Papers of Frederick Le Gros Clark

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This small collection contains typescripts of various short stories and two novels by Frederick Le Gros Clark, as well as some typescript and handwritten poems by his [wife Ida Clark]. The two novels are photocopies of original typescripts and are entitled 'The Deep Shelter Mystery' and 'Audrey in the Spring'. The short stories are a mix of children's stories and pieces for adult audiences. The short stories that appear to have been written for children include titles such as 'The Adventures of Davie the Duck' and 'How Tinker Saved the Town'. Several of the typescripts also contain handwritten notes, possibly by his wife Ida.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick Le Gros Clark was born in 1892, the son of Rev. E.T. Clark, he was known as 'Bill' by his friends and family. He was the grandson of the surgeon Frederick Le Gros Clark (1811-1892) and brother of Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark, Professor of Anatomy at Oxford and London Universities. Frederick Le Gros Clark was awarded a scholarship to attend Blundell's School, Tiverton in 1906 and later received a scholarship to study Classics at Balliol College, Oxford in 1911. He signed up in 1914 and served for the duration of the First World War only to suffer an accident on the last day of the war in which he lost his right hand and was blinded in both eyes.

His early writing career involved children's books, most notably Adventures of the little pig (1937), and adult novels including Apparition (1928) and Between two men (1935). Other writings included articles relating to his experience of blindness as well as several other short stories and novels which were never published. However, by the 1930s he was increasingly interested and concerned with issues relating to welfare and nutrition in Britain. He became prominent in the fight against hunger during the 1930s and was a founding member of the Committee against Malnutrition, established to highlight the degree of malnutrition in Britain. He also became closely linked with the Labour Research Department (LRD) and published various articles through the LRD relating to malnutrition and starvation. In 1936 he became a member of the LRD Executive Committee and remained on the executive until the bombing of 1940 made it hard for him to travel to London.

Frederick Le Gros Clark later became secretary of the Children's Nutrition Council, a post he held into the 1950s, and edited the Nutrition Bulletin of the National Council for Health Education. He also acted briefly as a consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and wrote a chapter for the FAO's School feeding: its contribution to child nutrition by Marjorie L. Scott (1953). He was also involved in the work of the Association of Scientific Workers, speaking at many of the Association's meetings, and the 'Science for Peace' movement. He was particularly concerned that scientists approached their work with an awareness of their responsibilities for the safety and welfare of the world. For some years, he also acted as a consultant to the Industrial Training Research Unit of University College, London.

As he was approaching old age, his interests shifted and he undertook studies relating to the problems of old age, producing several publications including Ageing in Industry (1955) and Work, age and Leisure (1966). Other publications included Our food problem and its relation to our National Defences (1939) written with R.M. Titmuss, Four Thousand Million Mouths - Scientific humanism and the Shadow of World Hunger (1951) edited with N.W. Pirie, The New West Africa (1953), Growing old in a mechanised world (1960), Women, work and age (1962), The years still unexplored (1964) written with F.S. Milligan, Work, Age and Leisure (1966) and Blinded in War (1969).

Frederick le Gros Clark was married twice, first to Ida [?] and secondly to Winifred [?]. He outlived both his wives and died on 22 September 1977, aged 85.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Material was donated in May 2015 by Mr Croft after he was given the papers in 1982 by the writer Vida Carver, a friend of Frederick le Gros Clark and his wife.

Related Material

Papers of Robin Page Arnot [U DAR]

Archives of the Socialist Health Association [U DSM]

File. Frederick Le Gros Clark (1892-1977), Dictionary of Labour Biography [U DLB/11/14]

Other repositories:

Frederick Le Gros Clark, Wellcome Library [ref. GB 0120 GC/145]

The Labour Research Department, papers at the Labour History Archive and Study Centre (People's History Museum/University of Central Lancashire)