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The Papers of Sir Auckland Campbell Geddes

Reference Code: GBR/0014/GEDD

Scope and Contents

This collection mainly consists of private papers and correspondence, 1885-1954, and family papers, 1783-1963. The material, especially the ministerial and ambassadorial papers, collected together by David Geddes provides an insight into the 1910s and 1920s. The collection also includes Geddes' writings on medical, spiritual and military matters.


  • Creation: 1783 - 1991

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 holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Auckland Geddes was born 21 June 1879, the son of Auckland Campbell Geddes. He married Isabella Gamble Ross in 1906 and they had four sons and one daughter. Geddes was a Lieutenant (3rd class) in the Highland Light Infantry, 1901-1902, and took part in the Boer War. 1906-1909, Geddes was Assistant Professor of Anatomy at Edinburgh University. 1909-1913 he was Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and 1913-1914 he was Professor of Anatomy at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. 1914-1915 Geddes was a Major in the 17th Northumberland Fusiliers and 1916-1917 he was Director of Recruiting at the War Office. Geddes was MP (Unionist) for Basingstoke, 1917-1920, as well as Director General and Minister for National Service, 1917-1919. 1918-1919 he was President of the Local Government Board. January-May 1919 he was the Minister of Reconstruction. May 1919-March 1920 he was President of the Board of Trade with a seat in the Cabinet from October 1919. He was then the British Delegate in Washington to the Conference on Limitation of Armaments, 1917-1920. 1920-1924 Geddes was Ambassador Extraordinaire and Minister Plenipotentiary to the USA. 1939-1941 Geddes was the Regional Commander for Civil Defence South East Region and then Regional Commander for Civil Defence North West Region, 1941-1942. From 1924 until 1947 he was Chairman of the Rio Tinto Company and Rhokana Corporation as well as director of various companies. Sir Auckland Geddes died 8 June 1954. Geddes' book "The Forging of a Family" (Faber & Faber) was published in 1952.


29 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



The papers had been collected together and arranged by the family for a possible biography and the basic structure of their files was maintained where possible.

Other Finding Aids

The collection has been catalogued and a copy of the catalogue is available for consultation in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Register of Archives in London. A more detailed listing exists at GEDD 1/1-2, and the index numbers within the catalogue refer to this listing.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Some of Lord Geddes' papers were destroyed by a wartime bomb which hit his office at 11 Old Jewry, London, and Lord Geddes himself appears to have destroyed some papers in later life. The papers of Lord Geddes were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre in February 1994 by his grandson the third Lord Geddes.


This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Louise King of Churchill Archives Centre in July 2004. Information was obtained from Geddes' entry in "Who Was Who" (A&C Black) and from the original catalogue produced in July 1998. The catalogue was retroconverted by Laure Cinquin in June 2011.


Geddes, Auckland Campbell, 1879-1954, 1st Baron Geddes, politician

2004-07-14 10:08:51+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