Hausa Band Correspondence and Papers

Scope and Content

This collection comprises correspondence with the Church Missionary Society relating to policy, recruitment and financial matters; circular letters; and articles and addresses. This material was accumulated by Max Warren, a member of the Hausa Band.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1922, the need for a new missionary strategy in northern Nigeria, and in other Moslem areas, was identified at CMS headquarters but there was no obvious candidate to send there. In 1923, G. T. Manley, CMS Africa Secretary, visited Cambridge University and appealed for men to lead a mission. As a result, a 'Hausa Band' was formed in March 1924 with four members: Guy Bullen and W. H. Oswald who were preparing for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge; Norman Cook who was in medical training and whose father was J. H. Cook, a former medical missionary in Uganda; and Max Warren, a first year student at Jesus College. They offered themselves to CMS as a team, to work in northern Nigeria among Moslems. The Hausa Band was a largely self-supporting group within the CMS; it recruited for members and raised a special fund for their support. It also published an occasional paper, Crusade Report , later known as Northern Nigeria which reported on the progress of the missionaries and of the Band's special fund for supporting them in northern Nigeria. Bullen and Oswald arrived in Zaria in November 1926 and Max Warren reached Zaria in December 1927. In 1928, Bullen married Oswald's sister, a medical doctor, who became the fourth member of the Hausa Band to get to Nigeria and she contributed to the development of the medical mission work in Zaria with Dr Norman Cook, another member of the Hausa Band. Cook started branch dispensaries at Funtua in 1931, at Maska in 1932 and at Chafe in 1933 before his death in that year. Warren was invalided home in 1929 but once recovered, he played an active role in the administration of the Band, negotiating the financial arrangements with CMS headquarters and in recruiting new members.

Reference: Gordon Hewitt, The Problems of Success: a history of the Church Missionary Society 1910-1942 ( SCM Press Ltd, 1971 ).


This collection forms part of the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers. It is arranged into one series: Family Papers.

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the CMS by Reverend M A.C. Warren, 1973; transferred on permanent loan to the Special Collections Department by the CMS in the 1980s.

Other Finding Aids

Please see full catalogue for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

The Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers include another collection of papers relating to the Hausa Band (CMS/ACC115). The Special Collections Department also holds the Church Missionary Society Archive, the official archive of the society (GB 150 CMS), which contains material relating to the activities of the Hausa Band in northern Nigeria.

The University of Birmingham, Special Collections Department and the Orchard Learning Resources Centre hold a rich collection of archives relating to missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals.


Gordon Hewitt used these papers for his publication, The Problems of Success: a history of the Church Missionary Society 1910-1942 ( SCM Press Ltd, 1971 ). The collection includes a list of the papers in his hand.