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FURSDON, Maj Gen (Francis William) Edward (1925-2007)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Fursdon
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: FURSDON, Maj Gen (Francis William) Edward (1925-2007)
Date(s): 1910-2000
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 61 boxes or 0.61m3
Name of creator(s): Fursdon | (Francis William) Edward | 1925-2007 | Major General


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 1925, educated Westminster School, enlisted Royal Engineers, 1942; Royal Engineers course, Birmingham University, 1943; served in ranks 1943-1944; commissioned 1945; Royal West African Frontier Force serving in India, Burma and Gold Coast; BSc, Royal Military College of Science; staff and regimental duty in UK, Singapore, Canal Zone and Cyprus; Staff College, Camberley, 1955; Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, 19 Infantry Brigade, UK and Port Said, Suez, 1956; General Staff Officer 2, Royal Engineers School of Infantry, 1958-1960; Joint Services Staff College, 1960; Officer Commanding, 34 Independent Field Squadron, East Africa and Kuwait, 1961; Instructor, Staff College, Camberley, 1962; Second in Command, 38 Engineers Regiment; Admin, Staff College, Henley; Lieutenant Colonel, 1967; Commanding Officer, 25 Engineer Regiment, British Army of the Rhine, 1967-1969; Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, Headquarters, Land Forces, Gulf, 1970-1971; Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, Land Forces, 1971; Colonel (Quartering), Headquarters, British Army of the Rhine, 1972-1973; Service Fellow, Aberdeen University, 1974; Director of Defence Policy (Europe and NATO), Ministry of Defence, 1974-1977; Director, Military Assistance (Overseas) Office, 1977-1980; MLitt, University of Aberdeen, 1978; DLitt, Leiden University, 1979; Military Advisor to Governor of Rhodesia and later Senior British Officer, Zimbabwe, 1980; Defence and Military Correspondent, The Daily Telegraph, 1980-1986; Correspondent, Army Quarterly and Defence Journal, 1985-2000; Royal Navy Correspondent, Navy International, 1991-1994; Contributing Editor Europe, Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, 1989-1994; UK Armed Forces Correspondent, Salut (South Africa), 1995-2000; Special Correspondent, South Africa Soldier, 2001-2006; died Jan 2007.

Publications: Grains of Sand: a book of verse from Arabia, (Oxted, Surrey, 1971); There are no Frontiers: a book of verse from Europe, (Oxted, Surrey, 1973); The European Defence Community: A History, (MacMillan, London, 1980); Falklands Aftermath: picking up the pieces, (Cooper, London, 1988).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers and publications of Maj Gen Edward Fursdon, 1942-2000. Material relating to Fursdon's career in the Royal Engineers including: research on Army equipment inventions, 1942-1960; orders, instructions, reports, staff lists, duties, returns and aquisitions logs for Headquarters, 19 Infantry Brigade, Operation MUSKETEER, Port Said, Egypt, 1956; The Assault River Crossing in Nuclear War, a dramatic dialogue by Fursdon, 1959; research and reports produced for the War Office Working Party on Infantry Field Defences, 1958-1960; report by Fursdon on an Explosives Course arranged by the Swedish Army at Gyttorp, May-Jun 1960; papers and photographs relating to Operation VANTAGE, Kuwait, Jul-Oct 1961; report by Fursdon on reconnaissance for Exercise VIKING WAY: The Randsfjord Road Project, Norway, 1969; photographs of Royal Engineer activities including the 34 Independent Field Squadron, Kenya, 1961; training including demolitions course, Sweden, 1960; trials, equipment and experiments including trials of digging machines, Sept 1958; explosive and drill excavation; design and materials for battle shelters and mobile roadblocks.

Papers on academic topics including research and interviews for Fursdon's MLitt thesis The European Defence Community Experience: Relevance and Failure, 1950-1989; and report entitled MBFR (mutual and balanced force reductions) Talks: the Preliminaries and the First Half Year, 1974.

Papers relating to Fursdon's activities as a journalist including original drafts and cuttings of articles written for various publications including The Daily Telegraph, 1980-1986; Army Quarterly, 1948-1998; Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, 1982-1995; Navy International, 1986-1994; Salut: Journal of the South African National Defence Force, 1995-2000.

Audio cassette tapes of radio interviews and programmes, 1980-1994, including interviews with Fursdon on the Falklands War for the British Forces Broadcasting Service and BBC World-at-One, 1982; interviews with Fursdon on the aftermath of the Falklands War for Radio Kent, Radio Devon and the British Forces Broadcasting Service, 1988; Fursdon speaking on National Service for the British Forces Broadcasting Service, nd, and on conscription for LBC, London, nd; interviews conducted by Fursdon including with a Swedish Defence Official, 1982 and with Captain Rod Bell on the Falklands War, 1982; a programme on Iraq for the BBC World Service, 1991.

Research files (including press cuttings, field notebooks, photographs, press releases, correspondence, publicity material and maps) relating to the Iran Iraq war, 1980-1985, including photographs taken during Fursdon's time as a reporter embedded with the Iraqi Army showing: British, American and Soviet tanks, armoured personnel carriers and self propelled guns captured from Iran on display in Baghdad; captured Iranian mine clearing tanks, small arms, mines and other weaponry; an Iranian POW camp, Ramadi; desert battlefields north-east of Basra; Iraqi artillery deployed near border east of Basra; Maj Gen Maher Abed Al-Rashid, Commander 3 Iraqi Corps; Qasr-e-Ahirin, Iran; the battle for Khorramshahr docks, Shatt-al-Arab, Iran; Khorramshahr City, Iran, after capture; oil fires at Abadan, Iran; the first battle of the Howzeh (Al-Hawzah) Marshes at Al-Baydha; troops of the Presidential Guard Special Forces; Iranian attack craft and rubber assault boats; wounded cattle; village women waiting to be evacuated; Carol Jerome, Canadian journalist; Iraqi war memorial and military museum, Baghdad; and the aftermath of the Battle of Al-Azair, Iraq.

Research files (including press cuttings, field notebooks, photographs, press releases, correspondence, publicity material and maps) relating to topics including: the Falklands War and aftermath, 1982-1997; the first Gulf War, 1990; the Bosnian and Kosovan Wars and their aftermath, 1992-2000; post-war Europe, including the fall of the Iron Curtain, peacekeeping and arms control, 1979-1998; the 15th and 20th National Day of Oman, 1985 and 1990; the 50th anniversary of NATO, 1999; Northern Ireland, 1981; the Far East Pilgrimage Remembrance Trip to Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, 1985; the European Defence Community, 1990; British Military Advisory and Training Team, Namibia, 1991; Swedish Naval Forces, 1992, Army Cadet Force Association, 1992; Royal Air Force Red Arrows, 1995; Reserve Forces Act and the Territorial Army, 1996; Royal Air Force Innsworth, 1996; Royal Navy and Marine Reserves, 1996; University Air Squadrons, 1997; University Royal Navy Units (URNUS), 1997; Royal Air Force Cadets (ATC), 1997; University Officer Training Corps, 1997; Army Cadet Force, 1997; Royal Navy Sea Cadets, 1997; Royal Navy and Royal Marines Combined Cadet Force, 1997; Boer War Centenary, 1997; Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, 1998; Royal Marines, 1998; Women in the Armed Forces, 1998; Joint Service Diving, 1998; Royal Air Force St Mawgan and Exercise BRILLIANT FOIL, 1998; simulation of battle including Direct Fire Weapons Effects Simulation (DFWES) and tactical engagement systems (TES) equipment, 1998; 21st Century Warfare, 1999; Joint Force 2000, 1999; Defence Systems and Equipment, 1999; Royal Air Force Kinloss, 1999; Royal Engineers Combat Engineer School, 1999; the efforts of HMS OCEAN and Commando Brigade to provide assistance following Hurricane Mitch, Honduras, 1999; The Regular Commissions Board, 1999; Army Air Corps, 1999; Army School of Logistics, Deepcut, and School of Army Catering, Aldershot, 2000; Defence Animal Centre, 2000; British Army Training Unit, Canada, 2000; Royal Military Police Training School, Chichester, 2000; `Soaring and Sailing into the Next Millennium', Royal Navy and Royal Air Force potential future ships and aircraft, 2000.

The collection includes approximately 450 of Fursdon's collected books, journals, pamphlets and brochures on military topics.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, French, Arabic

System of arrangement:

In sections as above. A detailed box list is available.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification.

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 Archives and Information Management.

Finding aids:

A detailed box list and separate list of publications is available in hard copy in the Reading Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Presented to the Centre by Edward Fursdon, Nov 2005

Allied Materials

Related material:

The papers of AVM SWB Menaul at the LHCMA include several press cuttings of articles by Fursdon on the subject of nuclear arms.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Katharine Higgon.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
August 2007

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