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The Papers of Sir Andrew Graham Gilchrist

Reference Code: GBR/0014/GILC

Scope and Contents

Military, diplomatic and literary papers, 1937-93.


  • Creation: 1937 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is mostly 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

Sir Andrew Gilchrist was born near the Clyde in Scotland in 1910 and educated at Edinburgh Academy and Exeter College, Oxford.

In 1933 he entered the Consular Service and was posted to the Thai Embassy in Bangkok until 1937. He then had temporary placements in France, including Consulate General in Paris (in connection with the Paris Exhibition) and Consulate General in Marseilles (in connection with service to the Royal Navy in relation to the Spanish Civil War and the escort of British shipping).

He had a second tour of duty in Bangkok (1938-41), being captured and interned in Bangkok for 8 months in 1941; worked at the Ministry of Information (1942); was Second to the Minister in Charge of the Consulate General in Rabat, Morocco (1942-3); and worked for "Force 136" Special Operations Executive in India, organising undercover resistance force in Thailand (1944-45) and was involved in the repatriation of prisoners of war and humanitarian aid to Japanese indentured (slave) labour from Malaya [later part of Malaysia], Sumatra, Java [parts of Indonesia] and Singapore.

After World War Two he acted as Assistant Political Advisor to the General in Charge of the Occupying Force, Thailand (1945); First Secretary, British Embassy Bangkok (1946); worked at the Foreign Office General Department, thereafter Second-in-Command German Political Department, London (1947-51); Consul General in Stuttgart (1951-3); Counsellor to The British Commissioner-General, South East Asia, Singapore (1954-55); Ambassador to Iceland (1956-59); Consul General, Chicago (1960-62); Ambassador to Indonesia in Djakarta (1962-66); served in the Commonwealth Office London, Rhodesia Sanctions section [Rhodesia later Zambia and Zimbabwe] (1966); and was Ambassador to Ireland (1966-70)

He was made KCMG in 1964. After his retirement he served as Chairman of the Highlands and Islands Development Board, 1970-6.

His publications include: Memoirs- "Bangkok Top Secret" (1970); "Cod Wars and How to lose them" (1978); History- "Malaya 1941: the fall of a Fighting Empire" (1991); Novels- "The Russian Professor" (1984), "The Watercress File" (1985), "The Ultimate Hostage" (1986), "South of Three Pagodas" (1987), "Death of an Admiral" (1988), "Did Van Gogh paint his bed?" (1991): and Poetry- A posthumous collection edited by J Rayner, 1994.

He died in 1993.


30 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

The collection has been catalogued and copies of a more detailed catalogue are available at Churchill Archives Centre.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were presented to Churchill Archives Centre by James Rayner (Gilchrist's son-in-law) in January 1994.


This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre in August 2004. Information was obtained from Gilchrist's entry in "Who Was Who" (A&C Black) and from the original catalogue produced by the Archives Centre.


Gilchrist, Sir Andrew Graham, 1910-1993, Knight, diplomat

2004-09-08 11:08:34+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