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The Papers of Sir Frank Roberts

Reference Code: GBR/0014/ROBT

Scope and Contents

The collection held at Churchill Archives Centre comprises Roberts' personal papers and includes: correspondence and press cuttings relating to Roberts' diplomatic career and postings to Bonn and Moscow; material relating to international organisations (NATO, the British Atlantic Committee and the Atlantic Treaty Association); annotated proofs of Roberts' book "Dealing with Dictators" (published in 1991); correspondence between Roberts and his parents; photographs; and articles and papers by Roberts.


  • Creation: 1901 - 1994

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

Frank Roberts was born in Buenos Aires on 27 October 1907, the son of Henry George Roberts, the manager of Lever Brothers Limited [later Unilever] in Argentina, and Gertrude Roberts (née Kenyon). He was educated at Bedales School (Hampshire), then at Rugby School and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1937 he married Celeste Leila Beatrix (died 1990) the daughter of late Sir Said Shoucair Pasha. They had no children.

Roberts had a long and successful diplomatic career. He entered the Foreign Office in 1930 serving first at the Embassy in Paris, (1932-35) and at Cairo (1935-37). Following that his diplomatic postings included: Foreign Office (1937–45); Chargé d’Affaires to the Czechoslovak Government (1943); British Minister in Moscow (1945-47); Principal Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1947-49); Deputy High Commissioner in India (1949-51); Deputy-Under Secretary of State, Foreign Office, (1951-54); Ambassador to Yugoslavia [later Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia] (1954-57); UK Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council (1957-60); Ambassador to the USSR (1960-62) and then to the Federal Republic of Germany (1963-68).

Roberts also held a number of positions within other organisations and was a Director of Hoechst (UK) and Daimler-Benz (UK). He was Chairman (1970-73), President (1973-83), then Vice-President of the European Atlantic Group (1983-); President of the Atlantic Treaty Association (1969-73); and also President of the Atlantic Council of UK (formerly British Atlantic Committee) (1968-81).

Roberts died in 1997.


35 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

The collection has been box-listed. A hard copy of the list is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Register of Archives in London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were deposited at Churchill Archives Centre in 1998 by the executors of Roberts' will.

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre also holds the records of an interview with Sir Frank Roberts which was conducted as part of the Diplomatic Oral History Programme (reference DOHP 14).


The collection level description was prepared by Natalie Adams of Churchill Archives Centre in January 1998 using information from the finding aid to the collection. Biographical information was obtained from Roberts' entry in "Who Was Who" (A and C Black).


Roberts, Sir Frank Kenyon, 1907-1998, Knight, diplomat

2003-01-06 16:30:58+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