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The Papers of Sir (Philip) Stuart Milner-Barry

Reference Code: GBR/0014/MNBY

Scope and Contents

These papers mostly consist of correspondence and articles. The papers all deal with intelligence matters such as access to wartime records, claims of espionage, memories of wartime code-breaking-related activities and publications by former Bletchley Park staff or about Bletchley Park.


  • Creation: 1974 - 1997

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

Milner-Barry was born 20 September 1906, the son of Professor E. L. Milner-Barry. In 1947 he married Thelma Tennant Wells and they had one son and two daughters. He died 25 March 1995. Milner-Barry studied classics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He began by working for a firm of stockbrokers, 1929-38. He was one of the senior code-breakers at Bletchley Park, 1940-45. He was Gordon Welchman's deputy at Bletchley Park and was primarily responsible for the vital "cribs" of Hut 6 and in 1943 he took over responsibility for Hut 6. On 21st October 1941, Milner-Barry along with Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander wrote directly to Churchill to seek more staff for Bletchley Park. Milner-Barry delivered the letter personally to 10 Downing Street and Churchill gave them his support. Milner-Barry had a lifelong interest and talent in chess - he was British Boy Champion, 1923 and also a member of the British International teams, 1937-61. He was playing chess for Britain in Argentina when war broke out, and worked as Chess Correspondent for "The Times" newspaper 1938-45. After the war he was Principal, HM Treasury, 1945, and became Assistant Secretary in 1947. He was Director of Organisation and Methods, Treasury, 1954-58, Director of Establishments and Organisation, Ministry of Health, 1958-60, and Under-Secretary, Treasury, 1954-66.


3 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



It was not clear how much of the arrangement within the files was Milner-Barry's own and how much was later imposed by Captain Sainsbury so the files have been left intact as they were deposited.

Other Finding Aids

This catalogue is available at Churchill Archives Centre, at The Historical Manuscripts Commission and on the Janus website:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Sir Stuart Milner-Barry destroyed the majority of his papers believing them to be of little interest and so it is only his later papers that survive here. These papers were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by Captain Anthony Sainsbury, on behalf of Lady Milner-Barry, in May 1997. Captain Sainsbury had partially sorted the papers and 16 files, arranged according to subject or correspondent, were deposited.


This collection (fonds) level description and catalogue was prepared by Louise King of Churchill Archives Centre in April 2003 using information from the papers themselves and from Milner-Barry's entry in "Who Was Who 1897-1996" (A&C Black).


Milner-Barry, Sir Philip Stuart, 1906-1995, Knight, Civil Servant

2003-04-14 14:39:27+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