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The papers of Baron King-Hall of Headley

Reference Code: GBR/0014/STKH

Scope and Contents

The collection held at Churchill Archives Centre consists of a broad range of material and includes: public and political correspondence with a range of individuals on a variety of subjects; some political papers; literary material (articles by King Hall and correspondence and papers relating to his publications); some press cuttings and scrap books; photographs; and some typescript diaries and personal papers.


  • Creation: 1935 - 2003


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. Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Baron King-Hall of Headley, STKH.

Biographical / Historical

William Stephen Richard was born in January 1893, the eldest child and only son of the late Admiral George King-Hall and Olga Ker. He married Kathleen Spencer and they had three children. He died in 1966. Curriculum Vitae: Educated in Switzerland, Margate [Kent], Osborne [Isle of Wight] and at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth [with Duke of Windsor, later Edward VIII] Served in HMS Southampton with the Grand Fleet, 1914-1917, including the Battle of Jutland, 1916. Submarine Flotilla, 1918. Awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal United Services Institute, 1919. Admiralty Naval staff 1919-1920 Royal Naval College, 1920-1921 Torpedo Officer, HMS Durban, China Squadron, 1921-1923 Lieutenant Commander, 1923 Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, 1924 Intelligence Officer, Mediterranean fleet, 1925-1926 Atlantic Fleet, 1927-1928 Commander, 1928 Admiralty Naval staff, 1928-1929, resigned 1929 Founded King-Hall News letter service in 1936; a weekly newsletter, subscription required. MP (Independent National) for Ormskirk division of Lancashire, 1936-1944 Ministry of Aircraft production and ministry of fuel and power Founded Hansard Society for Parliamentary government, 1944, Honorary director and chairman of Council, 1944-1962, president 1963 Radio and TV commentator on current events. Knighted 1954

King-Hall’s publications include: "Western civilisation and the Far East" (Methuen, London, 1924); "Imperial defence. A book for taxpayers" (Fisher Unwin, London, 1926); "The uncharted sea" (Arnold, London, 1926); "The China of today" (Woolf, London, 1927); "Posterity" (Hogarth Essays, London, 1927); "Letters to Hilary" (Ernest Benn, London, 1928); "The romantic adventure" (Stanley Paul, London, 1928); "Hilary growing up" (Ernest Benn, London, 1929); "The war on sea" (Benn's Sixpenny Library, London, 1929); "The Middle Watch" with Ian Hay (Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1930); "B. J. One. A play in one act" [1930]; "Post-war pirate" (Methuen, London, 1931); "Britain's chance" (New Statesman and Nation, London, 1932); "Bunga-Bunga" (Nicholson and Watson, London, 1932); "The Midshipmaid" - A naval manoeuvre in three acts, with Ian Hay (French's, London, 1932); "Here and there. Broadcast talks for children" (Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1932); "The economist in the witness box", with N F Hall (Nicholson and Watson, London, 1933); "Three plays and a plaything" (Nicholson and Watson, London, 1933); "Our own times, 1913-1934. A political and economic survey" (Nicholson and Watson, London, 1934); "News for children" (Nicholson and Watson, London, 1934); "Admirals all" An amphibious adventure in three acts, with Ian Hay (French's, London, 1935); "A North Sea diary, 1914-1918" (Newnes, London, 1936); "King George V, 1910-1936". The story of a great reign (Evans Brothers, London, 1936); "The Empire yesterday and today" (Oxford University Press, London, 1937); "The future of party politics" (Nicholson and Watson, London, 1937); "The world since the war" (Nelson and Sons, London, 1937); "Thirty days of India. A note book" (Herbert Jenkins, London, 1937); "Chatham House. A brief account of the origins, purposes and methods of the Royal Institute of International Affairs" (Oxford University Press, London, 1937); "The Crowning of the King and Queen" (Evans Brothers, London, 1937); "Tracing history backwards" with Kenneth Christopher Boswell (Evans Brothers, London, 1937); "Defence-what can I do?" (John Murray, London, 1938); "Our own times, 1913-1938" (Nicholson and Watson, London, 1938); "History of the war" (Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1939); "Total victory" (Faber and Faber, London, 1941); "Britain's third chance". A book about post-war problems and the individual (Faber and Faber, London, 1943); "Number 10 Downing Street". A play (National News-Letter, London, 1948); "North American diary" (K-H Services, London, 1949); "Off the record" A naval comedy in three acts, with Ian Hay (Samuel French, London, 1949); "My naval life, 1906-1929" (Faber and Faber, London, 1952); "History in Hansard, 1803-1900". An anthology of wit, wisdom, nonsense and curious observations to be found in the debates of Parliament, with Ann Dewar (Constable, London, 1952); "The Communist conspiracy" (Constable, London, 1953); "German Parliaments". A study of the development of representative institutions in Germany (Hansard Society, London, 1954); "Letters from Africa" (Geoffrey Bles, London, 1957); "Defence in the nuclear age" (Victor Gollancz, London, 1958); "Men of destiny, or the moment of no return" (K-H Services, London, 1960); "Our times, 1900-1960" (Faber and Faber, London, 1961); "Power politics in the nuclear age". A policy for Britain (Victor Gollancz, London, 1962); "Three dictators. Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin" (Faber and Faber, London, 1964).


10 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



The papers arrived in good order, and were initially box listed before cataloguing took place. The papers have been arranged into three series: Personal, Public life and Publications.

Other Finding Aids

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were deposited by Adrianna King-Hall in October 2006, while some later copies of King-Hall's publications and later correspondence were deposited by Oliver King-Hall in 2014.

Related Materials

See also earlier copies of the newsletter at MISC 93. The centre also has the papers of Stephen Roskill (reference code GBR/0014/ROSK)

Related Materials

There are 6 boxes of volumes at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London.


Transcripts of some of King-Hall's letters and diaries are available on a site devoted to the King-Hall family, at


The collection was box listed by Allen Packwood in October 2006. The collection level description and catalogue were prepared by Sandra Marsh in March 2007 using information from King-Hall’s entry in Who Was Who, the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives summary guide, and from the papers themselves.


King-Hall, William Stephen, 1893-1966, Naval officer, politician, writer.

2006-12-08 16:43:29+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