Arthur Campbell Beevor: Correspondence and Papers

Scope and Content

I. Memoirs. 'Chairborne', recollections by Arthur Beevor relating to his wartime service in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 1940-45, 25 pp. 2 drafts, both corrected by the author.

II. Correspondence. 62 items, 1941-c.1961. Chiefly reminiscences regarding the personnel and activities of 254 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command. Most of the letters are from former colleagues in the squadron, including A.J. Pearman, its chaplain in 1941, and the New Zealander G.D. Sise. There are also letters from relatives of men who lost their lives while serving with 254 Sqn, and from Herbert Hensley Henson, formerly bishop of Durham, who addressed the men of RAF Felixstowe in both 1944 and 1945.

III. Photographs. Photographs and portraits of Beevor and 254 Squadron, including reunion dinners, with a propaganda leaflet for distribution over Germany, 12 items, c.1942-1952.

IV. Correspondence re deposit of collection. 4 items, 1963, including a brief history of 254 Sqn in Beevor's hand.

Administrative / Biographical History

Arthur Campbell Beevor (d.1991) was born in Fakenham, Norfolk. He read History and Law at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, from 1928 to 1931. He subsequently qualified as a solicitor, living at various times in London, Essex, and Suffolk.

On the outbreak of war Beevor joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, taking a commission in 1941. He served as adjutant to 254 Squadron, Coastal Command, which from 1941 to 1943 was stationed successively at Aldergrove, Dyce, Carew Cheriton, and North Coates, flying Blenheims and, eventually, Beaufighters. After an unhappy period in which he moved at his own request to other duties, only to find them uncongenial, Beevor was appointed adjutant to the non-operational RAF station at Felixstowe for over a year, 1944-1945. He was demobbed in the following October.

After the war Beevor was active in maintaining links with former comrades, helping to organise an annual reunion for the officers and men of 254 Sqn. He retired to Cromer, and died in September 1991.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Arthur Campbell Beevor, January 1963.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.