1966 - Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger

Scope and Content

Correspondence and Printed Material regarding the award of the Burton Memorial Medal to Wilfred Patrick Thesiger, and his work.

Administrative / Biographical History

Wilfred Patrick Thesiger was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was educated at Eton and Oxford. In 1930 Thesiger returned to Africa at the invitation of Emperor Haile Selassie and returned again in 1933 to lead an expedition to explore the course of the Awash river. Between 1935-1940 he served in the Sudan Political Service and joined the Sudan Defence Force to serve in World War Two. After the Second World War, Thesiger travelled across Arabia including two crossings of the great Arabian desert, the Rub' al Khali or Empty Quarter, and travels in inner Oman. He lived for some years in the marshes of Iraq, and then travelled in Iran, Kurdistan, French West Africa and Pakistan. He lived for many years in northern Kenya. Thesiger returned to England in the 1990s and was knighted in 1995.


The material was divided into two sub-series for correspondence and printed material.

Custodial History

W.P. Thesiger 1966

Related Material

The Minutes of the Council Meeting may provide additional details of the award to Wilfred Patrick Thesiger. The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1967, p.191, provides details of the Presentation of the Burton Memorial Medal to Wilfred Thesiger.