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Ceylon Defence Force, 1940-1947

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0101 ICS 73
Held at: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
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Full title: Ceylon Defence Force, 1940-1947
Date(s): 1940-1947
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 1 file
Name of creator(s): Ceylon Defence Force
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Ceylon Light Infantry Volunteers, were established in 1881 by proclamation of the lieutenant governor. This new volunteer force was commanded by British officers, while the ranks were filled out largely with Burghers, a highly Westernized group that adapted well to the demands of volunteer service. A mounted infantry company was added in 1892, and in 1900 this contingent was called to South Africa to assist the British army in the Boer War.
In 1910 the volunteer corps was redesignated as the Ceylon Defence Force. Although Sri Lankan units were not deployed outside the island in either of the world wars, individual soldiers served in the British and British Indian armies. In World War II, the British crown took direct control of the island's armed forces from the colonial government. During this period, the Ceylon Light Infantry grew from 1 battalion to 5 battalions, while the total number of troops in uniform increased to 12,000. Most of these were engaged in maintenance and transport functions. Their most direct contact with the war came in April 1942 when the Japanese launched an air attack on Colombo.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of JH Smith on the Ceylon Defence Force, 1940-1947; comprising official reports on the Ceylon Defence Force (CDF), Jan-Nov 1943; examination papers for Commissons in the CDF, with comments by the examiners, 1942; and three letters of application to the CDF, 1940-1947.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Divided into three series as described above.

Conditions governing access:

Open although advance notice should be given. Access to individual items may be restricted under the Data Protection Act or Freedom of Information legislation.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available, at the discretion of the ICS Library Staff. Copies are supplied solely for research or private study. Requests to publish, or quote from original documents should be made to the Information Resources Manager.

Finding aids:

Catalogued to item level (see link to repository catalogue).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The source of acquisition by ICS is not known.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description ISAD(G), 2nd Edition, 2000. National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Oct 2001

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