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TURNER, Sir George Wilfred (1896-1974) and BROWN, V Adm Sir Harold (1878-1968)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Turner/Brown
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: TURNER, Sir George Wilfred (1896-1974) and BROWN, V Adm Sir Harold (1878-1968)
Date(s): 1914-1960
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 7 boxes
Name of creator(s): Brown | Sir | Harold | 1878-1968 | knight | Engineer Vice Admiral
Turner | Sir | George Wilfred | 1896-1974 | knight | civil servant


Administrative/Biographical history:

Eng V Adm Sir Harold Arthur Brown, born, 1878; educated as engineering student, Royal Naval Engineering College, Devonport, 1894-1899; Deputy Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet, 1930-1932; Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet, 1932-1936; Director General of Munitions Production, Army Council, War Office, 1936-1939; Director General of Munitions Production, Ministry of Supply, 1939-1941; Controller General of Munitions Production, 1941-1942; Senior Supply Officer and Chairman of Armamanent Development Board, Ministry of Supply, 1942-1946; Chairman Fuel Research Board, 1947-1950; died 1968.

Sir George Wilfred Turner, born 1896; Boy Clerk, War Office, 1911-1914; Grenadier Guards, 1916-1919; returned to Civil Service, 1921; Private Secretary, 1929; Assistant Secretary, 1938; Ministry of Supply, 1939-1948, culminating in becoming Permanent Under-Secretary of State for War, 1949-1956; retired, 1956; died, 1974.


Scope and content/abstract:

Mainly official publications and printed reports, memoranda on rearmament and supply before and during World War Two, with some photographs and personal papers, 1938-1953; notably including typescript copy of reminiscences by Brown with press cuttings and notes relating to the Ministry of Supply and other correspondence, 1938-1960; detailed diary by Turner, 1940; private papers by Turner on his domestic life, accounts, diary summaries, some correspondence and photographs, 1914-[1946]; files containing mainly typescript memoranda, correspondence and statistics relating to the Committee of Imperial Defence, War Office and Ministry of Supply, predominantly concerning rearmament and Second World War production, including progress reports on production and preparations for war, with printed reports on tanks and anti-tank guns, 1936-1943; minutes of a Committee of Imperial Defence sub-committee meeting on the supply of war material to Portugal, 1938; typescript review of air defence, including statistics of anti-aircraft guns, factory planning, civil defence, 1939-1940; file on munitions supply preparations incorporating some minutes of the Informal Army Council on munitions, 1937-1939; papers of the Industrial Capacity Committee including on US supplies to the UK in time of war, 1941; typescript briefing papers prepared for ministers for Commons' speeches, 1942; file of typescript retrospective analyses of war production contracts, 1948; printed reports and official publications on armed forces structure and expenditure, production and ordnance factories, national expenditure, post-World War One reconstruction, Ministry of Supply on inspection regimes, Whitley Councils 1917-1955, notably including 'Investigation of the Heavy Crossbow installations in Northern France', 2 vols, (1945), Ministry of Supply booklet entitled 'Progress in scientific research' (1947),'Statistics relating to the war effort of the United Kingdom' (HMSO, 1944), 'War-time tank production' (London, 1946), 'Review of Defects Disclosed by the Czechosolvak Crisis', 1938, report of a committee chaired by Sir Percy Mills on the organisation of the Royal Ordnance Factories, Apr 1951; 'Central planning and control in war and peace' by Sir Oliver Franks (1947), 'Interdenominational Advisory Committee on Army Chaplains Services', 1953,'Contracts and Finance Copy No. 2', Jun 1948; additional papers on a Royal Institute of Public Affairs Group Research Project on Changes in the Structure of Executive Government, 1956, and Report by Sir Keith Hancock on the Official History of the War: Civil Series, 1957.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The collection is broadly divided into the papers of V Adm Sir Harold Brown and those of Sir George Wilfred Turner, in order of accession.

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 on-line at, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room. A brief catalogue of the most recent accessions is also held in the Centre.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Papers created during the service of Brown and Turner at the Ministry of Supply and in the course of compiling autobiographical papers.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The family of Sir George Wilfred Turner transferred the papers to the Centre between 1974 and 2003.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The Centre holds some material relating to pre-World War Two rearmament, including Adam. The Stern papers include some tank-related Ministry of Supply material from the late 1930s. The Cowley and Pyman papers contain material on the Ministry of supply from the 1950s.

Ministry of Supply and other official publications can be accessed in the British Library. Some committee minutes and memoranda are available in the Public Record Office, Kew.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Geoff Browell for the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997; ISAD(G), Second Edition, 2000.

Date(s) of descriptions:
June 2003

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