Scope and Contents
The papers mainly consist of Kelly's recollections of his work for Churchill, in the form of memoirs and other papers, taped interviews, and in correspondence, particularly with Churchill's official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert. There is also a small amount of correspondence dating back to Kelly's time as Churchill's literary assistant and two volumes of Winston Churchill's, "The Second World War" heavily annotated by Kelly, presumably for his own abridged version of these volumes.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required. Material in this collection is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue.
Biographical / Historical
Denis Kelly was born 31 January 1916, the eldest son of Richard Cecil Kelly, OBE and Joan Maisie Kelly, of Hyde Manor, Kingston, Sussex. He was educated at Marlborough College and then Balliol College, Oxford (where he studied History), and in 1945 married Anne Marie (the marriage was dissolved in 1954), only daughter of James Stuart Anderson, Hinton House, Christchurch; they had one daughter.
During the war, Kelly served first in the Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry, (1939-40), then in the Indian Mountain Artillery, in India and Burma, (1941-45). During this time he had been called to the Bar, (in 1942), and Kelly's legal career included: the Midland and Oxford Circuit; Bencher (1976); Emeritus (1987); Blackstone Pupillage Prize (1947); Harmsworth Law Scholar (1948); Deputy Chairman, Kesteven Quarter Sessions, and Deputy Recorder of Bedford (1968); Alternate Chairman, Burnham Committee (1973)– However, Kelly was never really devoted to the legal profession, and after the war joined Winston Churchill's team, first as archivist, then as a literary assistant on Churchill's war memoirs, "The Second World War" and on "A History of the English Speaking Peoples", from 1947 to 1957.
Kelly's own publications include an abridged version of Churchill's "The Second World War" (1959), and (with R. MacLeod) "The Ironside Diaries 1939-40" (1962).
He died on 17 February 1990.