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Battershill, William Denis, Sir, 1896-1959 (Knight, colonial administrator)



  • Existence: 1896 - 1959


Sir William Denis Battershill was born 29th June 1896. He served in the First World War in the East Surrey Regiment and Royal West Kent Regiment. He became a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service in 1920 and rose to the post of Second Assistant Secretary and Clerk of the Legislative Council. In 1924 he married Joan Elizabeth, daughter of Major-General Sir John Gellibrand (1872-1945), and they had two daughters. His subsequent appointments were: Assistant Colonial Secretary, Jamaica, 1925-35; Colonial Secretary, Cyprus, 1935-37; Chief Secretary, Palestine 1937-39. He was appointed Governor of Cyprus in 1939, but spent four War years (1941-1945) in England as Assistant and, later, Deputy Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. He was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in May 1945. He retired, owing to ill health, in 1949 and made his home in Cyprus. He died on 11 August 1959 ('Who was who' 1984, p.77). Battershill's collection of albums contain some professional photographs but also many taken by him.


RCS Y3011AA.

The Battershill Collection was moved to the Bodleian Library of Oxford University on 6th January 1993.

Sources: 'Who was who' (1984). Fourth edition, volume 5 - 1951-1960. London: A. and C. Black.