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The Papers of Vice-Admiral John Harper

Reference Code: GBR/0014/JEHR

Scope and Contents

Some papers relate to the compilation of the official record of the Battle of Jutland
With a list of the papers compiled by David Erskine, 1980.
Also includes biographical material.


  • Creation: 1875 - 1982

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

John Ernest Troyte Harper was born in New Zealand, 29 May 1874, the son of Leonard Harper. He was educated at Christ's College, New Zealand.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1888. He was promoted Lieutenant, 1896, and served in the South African War, 1899-1900, and the Ogaden Somali Expedition, 1900-1. He was promoted Commander, 1906, and commanded HM Yacht Victoria and Albert, 1911-14. He was promoted Captain, 1913, and was Master-of-the-Fleet for the Naval Review on 20 July 1914. After the First World War, he compiled the official record of the Battle of Jutland. He was Director of Navigation at the Admiralty, 1919-21; a member of the Anglo-American Arbitration Board, 1921-2; and Naval Aide-de-Campe to King George V, 1923-4. He was promoted Rear-Admiral, 1924, and Vice-Admiral (retired), 1929.

He retired from the Royal Navy, 1927, and acted as Nautical Assessor to the House of Lords, 1934-46.

He died on 27 May 1949.

He was created MVO, 1913, and CB, 1926.

His publications include: "The Truth About Jutland" (1927); with Langhorne Gibson, "The Riddle of Jutland" (1934); and "The Royal Navy at War" (1941).


5 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

JEHR 1/1 - 1/10 were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Vice-Admiral Harper's son, Commander John Harper, via David Erskine, 1980. The other material was deposited in 2015 by Joanna Udell, John Harper's granddaughter.

Related Materials

Vice-Admiral Harper's affidavit and proof copies of the official record of the Battle of Jutland are held by the British Library, Manuscript Collections.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, June 2005. The papers were catalogued in 1981. Biographical information was obtained from "Who's Who 1897-1996".


Harper, John Ernest Troyte, 1874-1949, Vice-Admiral

2005-06-08 14:42:37+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