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The Papers of Sir Julian Ridsdale

Reference Code: GBR/0014/RIDS

Scope and Contents

The papers mainly consist of a numbered series of scrapbooks including invitations, press cuttings, photographs, correspondence and other ephemera relating to Julian Ridsdale's political career and personal life with his family.


  • Creation: 1949 - 2000


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

Born in 1915 Ridsdale was educated at Tonbridge and Sandhurst. In 1935 he joined the Royal Norfolk Regiment, later being attached to the British Embassy, Tokyo (1938-39). During the Second World War he served in the Royal Norfolk Regiment, Royal Scots, and Somerset Light Infantry. His postings included Assistant Military Attaché, Japan, 1940; GSO3, Far Eastern Section, War Office, 1941; GSO2, Joint Staff Mission, Washington, 1944-45. He retired from Army with the rank of Major in 1946.

During his post-war political career he unsuccessfully contested the North Paddington seat in the General Election of 1951, but later (1954-92) served as the Conservative Member for the Harwich Division of Essex. He acted as the PPS to the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1957-58 and PPS to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, 1958-60. He was appointed, successively, as the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State at Air and Vice-President of the Air Council, 1962-64, and for Defence for the Royal Air Force, Ministry of Defence, April-October 1964.

Throughout his political career Ridsdale maintained extensive Japanese contacts, acting as Chairman of the British Japanese Parliamentary Group, 1964-92 and the leader of Parliamentary delegations to Japan, 1973, 1975, annually 1977-82 and 1988. He was a Member of the North Atlantic Assembly, 1979-92, being the Vice-President of the Political Committee, 1983-87.

He received the CBE in 1977 and was knighted in 1981. He died in July 2004. Papers include details of Julian Ridsdale's family life, including his wife, Dame Victoire Evelyn Patricia Ridsdale [1921 - 2009], known as Dame Paddy Ridsdale. The collection contains details of 'Paddy's' life as the wife of a Conservative Minister for Parliament with some mention of her role as chairwoman of the Conservative MPs' Wives club. The papers also include information about 'Paddy's' family, notably Sir Thomas Lopdell O'Shaughnessy [1850 - 1933], who was the last Recorder of Dublin in Ireland.


43 archive box(es) : paper, photograph

5 item(s)

Language of Materials



The numbering series in the sequence is not always clear and volumes 85-86 appear not to have been transferred to the Archives Centre. There are also eight scrapbooks excluded from the numbering system and some collated into a larger book.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Very fragile - access only possible when a conservator is available to assist with handling.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was presented to Churchill Archives Centre by Sir Julian Ridsdale in September 2000.

Related Materials

Sir Julian Ridsdale's political career forms part of the following collections - Julian Amery, Lord Hailsham, Sir Ian Lloyd, Enoch Powell, Philip Cunliffe-Lister and Margaret Thatcher.


This collection (fonds) level description and box list was compiled by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre in February 2003. This file level description has been updated by Thomas Wales in July 2019.

Date information

DateText: Mostly 1949-1978 (with some earlier and later photographic and political material from 'Paddy' Ridsdale's family, c.1883).


Ridsdale, Sir Julian Errington, 1915-2004, Knight, Politician


2002-05-27 15:15:11+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