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The Papers of Lawrence Burgis

Reference Code: GBR/0014/BRGS

Scope and Contents

The papers mainly consist of the manuscript notes which Lawrence Burgis made during meetings of the War Cabinet during the Second World War. There are gaps in the sequence, such as between November and December 1943 when Burgis went to the Cairo Conference with Winston Churchill.

Although Burgis' notes frequently record the actual words spoken at Cabinet meetings during the war, Burgis felt that his notes were not valuable because they were not a final record of the meetings of the War Cabinet. He did, however, use his notes to uncover an inaccuracy relating to the appointment of General Bernard Montgomery (see BRGS 1/2, letter to Jacob). Burgis was not always present throughout meetings of the War Cabinet "as I went back to my office to get the notes I had taken dictated and ready for Bridges [Sir Edward Bridges, Secretary to the Cabinet] to approve after the meeting so the Minutes were in Ministers' hands as soon as possible".


  • Creation: 1900 - 1979


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Lawrence Franklin Burgis was born in 1892, the eldest son of J F Burgis and Mary Franklin. He was educated at King's School, Worcester. In 1914, Burgis married Lorna Herbert with whom he had one daughter.

Burgis' career and positions included: Private Secretary to Viscount Esher (1909-1913); Assistant Secretary, County of London Territorial Forces Association (1913-1914); and serving in World War I (6th Battalion the Black Watch). From 1919-1921 he was the Military Assistant Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence. In 1918 and from 1939-1945, Burgis was Assistant Secretary to the War Cabinet (and was proud to have been the only person to attend both David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill's War Cabinets).

Burgis died on 8 December 1972.


7 archive box(es) : paper

Language of Materials



The papers have been arranged into two series and in date order. Captain Stephen Roskill (former Keeper of the Archives at Churchill Archives Centre) had arranged some sections of the War Cabinet notes in the 1970's, occasionally adding his own notes.

Other Finding Aids

The collection has been catalogued and copies of the catalogue are available for consultation at the National Register of Archives and at Churchill Archives Centre.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was deposited in three stages at Churchill Archives Centre by Lawrence Burgis between 1971 and 1973.

Related Materials

The Public Record Office holds the records of the War Cabinet including the final version of the minutes (WM series). For further details, contact the Public Record Office, Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Surrey TW9 4DU.


The Burgis papers were catalogued by Natalie Adams of Churchill Archives Centre in October 2001 using biographical information from Who Was Who 1897-1996 (A and C Black) and information from the Burgis papers and correspondence relating to their deposit. Catalogue updated by Natalie Adams, May 2002 and Jan 2017.


Burgis, Lawrence Franklin, 1892-1972, Civil Servant

2001-10-12 11:42:38+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087