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Papers of Peter Allen and Joan Cundall relating to Uganda

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 397

Scope and Contents

Comprises material relating to the Ugandan Civil Service in the colonial period and in the years immediately prior to independence from Britain in 1962 including reports, official publications, news cuttings, and photographs. There are also photographs, ephemera and organisational notes from the royal tours directed by Peter Allen, and some examples of Joan Cundall Allen's original artwork.


  • Creation: 1936 - 2016

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

C.P.S. (Charles Peter Selwyn) ‘Peter’ Allen was born in New Zealand on 29 September 1917. He was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School in New Zealand and Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. He entered the Colonial Service as a district officer in Uganda. During the Second World War he served with the King’s African Rifles 4th (Uganda) Battalion. After the war, Allen was Assistant Chief Secretary from 1953, Permanent Secretary for Security and External Relations from 1955 and Royal Tour Director for the visit of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother [Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, wife of George VI] in 1959. In the period leading up to Uganda Independence in 1962, Allen was Supervisor of Elections, Secretary to the Cabinet and head of the Ugandan Civil Service. He was awarded an OBE in 1959 and CMG in 1963. Allen married Joan Audrey Cundall (born in London in 1922) in Uganda in 1947. Joan had studied at the Guildford School of Art prior to the Second World War. She painted in the studios of Sydney Goldblatt and Lionel Abrams in South Africa, and later exhibited her work at the South African Association of Arts Gallery in Pretoria, the Walsh Marais Gallery in Durban and Gallery 101 in Johannesburg. In 1963, the Allens moved to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and then to South Africa, where Allen was director of the Anglo-American Corporation in Johannesburg between 1965 and 1973. At retirement in 1974, the Allens settled in Simon’s Town in the Cape. Peter Allen died on 18 March 1977. Joan remained in Simon’s Town, splitting her time between South Africa and Aldeburgh, Suffolk. She died in February 2016.


0.075 cubic metre(s) (5 archive boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Paul Pinkham (godson of Peter Allen) and Kay Cundall (niece of Peter Allen) in two tranches in Mar. 2016 and Aug. 2017.

2017-08-03 10:08:42+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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