King's College London
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Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus.

Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB 0099 KCLMA Thrale
THRALE, Ralph (1905-1993)
Level of description
Collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
2 boxes or 0.02m3


Name of creator(s)

THRALE, Ralph (1905-1993)

Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1905; volunteer Aircraft Identifier, Royal Observer Corps, May-Jul 1944; died 1993.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Centre by the family, January 2004 and January 2008.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of Ralph Thrale, 1916-1984, mainly relating to the Royal Observer Corps, including: memoir 'Seaborne', co-authored by Thrale, detailing experiences of Thrale and a colleague while Royal Observer Corps 'Seaborne' volunteers posted to merchant shipping as aircraft identifiers, 1944; Thrale's Royal Navy certificate of service, 1944, and Royal Observer Corps certificate of war service, 1946.The collection also includes publications collected by Thrale on related topics, including books: Aircraft of the fighting powers by H J Cooper and O G Thetford (Harborough Publishing Company, Leicester, 1941); Britain's wonderful Air Force edited by Air Cdre Peregrine Forbes Morant Fellowes (Odhams Press, London, 1942); Forewarned is forearmed: the authorized history of the Royal Observer Corps by T E Winslow (William Hodge & Co, London, 1948) and Observers' tale: the story of Group 17 of the ROC edited by H Ramsden Whitty, Commandant, 17 Group, Royal Observer Corps (London, 1950). Journals: The Journal of the Royal Observer Corps Club, Oct 1941-Nov 1942 and an incomplete run of Aircraft recognition Sep 1942-Sep 1984. Ministry of Information publications: The Battle of Britain, August-October 1940 (HMSO, 1941); Coastal Command (HMSO, 1943) and Combined Operations, 1940-1942 (HMSO, 1943). Also The Bystander's Fragments from France, volumes of cartoons by Bruce Bairnsfather detailing life in the trenches (numbers 1-6, c 1916-1918) and article, 'The reply to English propaganda' by Joseph Paul Goebbels, translated from German and reprinted from Völkischer Beobachter, 14 Jul 1939.

System of arrangement

In sections as 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 Archives and Information Management.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

This collection description.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London

Description control

Archivist's Note

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

Nov 2007, Jan 2008

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  • Aircraft
  • Communication process
  • International conflicts
  • Military aircraft
  • Persuasion
  • Propaganda
  • Vehicles
  • War
  • War propaganda
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • THRALE, Ralph (1905-1993)

Corporate names

  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Observer Corps

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