Title: Viscount Alanbrooke, biography research papers
Classmark: MS 1777
Creator(s): Brooke, Alan Francis
Main language: English
Size and medium: 20 boxes: manuscript, typescript, press-cuttings and printed material.
Archival material relating to Arthur Bryant and Viscount Alanbrooke (materials for his biography collected by Mrs Marian C. Long; cf. similar material at King's College London, Liddell Hart Centre), with reference also to Winston Churchill. This comprises extensive correspondence, interview notes, personal and official Alanbrooke papers and military files, newspapers and pamphlets, photographs, letters and papers of Arthur Bryant, notes, research material and drafts of 'The Turn of the Tide' and 'Triumph in the West'. Also contains correspondence received by Mrs Long in response to an advertisement in the Royal Artillery Regimental News for reminiscences of Alanbrooke, for inclusion in the official biography. Further correspondence relates to Sir Archibald Wavell, and General Sir David Fraser, author of the biography 'Alanbrooke'. With additional material relating to Sir Charles Murray Marling, diplomat, and his wife, Lady Lucia Marling (Mrs Marian C. Long was their daughter). This includes diaries, personal correspondence, Red Cross reports, press-cuttings, and drafts (TS and MS) of Sir Charles Murray Marling's autobiography. Other documents include drafts of an unpublished memoir by Marian Marling, material relating to Sir John Ramsay Slade (the father of Lady Lucia Marling), a draft of Sir Ian Jacob's autobiography, the Engagement Book of General Sir Robert Haining for 1941, and papers of Sir Percy Loraine.
Field Marshal Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke, was a senior commander in the British Army. He was the Chief of the Imperial General Staff during the Second World War, and was promoted to Field Marshal in 1944. As chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Brooke was the foremost military adviser to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and in the role of co-ordinator of the British military efforts was an important contributor to the Allies' victory in 1945. After retiring from the army he served as Lord High Constable of England during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Sir Arthur Wynne Morgan Bryant was a widely popular British historian and columnist for the Illustrated London News. He was the author of 'The Turn of the Tide' (1957) and its sequel 'Triumph in the West' (1959), both of which drew on Brooke's war diaries and autobiographical notes. In 1951 the Royal Regiment of Artillery commissioned Bryant to write an official full-length biography of Brooke and appointed Mrs Marian C. Long to collect and prepare research material. In 1954 Bryant agreed with Brooke that, as well as writing the biography for the Royal Regiment after Brooke's death, he would also write a study of World War Two based on Brooke's diaries and memoirs for immediate publication. He originally envisaged writing just one volume, 'The Turn of the Tide', on the first half of the war, but soon decided that he would like to write a second volume, 'Triumph in the West', to cover the remaining years. The Royal Regiment of Artillery gave Bryant permission to use the material already collected by Mrs Long for the official biography, while she continued her research work, but concentrating on material relating to Brooke's service in World War Two. The family also lent him Brooke's diaries and Chief of the Imperial General Staff semi-official files.
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