Papers of Sydney and Flora Moody

Scope and Content

The collection largely consists of Flora Moody's papers (diaries, notebooks, correspondence etc.) and mainly covers the years spent in Palestine and Mauritius.

A small part of the collection consists of letters from the Moody's three daughters; Dr. Ewing's Palestine diaries (1888-1892); and letters from the Ewings to the Moodys.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sydney Moody, OBE (1932), CMG (1942), was born on the 18 November 1889 in Goole, Yorkshire, England. From 1914 to 1920 he served in the 7th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment and the King's (Liverpool) Regiment. In 1918 he was appointed to the Palestine Military Administration as Deputy Assistant Administrator of Safed sub-district; he later became Deputy Military Governor. With the establishment of the Civil Administration, in 1920, Moody became a District Officer. During 1923 he was attached to the Colonial Office. Moody returned to Palestine in 1924 where he held the posts of Assistant Secretary (1924-1934), Assistant Chief Secretary (1934-ca.1935) and Deputy Chief Secretary (ca. 1935-1939). During this time he was also Clerk of the Executive and Administrative Councils (1929-1931) and for periods during 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1939 was the accredited representative of His Majesty's Government to the Permanent Mandates Commission.

Moody left Palestine at the end of 1939 when he was appointed Colonial Secretary in Mauritius. He remained in Mauritius throughout World War II, acting as Governor during the absence of Sir Donald Mackenzie-Kennedy. Moody retired from the Colonial Service in March 1948.

While on leave in the spring of 1921, Moody had visited an ex-Palestinian missionary, Rev. Dr. William Ewing. In May he married the Ewings' daughter, Flora Marion, then a student at St. Andrew's University in Scotland, and returned with her to Safed. Flora Marion Ewing was born on the 19 March 1897. In Mauritius she was First Captain of the Girl Guides and, with VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) experience gained during World War I, an organiser of the Red Cross. She also played a large part in the care of illegal Jewish immigrants to Palestine who were detained in Mauritius throughout World War II. After her husband's retirement, Flora Moody was involved in broadcasting and lecturing in Scotland.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 127 and 153 in Manuscript Collections (Africana and non-Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplementary accessions to the end of 1977 and Cumulative Index, compiled by Wendy S. Byrne (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1978).

Conditions Governing Use

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

Geographical Names