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CHARTERIS, Brig Gen John (1877-1946)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Charteris
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: CHARTERIS, Brig Gen John (1877-1946)
Date(s): 1895-[1920], 1925, 1928-1931, [1933]-1934, 1940, 1944-1946
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 4 reels, 1 file
Name of creator(s): Charteris | John | 1877-1946 | Brigadier General


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in 1877; educated at Kelvinside Academy, Göttingen University and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; 2nd Lt, Royal Engineers, 1896, and posted to India; served on North West Frontier with Military Works Services; transferred to Bengal Sappers and Miners, [1899]; Capt, 1905; Staff College, Quetta, 1907-1909; Staff Capt, HQ, India, 1909-1910; General Staff Officer Grade 2, Operations Section, General Staff, Simla, 1910-1912; unofficial war correspondent with Bulgarian Army, 1912; Assistant Military Secretary to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Aldershot, 1912-1914; Maj, 1914; ADC to General Officer Commanding 1 Army Corps, BEF, 1914; General Staff Officer Grade 2, 1 Army Corps HQ, 1914-1916; Brig Gen (Head of Intelligence Service), BEF General HQ, 1916-1918; Deputy Director of Transportation, General HQ, France, 1918; Director of Movements and Quartering, India, 1920-1921; Col, 1921; Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Eastern Command, India, 1921-1922; retired, 1922; MP (Conservative) for Dumfriesshire, 1924-1929; publication of Field-Marshal Earl Haig (Cassell and Co, London, 1929), At GHQ (Cassell and Co, London, 1931) and Haig (Duckworth, London, 1933); died in 1946.


Scope and content/abstract:

Microfilm copies of papers relating to his life and career, dated 1906, 1913, 1914-1918, 1925, 1928-1931, [1933]-1934, 1940, 1944-1946, principally comprising letters, telegrams and postcards to his wife Noel Charteris, 1914-1918, notably describing his intelligence work at 1 Army HQ and BEF General HQ, 1914-1918; letters from Brig Gen Sir James Edward Edmonds commenting on the proofs of At GHQ (Cassell and Co, London, 1931), 1929, 1931; correspondence relating to his writings on FM Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, 1928-1931; typescript text of lecture on the role of the Intelligence Service during World War One, dated 1925; notes and newspaper cutting concerning allegations about British use in World War One of a propaganda story about the German Army boiling down dead troops for fats, 1925; obituary reprinted from The Royal Engineers Journal, 1946. Copies of group and family photographs, [1895-1920], with photograph of railway bridge over the River Beas at Rohi, India, under construction by No 1 Company, 1 Prince of Wales' Own Sappers and Miners, 1910.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in the following sections: papers relating to early life and career; letters to his wife; other official and family papers, 1914-1922; notes, texts and other writings; photographs.

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 of 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:

Copies made by the Centre in 1990 from originals loaned by the family.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Intelligence Corps Museum holds books of newspaper cuttings, copies of letters to the press, 1920-1941, notes and commentaries on military subjects, photos and published material. The Public Record Office holds essays written by Charteris as a student in the Junior Division, Staff College, Quetta, 1907 (ref: WO 79/61), while the British Library Manuscripts Collection holds correspondence with Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, 1916-1919 (ref: Add MS 621159). The family retains additional personal papers (see Centre's detailed catalogue for further information).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Charteris' letters to his wife formed the basis for his book At GHQ (Cassell and Co, London, 1931). Michael Occleshaw consulted Charteris' letters for his book Armour against fate, British military intelligence in the First World War (Columbus, London, 1989).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Mar 1997

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