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ABRAHAM, Maj Gen Sir William (Ernest Victor) (1897-1980)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Abraham
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: ABRAHAM, Maj Gen Sir William (Ernest Victor) (1897-1980)
Date(s): 1931-1979
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 boxes or 0.02 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Abraham | Sir | William Ernest Victor | 1897-1980 | Knight | Major General


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1897; educated at Methodist College, Belfast and Royal College of Science, Dublin; worked as a geologist for Burmah Oil Company Limited in Burma and India, 1920-1937; joined Burma Auxiliary Force and served as Trooper, 1920-1921; 2nd Lt, 1927; Lt, 1930; Capt, 1932; Maj, 1933; Lt Col, 1933; commanded Upper Burma Bn, Burma Auxiliary Force, 1933-1938; honorary Col, 1937; resigned, 1938; enrolled in Army Officer's Emergency Reserve and affiliated to 1 Bn, The Rangers, The King's Royal Rifle Corps, 1938; rejoined Army as 2nd Lt, Corps of Royal Engineers, 1940; attended Staff College, Senior Wing, Minley Manor, 1940; posted to War Office as Staff Capt, 1940; served in World War Two in Greece, Middle East, Burma, Tunisia and Sicily, 1939-1945; served on Staff of Gen Sir Archibald Percival Wavell, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, 1941; awarded CBE, 1942; served in India and Burma, 1943-1945; Controller General of Military Economy, India, 1945; re-employed by Burmah Oil Company Limited, 1945; retired as Managing Director of Burma Oil Company Limited, 1955; Lay Member of Restrictive Practices Court, 1961-1970; National Chairman, Burma Star Association, 1962-1977; member of British Transport Consultative Committee; knighted, 1977; elected life Vice President of the Burma Star Association, 1977; died 1980. Publications: Time off for war: the recollections of a wartime Staff Officer [1982].


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence relating to leaving Burmah Oil Company and attempts to re-enlist in the Army and RAF, 1939-1940, and papers relating to promotions and appointments, 1940-1944. Papers relating to service in the Middle East and Sicily, 1942-1943, including 16 typescript reports, Staffs and Services Committee, Middle East, May-Jun 1942; typescript 'Report of Committee on Beach Organisation and Working', 13 Nov 1943; manuscript map entitled 'Sicily, ports, coast and main communications', scale 1: 500, 000 [1943]; typescript letter from Maj Gen Charles Harvey Miller, 15 Army Group, relating to operations in Sicily, 1943. Papers relating to service in India and Burma, 1943-1945, including typescript 'Summary of the economic developments in the Far East during the six months ending 30th June, 1944'; 41 captioned official photographs, Burma campaign, 1944, notably including the redeployment by air of 5 Indian Div from the Arakan to Imphal, Indian Army troops and units of 7 Indian Div, Arakan, 1944; typescript notes, 'Points on AFV (armoured fighting vehicles) situation in India' [1944]; typescript text of lecture by Abraham entitled 'Military economy' [1945]; printed volume entitled 'The India base', issued by the Commander-in-Chief's Secretariat, General Headquarters, India, Jan 1945. Papers relating to the oil industry, especially with regard to the Middle East and Burma, 1931-1961, including reports, printed articles, plans and tables of statistics and correspondence, also, typescript report entitled 'General impressions formed during a short visit to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, December 1934'. Edition of Regimental Standing Orders of the Upper Burma Battalion, Auxiliary Force, (India) by Abraham (Mandalay Press, Mandalay, Burma, 1935). Typescript book manuscript entitled 'Time off for war. Recollections of a wartime Staff Officer' [1977], with copy of typescript letter from AF Rt Hon Louis (Francis Albert Victor Nicholas) Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, relating to the memoir, Dec 1977. Papers and correspondence relating to the Burma Star Association, 1964-1979, including letters from Mountbatten, 1968-1979, and from FM Sir Claude John Eyre Auchinleck, 1964-1965, also typescript account entitled 'A short history of the Burma Star Association' [1978].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

7 files.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director for Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Summary Guide available on-line at, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Placed in the Centre by the family in 1980 and 1982.

Allied Materials

Related material:

A collection of papers on microfilm relating to Burma and India, 1939-1945, are held by the Centre for South East Asian Studies, Cambridge University.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Sep 1998

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