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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB99 KCLMA Liddell Hart 15/15
WILMOT, Reginald William Winchester ('Chester') (1911-1954)
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
27 boxes or 0.28m3


Administrative / Biographical history

Born in 1911; educated at Melbourne Grammar School and Trinity College, University of Melbourne, Australia; war correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Commission with Australian Imperial Forces in the Middle East, 1940-1942, and New Guinea, 1942; lost accreditation as war correspondent after becoming involved in a dispute between Gen Sir Thomas Albert Blamey, Commander-in-Chief, Allied Land Forces, South West Pacific Area and Lt Gen Sir Sidney Fairburn Rowell, General Officer Commanding, New Guinea Force; front-line correspondent for the BBC, North West Europe, 1944-1945; BBC special correspondent at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, 1945-1946; freelance broadcaster and journalist, 1946-1954, notably including work as foreign correspondent and commentator for BBC radio and television; commissioned to write volume on siege of Tobruk and Battle of Alamein for Australian Official History of World War Two; appointed military correspondent for The Observer, 1952; died in air crash in Italy, 1954.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The collection forms section 15/15 of the papers of Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart which were purchased by the Centre in 1973. Tobruk, 1941: capture, siege, relief (Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia, 1944); The Struggle for Europe (Collins, London, 1952)

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers relating to his life and career, 1942-1957, dated 1942-1971, principally comprising transcriptions and notes from official documents, notes of interviews with military personnel and other papers relating to the military strategy of Allied and Axis powers during World War Two, 1939-1945, notably the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, May-Jun 1940, Battle of Britain, Jul-Sep 1940 and Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1945, dated 1944-1952; papers relating to the planning and execution of Operation OVERLORD and the Allied campaign in North West Europe, 1944-1945, dated 1944-1957, including transcriptions and notes from official documents, notes of interviews with military personnel and correspondence; notebooks compiled as a BBC war correspondent, North West Europe, 1944-1945, including details of military operations, information from situation reports, intelligence summaries and army briefings, notes of interviews with military personnel, prisoners and civilians and notes for use in his BBC broadcasts; printed papers issued by Allied forces, 1941-1952, mainly relating to the Allied campaign in North West Europe, 1944-1945, and including SHAEF, 8 Corps and 30 Corps intelligence summaries, 1944-1945, official analyses of operations issued by War Office Directorate of Tactical Investigation, 1943-1947, and illustrated histories of individual army units, [1945-1946]; notes and papers relating to the careers of US and British political and military leaders during World War Two, 1939-1945, dated 1942-1951, including notes, journal articles and scripts of broadcasts by Wilmot and others. Papers relating to German political and military policy during World War Two, 1939-1945 dated 1944-1956, including translations of captured German documents, 1940-1944, made by the Office of US Chief of Counsel for submission as evidence in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, 1945-1946; Canadian Military HQ interrogation reports on captured German officers, 1945-1946; notes by Wilmot and Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart on their conversations with captured German commanders, 1945-1950; Wilmot's typescript notes on Allied interrogations of captured German commanders, [1945-1946]; papers relating to his book The struggle for Europe (Collins, London, 1952), 1945-1952, notably draft text, [1945-1951], and research correspondence with World War Two Allied commanders and intelligence officers, 1946-1951.

System of arrangement

The collection forms section 15/15 of the papers of Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart.

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 College Archivist.

Language/scripts of material

Mainly English, but some German

Finding aids

Detailed catalogue available online in section 15/15 of the papers of Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart 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

Section 9/24 of the papers of Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart include additional material on his interviews with German generals.

Publication note

National Library of Australia, Canberra: family papers, 1877-1990, notably including Wilmot's notebooks and diaries, 1938-1953; papers relating to his work as a war correspondent in Australia and New Guinea, 1942, and Europe, 1944-1946; research papers relating to Tobruk, 1941: capture, siege, relief (Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia, 1944), 1941, and The struggle for Europe (Collins, London, 1952), 1952; scripts and research material for his BBC radio and television broadcasts. Australian War Memorial, Canberra: papers relating to Wilmot's work on the official history of Australian involvement in World War Two. War report: a record of dispatches broadcast by the BBC's war correspondents with the Allied Expeditionary Force, 6 June 1944-5 May 1945 edited by Desmond Hawkins and Donald Boyd (Oxford University Press, 1946).



Compiled Jul 1997

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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