Copy correspondence of Herbert Douglas Fisher

Scope and Content

Transcriptions of letters written by Herbert Fisher between 1932-1938. The correspondence (to various correspondents) was transcribed by Fisher's mother, Janie Fisher. Some transcriptions appear to be extracts, rather than whole letters.

Administrative / Biographical History

Herbert Douglas Fisher was born c.1910, the fourth of seven children of Edmund and Janie Fisher. His father, the architect Edmund Fisher, died of peritonitis in 1918 whilst serving as a Second Lieutenant in the 36th Division (Ulster or Irish Division) on the Western Front.

After his father died Herbert Fisher was largely brought up at Wych Cross (now Wych Cross Place), Forest Row, a large house architected by his father for his father-in-law, Douglas Freshfield (a mountaineer and one-time President of the Royal Geographical Society).

Fisher's wider family were well-connected members of the British gentry - relations included Virginia Woolf (a first cousin once removed) and Ralph Vaughan Williams (an uncle by marriage).

In 1932 Herbert Fisher moved to Stoke on Trent and shortly afterwards started work as a department manager in the pottery works of W.T. Copeland & Sons. Whilst in the Potteries, he exchanged his earlier religious convictions for a belief in the need for a socialist society. He moved to the smaller firm of W.H. Grindley & Company in 1936, but was fired from the company in 1937 after introducing reforms to benefit the employees.

In November 1937 Herbert Fisher left England to fight in the Spanish Civil War as a member of the International Brigade. He died in Vich Hospital in November 1938 from wounds sustained in July 1938 on the Ebro

[Sources: family of Herbert Fisher;].

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

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