Derek and Pamela Cooper Collection

Scope and Content

Beirut Diary 1 July – 13 Aug 1982 by Derek Cooper, Beirut Diary 1 July – 13 Aug 1982 by Pamela Cooper, photocopy of a letter of thanks for good service from RB Spicer (Inspector General, Palestine Police) to GD Cooper (Special Constable Palestine Police) 4 Dec 1933, Photocopy of the article ‘Palestine Paradox by Major E.M. Turnbull. The Life Guards’ in the Household Brigade Magazine, Spring 1948, photocopy of the article ‘Evacuation of Palestine, May, 1948 By Capt D.L.S. Hodson, The Life Guards’ in the Household Brigade Magazine, Autumn 1948.

Administrative / Biographical History

Cooper, Derek (1912-2007)

Born in Bromley, Kent on 28 May 1912. Educated at Eastbourne College. Joined Tilbury Contracting and Dredging Company as an apprentice engineer and sent to Haifa in 1932 to help with a harbour-dredging contract. During riots in 1933 Derek Cooper enlisted as a Special Constable. After completion of port work in Haifa Derek Cooper returned to Ireland to run the estate of his mother. Joined the 2nd Household Cavalry and fought in north-west Europe during the Second World War. Early in 1948 his regiment was posted to Palestine. After resigning his commission Derek Cooper set up home in Donegal in Ireland. In 1956 went with the charity Save the Children to help Hungarian refugees in Austria who had fled from the Soviet invasion. Then asked by Save the Children to help bring assistance to victims of the 1962 earthquake in Iran. In 1967 Derek and Pam Cooper went to Jordan to help in the humanitarian crisis caused by the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Derek Cooper directed the British Aid to Jordan Fund. He conducted surveys of refugee conditions for Oxfam and the International Committee for Palestinian Human Rights. In 1982 moved to Beirut to assist Palestinian refugees. Helped establish Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Married Pamela Armstrong-Lushington-Tulloch in 1937 (one son, one daughter) marriage dissolved in 1951. Married Pamela, Viscountess Ruthven of Canberra in 1952. Died 19 May 2007.

Cooper, Pamela (1910-2006)

Born in Chelsea, London in 1910. Daughter of Rev Arthur H Fletcher. Married Patrick Hore-Ruthven in 1939. First son, Geysteil born in 1939 and second son Malise born May 1942. During the Second World War Pamela followed her husband to Cairo where she became friends with Freya Stark and Jacqueline Lampson (the wife of the British Ambassador). In 1942 Pamela returned to Ireland. Her husband Patrick Hore-Ruthven died from wounds in fighting the Italians in the Western desert in December 1942. Pamela moved to Windsor Castle to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. She then met Major Derek Cooper whom she married in 1952. As part of Save the Children helped Hungarian refugees in Austria in 1956 and then victims of the earthquake in Iran in 1962. Moved to Jordan in 1967 to help with the humanitarian crisis and then moved to Beirut in 1982 to assist Palestinian refugees. Died on 13 July 2006.

Conditions Governing Access


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Acquisition Information

Received as a gift from Pamela and Derek Cooper in October 2001.

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description created by Debbie Usher 2 Aug 2007. Biographical histories based on information in various obituaries.

Conditions Governing Use

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


Pamela Cooper wrote an autobiography and a biography was written of Derek Cooper as follows:

Cooper, Pamela., A Cloud of Forgetting (London, Quartet, 1993)

Bayes, John., For Love of Justice. The Life of a Quixotic Soldier (London, Quartet, 1997)

Derek Cooper also published his Second World War diary:

Cooper, Derek., Maxse, A.J. (ed.) Dangerous Liaison (Norwich: Michael Russell, 1997)

Geographical Names