Papers of Colonel Sir John Fisher Turner

Scope and Content

These papers consist of 2 typewritten leather-bound diaries entitled, "Diary, 6 Months in Turkestan, 1911" containing a detailed diary of Turner's travels through Turkestan consisting of 21 chapters plus appendices and sub-heads. The diary provides descriptions of the routes, the things he saw and people he encountered, the activities he undertook, and the necessary equipment and supplies that he needed. Each volume measures 26cm x 23cm with a total of 444 pages.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Fisher Turner was born in 1881, the son of a barrister. He was educated at Rugby and the Royal Marine Academy at Woolwich before being commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1900. He served in the North-west Frontier in 1908 and became the Chief Engineer of the Royal Air Force, India, from 1928-1931. He is remembered for his ingenuity in designing decoy sites in Britain during World War II. He died on 21 May 1958. He never married.


There are two volumes but they consist of consecutive parts of the same diary and therefore have been catalogued together.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

It is unknown how this diary came into the Collections. It came with a series of photograph albums which were presumably in the possession of a family member as one is labelled as "Uncle Jack's".

Archivist's Note

This material was catalogued by the RAS Archivist, Nancy Charley, in March 2018.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Related Material

There are a series of photograph albums within the Society's Collections which also belonged to Colonel Turner (Photo.60), details of which can be found on our online Library catalogue.

Geographical Names