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The Papers of Valentine Lawford

Reference Code: GBR/0014/LWFD

Scope and Contents

Papers comprising a diary; typescript extracts from diaries and letters; and memoirs.


  • Creation: 1937 - 1950

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

Valentine Nicholas Lawford was born in 1911, the son of Captain Vincent Adrian Lawford RN and Jane Agnes (née Mapplebeck). He was educated at Repton School; Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; the Sorbonne, in Paris; and in Strasbourg and Vienna. He lived with his partner, the photographer Horst P. Horst, and they had one adopted son.

He joined the Foreign Office, in 1934, and his first posting was as Third Secretary of the British Embassy in Paris, 1936-9. On his return to London in 1939, he became Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, attending many of the wartime Conferences and acting as Winston Churchill's interpreter during meetings with Charles de Gaulle. After the war, he was appointed alternate UK Delegate to the United Nations Security Council and then political Counsellor in the British Embassy in Tehran. He resigned from the Foreign Office in 1950 and settled in the United States with his partner, Horst P. Horst, at their home in Oyster Bay, Long Island.

He died in 1991.

His publications include: "Bound for Diplomacy" (1963); and "Horst" (1984).


2 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this catalogue is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was given to Churchill Archives Centre by Charles Tilbury, December 2014.


This collection was catalogued by Sophie Bridges, April 2015. Biographical information was obtained from Herry Lawford's blog and the papers themselves.


Lawford, Valentine Nicholas, 1911-1991, diplomat

2014-12-08 11:46:59+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