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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Steveni
STEVENI, Colonel Leo (1893-1972)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1 file or 0.01m3


Name of creator(s)

Steveni, Leo, 1893-1972, Colonel

Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1893, St Petersburg; educated at Rugby; worked in father's business, 1912-1914; appointed to the British Military Mission, Russian War Office, Petrograd, 1915 March; liaison officer at Russian Front, 1917; joined M1 Directorate, War Office, 1918; liaison officer with the White Army in Eastern Siberia, 1918-1920; Lieutenant, 4 Battalion Middlesex Regiment, 1921; General Staff Officer Grade 3 (Russian Section), Army Headquarters, India, 1922-1928; Military Attaché, Persia (Iran), 1928-1931; Captain, 8 Punjab Regiment, 1932-1935; War Staff, India Office, 1939-1942; Lieutenant Colonel, 1941; Director of British Secret Intelligence Service in Asia, 1942-1944; posted to Political Intelligence Centre, Middle East (PICME), Cairo, Egypt, 1944-1945; retired, 1945; died 1972.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Placed in the Centre by Professor Richard Aldrich, 2002

Content & structure

Scope and content

Unpublished typescript memoirs, 1893-1969, including: accounts of life in the British colony in St Petersburg before World War One; work in the British Military Mission at the Russian War Office; events witnessed during the Russian Revolution and conditions for the Russian Army during the Revolution, 1917-1918; evacuation of British personnel from Russia, February 1918; negotiating with Finnish Red and White commanders while travelling through Finland during the Civil War; liaising with Admiral Aleksandr Vasiliyevich Kolchak and the White armies in Harbin, China, 1918; liaising with General Mikhail Konstantinovich Dieterichs, Czechoslovak Legions, and a special mission to Ataman Grigory Mikhaylovich Semyonov (or Semenov) in Chita, Transbaikalia, November 1918; activities as General Sir Harry Knox's liaison officer at the White Army Headquarters in Omsk, November 1918 - November 1919; the retreat from Omsk to Vladivostock following the success of the Bolshevik army, November 1919 - March 1920; stationing in Gibraltar and Egypt, 1921-1922; life and work in Simla, Waziristan and Kamptee, India, 1922-1928; work as an intelligence officer, Meshed, Persia (Iran), 1928-1931; life and work in Bombay, Ajmer, Jhansi, Alwar and Delhi, India, 1932-1935, including description of rioting under the Maharajah of Alwar; experiences working in India, China and Egypt during World War Two, including visit to Palestine; account of working in the post-war timber trade and as a consultant in the Russian Section of the London Chamber of Commerce. Also article 'Anglo-Russian Timber Trade: Personal Reminiscences and Reflections of Col L Steveni', The Timber Trades Journal , 11 March 1961, and article by Richard J Aldrich, University of Nottingham, from Modern Asian Studies 32, 1 (1998), pp. 179-217, entitled "Britain's Secret Intelligence Service in Asia during the Second World War" including analysis of Steveni's role as Director of British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) in Asia.

System of arrangement

1 file

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 Archives and Information Management.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Summary guide entry on-line.

Allied materials

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

Peter Flemming, The Fate of Admiral Kolchak (London, Rupert Hart-Davies, 1963)



Decorations: OBE, MC

Description control

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Katharine Higgon

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

Feb 2007

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  • Civil war
  • Industry
  • International conflicts
  • Political movements
  • Revolutionary movements
  • Russian Civil War (1917-1922)
  • Russian Revolution (1917)
  • War
  • Wars (events)
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Steveni, Leo, 1893-1972, Colonel
  • Steveni, Leo, 1893-1972, Colonel

Corporate names

  • SIS, Secret Intelligence Service


  • Ajmer, India, South Asia
  • Alwar, India, South Asia
  • China, East Asia
  • Delhi, India, South Asia
  • Egypt, North Africa
  • Finland, Northern Europe
  • Gibraltar
  • Iran, Islamic Republic, Middle East
  • Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India, South Asia
  • Kamptee, India, South Asia
  • Mumbai, Salsette Island, Maharashtra, India, South Asia
  • Palestine, Middle East
  • Simla, India, South Asia
  • St Petersburg, Russian Federation, Eastern Europe
  • Waziristan, Pakistan, South Asia

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