Skip to main content

The Papers of Sir Donald Hopson

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HPSN

Scope and Contents

Comprising correspondence and papers about his military and diplomatic careers, press cuttings, photographs and artefacts.
With Annalise Hopson's later correspondence and papers, 1971-99.


  • 1915 - 1974

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

Donald Charles Hopson was born in Hendon, 31 August 1915, the son of Charles Edward Hopson and Isabella Ida Hopson (née Snowdown). He was educated at Christ's Hospital, 1926-34, and University College, Oxford, 1934-8. He married Denise Genevieve Marie Berthe Dreux (formerly Balenski) in 1945 (divorced 1971), with whom he had one daughter, and Annelise Riisbjerg Nielsen in 1971.

He worked for the woollen manufacturers Kelsall and Kemp Ltd in Rochale, 1938-9. During the Second World War, he served with the Lancashire Fusiliers, from 1939, in France and Belgium, 1940; No. 3 Commando in Sicily and Italy, 1943; and First Commando Brigade in Normandy, 1944, and Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1945.

After the war, he joined the Diplomatic Service and was Second Secretary in Copenhagen, 1946-8; Consul in Saigon, 1948-50; First Secretary in Budapest, 1950-2; and Counsellor and Head of Chancery in Buenos Aires, 1955-7. He returned to the Foreign Office, 1952-5, and as Head of the Information Research Department, 1958-62. He was Ambassador to Laos, 1962-5; Ambassador to Mongolia, 1965-6; Chargé d'Affaires in Beijing, 1965-8; Ambassador to Venezuela, 1969-72; and Ambassador to Argentina, 1973-4.

He died on 26 August 1974.

He was mentioned in despatches, 1943; and awarded the Military Cross, 1944, the Distinguished Service Order, 1945, and the Territorial Decoration, 1948. He was appointed CMG, 1961, and KCMG, 1968.


7 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available for consultation at the National Register of Archives, London and Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to the Archives Centre by Mr Kiernan, via Dr Anthony Smith on behalf of the British Records Association, 2017.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges at Churchill Archives Centre, February 2017. The collection was catalogued by Sophie Bridges, 2017. Biographical information was obtained from the website of Who's Who.


Hopson, Sir Donald Charles, 1915-1974, Knight, diplomat

2017-02-23 09:40:39+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