Papers of Miriam Staunton

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Letters, 1945-1971, from Miriam Staunton, mainly to her mother, from Mrewa (April 1948-March 1952), Fort Victoria (September 1952-May 1954), Selukwe (May 1954-September 1955), Gatooma (September 1955-November 1956), Selukwe (November 1956-November 1958), Wedza (November 1958-October 1963), Shamva (October 1963-September 1965), Avondale (September 1965-May 1966) and Salisbury (1966-1971). Also, letters, papers, newspaper cuttings and photographs, 1963-1989, relating to the Federation of African Women's Clubs in Southern Rhodesia.

Included is a copy of a letter from Miriam Staunton to Mrs. Mugabe, and a letter from Miriam Staunton requesting her husband not be transferred from Wedza (1963).

Administrative / Biographical History

Miriam Staunton (b 1914) worked as a Red Cross Nurse during the Second World War and as a Physiotherapist at St. Thomas's Hospital. In 1945 she married Frank Staunton (b 1916) and the couple travelled to Africa by troopship.

Frank Staunton had begun working for the Ministry of Native Affairs in Southern Rhodesia in 1934. During the Second World War he served in the Western Desert and in Italy. In 1965 the Stauntons moved to Salisbury (Harare) when Frank was seconded to the Department of Justice as Chief Rehabilitation Officer. After about 18 months he was transferred to the Natural Resources Board where he was involved with the promotion of soil conservation in Africa. In 1966, Miriam became Chairman of the Federation of African Women's Clubs in Southern Rhodesia. She held this position until 1971 at which point Frank retired and the couple returned to England.

Conditions Governing Access

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


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

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Related Material

The Library also holdsA Life in the Native Department 1934-71(1998) by Frank Staunton (memoirs of his work in Southern Rhodesia). Shelfmark: MSS.Afr.r.273.