Skip to main content

Cambridge University Libraries are providing a blend of online and controlled in-person services. Please see our website for more details.

Literary: correspondence and legal papers concerning a libel case brought by Eric O'Gowan (earlier Brigadier Eric Dorman-Smith) against WSC regarding WSC's coverage of O'Gowan's removal from the post of Deputy Chief of General Staff, Middle East, in volume 4 ("The Hinge of Fate") of his war memoirs ("The Second World War")., May 1953 - Jun 1959

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CHUR 4/58A-B

Scope and Contents

Principal correspondents: representatives of O'Gowan's solicitors, Louis C P Smith and Company; representatives of WSC's solicitors Nicholl, Manisty, Few and Company, his counsel Sir Hartley Shawcross, and his Irish solicitors Arthur Cox and Company. Other correspondents include: "Brookie", 1st Lord Alanbrooke [earlier Sir Alan Brooke]; Desmond Flower, director of Cassell and Company (2); "Bill" [1st Lord Camrose, earlier Sir William Berry, Editor-in-Chief] of the Daily Telegraph; Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Pownall; Field Marshall 1st Lord Montgomery (2); Frederick Boland [Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom]; Fife Clark [adviser on public relations to WSC] (2); Basil Liddell Hart (4); Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Smith; Anthony Moir of Fladgate and Company [WSC's solicitor] (3); Ronald Belcher, Commonwealth Relations Office, on Major-General Thomas Corbett, former Chief of Staff, Middle East. Also includes notes and copies of correspondence from: secretaries Jane Portal [later Lady Williams of Elvel], Elizabeth Gilliatt, Lettice Marston [later Lettice Shillingford], and Catherine Snelling; Prime Minister's Private Secretaries Peter Oates, John Colville, David Pitblado, and Anthony Montague Browne; [literary assistant] Denis Kelly; CSC; and from WSC to some of those mentioned above and to Lieutenant-General Sir Ian Jacob.Subjects covered by the file include: the Irish legal proceedings; collecting evidence and contacting potential supporters of WSC's case; Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck's views; preparing a footnote for later editions; an ex parte statement by O'Gowan; the omission of the footnote in the 1959 abridged version.Also includes: an opinion by barrister Helenus Milmo; a statement on the case by Nicholl, Manisty, and Few; a note by the Treasury Solicitor; cuttings, including a copy of a poem by Sir Alan Herbert, articles on the case, and extracts from O'Gowan's memoirs from the Empire News; information on Corbett and Major-General William Ramsden; drafts of the footnote initially prepared by Liddell Hart.


  • May 1953 - Jun 1959

Conditions Governing Access



2 file(s) (2 files (391 loose folios))

Language of Materials


The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.