1999

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