Papers of Sir Kennedy Trevaskis, 1939-1987

Scope and Content

  • Personal diaries, 1939-1942, 1958-1959, 1967-1968, including observations on Kenya, Tanganyika and Somaliland
  • Official desk diaries, 1956, 1958-1964
  • Observations by Trevaskis on the ecology of Northern Rhodesia, [1939];The Northern Rhodesia Journal, June 1950,containing articles on the region's history, natural history and sociology
  • Notes, surveys, report, newspaper cuttings, etc. relating to Eritrea andhis period spent there, including material on the Hamasien, the people of the Cherendistrict and tribal reorganisation in the Western Province, 1940s, typescriptextracts as presented by delegations at the Four Powers Commission ofInvestigation for ex-Italian Colonies, 1947-1948, and notes for Eritrea: A Colony in Transition, 1941-1952(Oxford; Oxford University Press; 1960)
  • Report on the political, economic and social situation in the WesternAden Protectorate, [1960]; reports on the political and economic situationin the Middle East, 1979-1980; report on the implications of a ceasefire in thePersian Gulf, [1987]; paper on Great Britain's foreign and defence policieswith regard to Aden between 1959 and 1966

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Gerald Kennedy Nicholas Trevaskis entered the colonial service as anadministrative cadet, Northern Rhodesia in 1938. During the Second WorldWar he enlisted with the Northern Rhodesian Regiment, was captured byItalian forces at Tug Aqan, British Somaliland in 1940, was seconded to BritishMilitary Administration, Eritrea, 1941-1948, and was made Senior DivisionalOfficer, Assab, 1943. After the war, he served as a member of the Britishdelegation to the Four Power Commission of Investigation into ex-ItalianColonies, 1947-1948. He worked as District Commissioner at Ndola,Northern Rhodesia and Liaison Officer for the United Nations Commission,Eritrea, 1950. He served as Political Officer, Western Aden Protectorate,1951, Deputy British Agent from 1952 and British Agent to Western AdenProtectorate from 1954. In 1957 he was a member of the British Delegation atthe Anglo-Yemeni meeting in London. He held the post of High Commissionerfor Aden and the Protectorate of South Arabia, 1963-1965. Awarded theOBE and KCMG, he published Eritrea: A Colony in Transition, 1941-52(Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1960) and Shades of Amber: A SouthArabian Episode (London, Hutchinson, 1968). In 1945 he married SheilaJames Harrington.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library ofCommonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist for the collection is available in the library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of papers without permission. Contact thelibrary in the first instance.

Custodial History

Sir Kennedy Trevaskis's papers were received as two separate deposits in1968 and 1993. Receiving the second deposit after such a lengthy intervalnecessitated its treatment as a separate collection for listing purposes.

Related Material

Correspondence, memoranda, etc. with British Military Administration inEritrea, 1944-1951, and as Political Officer and Agent in Western Aden,1952-1966 (ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 367); letters to Dr. Rita Hinden regarding developments inEritrea, 1945-1948 (ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 365, box 180/3); diaries of PeterDavey, 1932-1947 (ref. MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 214); letters from Eritrea,1941-1944 (ref. MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 27, vol. 2: ff 1-140, 228-245).