Papers of Hannah Stanton

Scope and Content

Correspondence, diaries, photographs and papers relating to South Africa, 1938-1993, collected by Hannah Stanton. They include a large amount of correspondence concerning her campaign work on issues such as apartheid; journals covering her trips abroad and appointment diaries; speeches and sermons; material concerning Helen Joseph; and a large number of photographs of friends of Hannah Stanton.

Administrative / Biographical History

Hannah Stanton was born on 30 November 1913. She was educated privately at Summerleigh, Teddington, and went on to read English at University College London, and to take a diploma in Social Science at the London School of Economics. She worked for some time as a Hospital Almoner in Liverpool and London. From 1947 to 1948 she worked with the Friends' Relief Service with refugees in post war Europe. In 1954, she began a Theology degree at Oxford.

Following the completion of her degree in August 1956, she visited her brother Tom who worked for the Community of the Resurrection in South Africa. She became involved in the Tumelong Mission in Lady Selborne, a black township near Pretoria, and in December 1956 took over as Warden. Whilst working at the Mission, she endeavoured to undertake her spiritual and material work for the people of Lady Selbourne despite the forces of apartheid. However, following the increased violence and activities of the police culminating in the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960, she found herself under surveillance. On 30 March 1960 she was arrested and held without charge, and without access to a lawyer until 21 May 1960, when she was deported. During this time she was held at Pretoria Central Gaol. She shared a cell with Helen Joseph. In 1962 she worked as Warden for the Mary Stuart Women's Hall at Makere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Following her return to England she wrote Go Well, Stay Well: South Africa, August 1956 to May 1960, describing her experiences in South Africa. Once she had returned home to Hampton Hill, she became involved in various campaigns including support for the Anti-Apartheid Movement. She also served as Secretary and Assistant Treasurer of the United Kingdom and Ireland Group of the World Conference on Religions and Peace. Hannah Stanton died on 9 December 1993.


The material has been arranged into the following sections: correspondence; diaries, journals etc.; scripts for speeches and sermons; papers related to charities in which Hannah Stanton was involved; files related to a particular subjects of interest; miscellaneous papers and notebooks; photographs.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated in August 1994.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Related Material

An account by Hannah Stanton of her time as Warden of Mary Stuart Hall, Makerere University College entitled: "Educational - A Picture of Uganda in the 60s: A Tribute to Makerere University College and to African Women" is held at the Bodleian Library of African and Commonwealth Studies at Rhodes House.