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Blythe, Wilfred Lawson

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 PP MS 31
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Blythe, Wilfred Lawson
Date(s): Created 1800-1964
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 24 boxes
Name of creator(s): Blythe | Wilfred Lawson | 1896-1975 | colonial administrator


Administrative/Biographical history:

Wilfred Lawson Blythe was born on 9 November 1896 and was educated at the Universities of Liverpool and Grenoble. He served in the First World War, 1915-1919, and joined the Malayan Civil Service in 1921. He studied Chinese in Canton during 1922-1924 and became the Protector of Chinese in various parts of Malaya during 1926-1936. He served as the Deputy President of the Municipality in Penang, 1936-1937, and again in 1939-1940 and as Deputy Controller of Labour (Chinese) during 1941-1942. He served with the Army in Malaya in 1942 and was interned from 1942-1945. In 1946 he became the Secretary for Chinese Affairs, Federation of Malaya. From 1948-1950 he became the President of the Municipal Commission in Singapore. In 1950 he became Colonial Secretary of Singapore and remained there until his retirement in 1953. In 1969 he wrote Secret Societies in Malaya. He married Muriel Gertrude Woodward in 1925. He died in 1975.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1800-1964, assembled by Wilfred Lawson Blythe for his research on secret societies in Malaya, used in his subsequent publication Secret Societies in Malaya (1969), comprising official departmental annual reports, intelligence reports, despatches, photographs and other reference material.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and Chinese

System of arrangement:

The collection is arranged into the following categories: primary sources (official papers of the government departments of the federation of Malaya and Singapore, despatches to and from the Secretary of State and proceedings of the Legislative Council); other reference material collected for Blythe's research on secret societies (triads) in Malaya; draft manuscripts, typescripts and other notes by Blythe; articles and books by other researchers, press cuttings and miscellaneous; photographs.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated in 1985.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For papers of Wilfred Lawson Blythe held elsewhere, see Chris Cook, Sources in British Political History 1900-1951, vol 2 (1975).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
16 May 2000

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