Research Papers of David J. Mitchell on Military Nonconformity.

Scope and Content

This archive contains material relating to two areas of Mr Mitchell's research:
Series 1. "Absolutist" conscientious objectors of the First World War, researched mainly between 1962 and 1965. Individuals contacted, not all of whom were "absolutists", include B.J. Boothroyd, Fenner Brockway, R. Palme Dutt, Emrys Hughes MP, Arthur Creech Jones, Allan M. Laing, Miles Malleson, Francis Meynell, Rowland Philcox, Raymond Postgate, J. Allen Skinner, Harold Steele, Alfred Taylor.
Series 2. "The awkward squad" of the Second World War, individuals who, like Mr Mitchell during his time in the RAF, had problems adjusting to military life for various reasons. Most research carried out in 1985.
Both series comprise correspondence with individuals, interview notes, articles and other writings by Mr Mitchell and notes on published sources.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mr Mitchell was born in London in 1924 and served for a short time in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. After working as a journalist and picture editor, he became a freelance writer in 1965. He has published extensively on historical subjects including the women's suffrage movement and the Spanish Civil War.


The archive has been kept as far as possible in the order in which it was received from Mr Mitchell. The numbering has been applied by Special Collections, with revisions between the 2006 and 2014 editions of the catalogue which should make it more helpful to readers.

Access Information

Available to researchers, by appointment. Access to archive material is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation. Some correspondence files in this archive contain sensitive personal data on living individuals or other confidential material. Access to these files is therefore restricted.

Acquisition Information

Donated to Special Collections by David Mitchell in April 2002.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished interim catalogue.

Archivist's Note

Described by John Brooker and Alison Cullingford, using ISAD(G) 2. Original description January 2003, minor revisions October 2006, extensive revisions May 2014.

Conditions Governing Use

Rights in this material are held by Mr Mitchell or various third parties. Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of Special Collections staff, subject to copyright law and the condition of the originals. Applications for permission to make published use of any material should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian in the first instance. We will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

Published items have been transferred to book and pamphlet collections. Mainstream and irrelevant press cuttings and photocopies have been weeded. Further appraisal may be required when more detailed cataloguing work is carried out.

Related Material

A large collection of material from Mr Mitchell's research into the women's suffrage movement is held by The Museum of London. Special Collections at Georgetown University holds his research material for the book The Jesuits: a history (1980). Other archives on conscientious objectors are to be found in many repositories, notably the National Archives and the Peace Pledge Union.

Personal Names