Papers of Brian Parry

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Ind. Ocn. s. 365
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 folder, 3 volumes

Scope and Content

Letters from Parry, mostly from Miri, Sarawak, to his parents and to his wife Mary inSingapore, 1939-1941; three albums of photographs, mostly of Sarawak, butincluding some of Brunei, Sumatra and Hong Kong, and some depicting his period at school and college,1918-c1941.

Administrative / Biographical History

Brian Berey Parry graduated in geology at Cambridge. He then joined the Shell Group and was posted to Sarawak Oilfields Ltd., whose headquarters were in Miri. His work in prospecting for oil led to the discovery of the rich Brunei field. After five years, he was sent to Mexico, and after a further eight years, to Bogota, Colombia, c1937-1938, where he was Assistant Manager. In 1939 he worked for six months at the company's office in London and was married. He returned to Bogota with his wife, Mary, just before the start of World War Two. Shortly afterwards, he returned to Miri as Assistant Manager. After July 1941 British women and children were evacuated from Sarawak due to the threat from Japan. Mary left for Singapore, where she worked at the Naval Base (GHQ Far East); she was then transferred with her office to Java, and returned to Britain via Ceylon. When the Japanese invaded Borneo, Parry refused to leave the island with the other European staff, and only later vacated Miri. Supposedly making for Long Nawan (?Longiram) in Dutch territory (Kalimantan), Parry and a party of c20-30 others were killed, though the exact circumstances of his death remain unclear.

Access Information

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Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Other Finding Aids

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Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Corporate Names