Alan Rolfe

Scope and Content

Personal papers of Alan Rolfe (b 1908, d 2005). His diaries, which run in an unbroken series from 1918-2005, are an extraordinary series of records, and give considerable information on his personal activities and commentary on events taking place worldwide. Almost every day has an entry and information given ranges from the mundane: the weather (very frequently), to domestic arrangements and birthdays; to professional engagements, and the fees paid, and (regular) visits to films, theatre and the opera. There are also notes of national and international events. Occasionally there are curious juxtapositions such as 'had 6th singing lesson' followed by 'war crimes trial summing up' (30 Sept 1946). His memorabilia is of a varied nature, but broadly demonstrate his main preoccupations in life: world war II and, in later life, crime. Curiously there is little about his theatrical career except a cd of an interview with Terry Wogan

Administrative / Biographical History

Alan William Rolfe was one of Streatham's longest-standing residents, living in the same house at Wyatt Park Road for almost the whole of his life. He was an actor for much of his working life, appearing on the stage, on TV and in films. He also worked during World War II with ENSA, entertaining troops. In later years he developed an interest in family and local history. Initially the former concerned his own, but, as a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists, for whom he worked regularly for 35 years, preparing pedigrees or abstracts of sources. His interest in local history was principally concerned with Streatham. Wartime was an important subject to him, including his unhappy period in the military police, his later work in ENSA, and because of his half-sister Lilian Rolfe, who was a British secret agent in World War II and who was executed at Ravensbruck in 1945.


IV/309/1 Official Papers

IV/309/2 Diaries

IV/309/3 Correspondence, memorabilia and photographs

IV/309/4 Published items

IV/309/5 Obituaries and death notices

Conditions Governing Access

Open access

Acquisition Information

Accession no. 2006/4

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at Lambeth Archives.