Kipling-Beresford Papers

Scope and Content

Agreement for publication of Bereford's Schooldays with Kipling ; 1936

Letters and cards from Kipling to Beresford; 1899-1928 (10 items)

Letters from other correspondents to Bereford (30 items) and others (3 items); 1899-1933

Documents of the Kipling Society; 1932-1936

Statement of claim referring the publication of articles about the school life of Kipling based on letters of GCB; [1899]

Papers, photographs and plans relating to the United Services College; 1899-1936

N. V. Wilson's inventory of this collection; 1997

Administrative / Biographical History

George Charles Beresford (1864-1938) was a close friend of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), the author, at the United Services College, Westward Ho! in Devon, in 1878-82. Beresford went on to the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper's Hill and to India early in 1887 but, suffering badly from the heat, returned to England within two years. In 1897-8 he attended the Slade School of Fine Art, was associated with Augustus John, Ambrose McEvoy and, especially, William Orpen, and exhibited sculpture at the Royal Academy in 1900 and 1901. By 1903 he was a successful portrait photographer. Later he was also an art and antique dealer, with a studio and gallery in Knightsbridge, living a double life, with a home in Brighton with his mistress and two children, where he passed under the name of George Arthur Wilson. (See Nick Wilson, 'George Charles Beresford and George Arthur Wilson', The Kipling Journal , 301 (March 2002), 22-4; and an obituary in The Kipling Journal , 45 (March 1938), 27-8).

Kipling's Stalky stories, collected together in Stalky & Co in 1899, relates chiefly to himself, his school friends, the College and Stalky. Beresford was the original model of M'Turk. Prompted by the great interest in Kipling's schooldays engendered by these tales, Beresford was in 1899 writing his own account of those days, more true to the fact, he asserted, than Kipling's. But he decided against publishing in Kipling's lifetime, though submitted his manuscript to Gollancz within a few weeks of Kipling's death. Schooldays with Kipling appeared later in 1936, illustrated with sketches he had made at the time. Beresford was a founder in 1927, with membership number 1, of the Kipling Society.

He died of heart failure in Brighton on 21 February 1938.

The collection complements the other Kipling archives held by the University of Sussex and relates richly and felicitously to the papers of Lionel Dunsterville, the model for Stalky (see SxMs 67). These two collections provide a unique and authoritative picture of Kipling's schooldays and the friends who shared them. They also throw intimate light on how the writer was regarded by his school companions as the years passed.


Nick Wilson's detailed description of the collection is in File 10. This provides a useful introduction and information on the writers and content of the letters in Files 2 and 3. But the item numbers in it do not correspond to the current arrangement of the archive; and not all items in this list are in the collection.

Access Information

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research, within the controlled environment and restrictions of The Keep's Reading Rooms.

Acquisition Information

Nick V. Wilson, G. C. Beresford's grandson, by purchase, 1998.


Prepared by John Farrant, January 2003.

Other Finding Aids

An online catalogue is available on The Keep's website .

Conditions Governing Use

COPIES FOR PRIVATE STUDY: Subject to copyright, conditions imposed by owners and protecting the documents,digital copies can be made.

PUBLICATION: A reader wishing to publish material in the collection should contact the Head of Special Collections, in writing. The reader is responsible for obtaining permission to publish from the copyright owner.

The National Trust is the owner of the copyright in the works of the Kipling family.

Custodial History

Beresford's papers were inherited by his grandson, Nick V. Wilson, and were apparently scarcely touched between Beresford's death and 1997.

Related Material

This collection supplements the main collection of the papers of Rudyard Kipling, his parents, his wife and his daughter, which accumulated at Wimpole Hall, near Cambridge and which is deposited at the University of Sussex as SxMs 38, Kipling Papers - Wimplole Archive. The record for that collection includes a list of all the supplementary collections.