Correspondence of Charles Collingwood Roberts

Scope and Content

The collection comprises correspondence and other items from CC Roberts' time in Stanley Prison Camp 1941-1945, his dockyard passbook (with photograph), and a commemorative volume celebrating 80 years of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps of which CC Roberts was a member.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Collingwood Roberts was born on 6th July 1900 at Huddersfield, Yorkshire [now West Yorkshire]. He attended Rugby School between 1914-1918 and went on to study history at Queen's College Oxford from 1918-1921. In 1921 he joined Butterfield and Swire, based in Shanghai and later Hong Kong, where he worked in the shipping and sugar concerns of the company. In 1940 he became 'Taipan' of Swire in Hong Kong, where he was interned in Stanley Prison Camp by the Japanese from December 1941 to August 1945. After Liberation, CC, as he was universally known, continued as Taipan until his retirement to the UK in 1952. From 1948-1952 he was also Chairman of the fledgling Cathay Pacific Airways, and a Director of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), becoming Deputy Chairman in 1951. From 1952-1968, CC Roberts was Director of John Swire & Sons in London. He died in May 1980.

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Related Material

Swire archive, also held at SOAS