Margaret Anderson Collection

Scope and Content

Privately printed memoir entitled ‘Mussolini Changed my Life’, written by Dr Margaret Anderson (née Smith). The memoir, which includes some photographs and also maps, documents Margaret Anderson and her family’s movements during World War 2, specifically from December 1939 to May 1946. During this time, the family moved from Glasgow to Sudan, then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and later Cape Town. Margaret Anderson and her sister Jean fled from Sudan to Rhodesia in 1940, following events relating to the Italian forces’ attack on the border with Ethiopia. Other places visited include France, Beirut, Alexandria and Cairo. Along with personal remembrance and a first person account of childhood and schooling in the British colonies, the memoir includes information relating to the contemporary political and military context.

Administrative / Biographical History

Margaret Grace Anderson (b.1931)

Margaret Grace Anderson (née Smith) was born in Glasgow in 1931. Her father John Allan Smith was working in Sudan, and she was sent home to England for education at a young age. But when World War 2 was declared her mother took her and her sister Jean on a risky voyage back to Sudan rather than spend the war apart from her husband. Margaret and her sister were evacuated to Rhodesia and then South Africa in the care of their Scottish nanny Helen Bruce. She returned to England with her family in 1946, and went to Wycombe Abbey School. She was among the first women to be admitted to study medicine at Barts medical school in 1948. She married Alistair Anderson, an army officer in 1953, and they had 3 children, David, Fiona and Katy. She practised as a doctor as well as being a busy army wife, and earned a diploma in a community paediatrician in Dorset for many years and represented her colleagues at the British Medical Association.

Conditions Governing Access


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Acquisition Information

Received as a gift from Dr Margaret Anderson, via her daughter Fiona Anderson, on 10 July 2010

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description created by Alastair McInnes 5 Aug 2010. Biographical History provided by Dr Margaret Anderson.

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions on copying or quotation other than statutory regulations and preservation concerns

Related Material

In Middle East Centre Archive

For the papers of Margaret Anderson’s father see

  • GB165-0511 John Allan Smith Collection

For other papers relating to Gellantly Hankey & Co (Sudan) Ltd see

  • GB165- 0229 St John Philby Collection: 2/3/3/25, Gellatly Hankey & Co (Sudan) Ltd, Correspondence, 1926-1939