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The Papers of Geoffrey Harper

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HRPR

Scope and Contents

Diaries, photograph albums and some personal papers.


  • Creation: c1900- c1965

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

Geoffrey Harper was born in Patea, New Zealand, 21 November 1894. He was educated at Huntley School and Wanganui Collegiate School, New Zealand.

He joined the Royal Navy and served on HMS Highflyer, 1913-14, HMS Endymion, 1914, HMS Dreadnought, 1914-16, HMS Godetia, HMS Daphne and HMS Devonshire, 1916, and HMS Courageous. 1916-17. He was promoted Acting Lieutenant, 1917, and Lieutenant, 1918, and served on HMS Indomitable, 1918-19. He joined HMS Odin and saw action in Somaliland (Somalia), 1919-20. He retired from the Navy, 1931.

He was employed as a teacher at St Michael's School, Uckfield, 1931-5, and Assistant Superintendant at the Lancashire and Cheshire National Sea Training Home for Boys, Wallasey, 1935-6. He became private secretary to the Governor of the Leeward Islands, 1936-8.

He rejoined the Royal Navy and was assigned to HMS Lucia off the coast of East Africa, 1939-40. He was Fleet Navigating Officer, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 1940-2; Assistant King's Harbour Master, Sheerness, 1942-4; and Captain Superintendant, Tricomalee, 1945-7. He retired in 1948.

He remained in Ceylon, working as a teacher in Colombo, 1949-54, and bursar at St Thomas' College, Guritalawa, 1954-6. He settled in Umtali, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 1956-8; Durban, South Africa, 1958-61; and Malta, 1961-2. He died on 1 October 1962.


5 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of the collection level description and catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The diaries were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Audrey Chitty, 1970 and 1971. A further accession of two photograph albums and some personal items were deposited in 2024 by the family.

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre also holds a collection of newspapers given by Audrey Chitty (reference: GBR/0014/CHTY).


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, August 2004. The collection has been catalogued, with additional material being listed by Sascia Nieuwenkamp in 2024. Information was obtained from a curriculum vitae amongst the papers.


Harper, Geoffrey Coleridge, 1894-1962, Captain

2004-05-10 12:23:56+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