Harold Dickson Collection

Scope and Content

Childhood; letters from regiment in Ireland,1903; Gilgit and Bikaner,1912-14: letters to mother; Mesopotamia campaign: letters to mother,1914-15; letters home,1915; letters from D. force, 1915-16; miscellaneous career papers; Suk esh-Shuyukh: letters to mother,1915-18; pacification of Muntafik,1918-19; Iraq, 1917-19: events in Nasiriyeh, conditions of service, administration in Basra and Baghdad vilayets; administration reports of the Kuwait Political Agency, 1918, 1921-32; Bahrain, 1920 - Ibn Saud; diaries of mission in Bahrain, 1919-22; private letters of political interest, mostly from Iraq and the Gulf to India, 1920s (including Sir Percy Cox, A.T. Wilson, Philby, Bertram Thomas); reports from Hillah, 1921-22; Ojair conference papers, 1922; Kuwait and the desert: articles and press-cuttings,1931-48; Kuwait: notes on trade 1932-33, and trade supplies 1942; Kuwait diaries, 1937-58; Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and U.K.: treaties and conventions; notes on Kuwait/Iraq boundaries, 1938; notes for a biography; presscuttings on the Middle East 1937-1941 & 1953-1955. Photographic Collection.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dickson, Harold Richard Patrick (1881-1959) Lieutenant Colonel

Born 4 February 1881, son of John Dickson. Educated at St. Edward’s School, Oxford; Wadham college, Oxford. Joined 1st Connaught Rangers in 1903 and served in Ireland from 1903-1904; transferred to India, 2nd. Batt. Connaught Rangers; joined Indian Army, 29th Lancers, 1908; Special Service Officer, Gilgit Agency (Kashmir), 1911-1912; Guardian to the Maharaj Kumar of Bikaner until August 1914; rejoined 29th Lancers and served Mesopotamia 1914-1915; transferred to Political Dept., August 1915 and served until 1919; Political Agent, Bahrain, 1919-1920; Adviser to Mutasarrif Hilla Liwa, Iraq, 1921-1923; Private Sec. to Maharajah of Bikaner, 1927; Sec. to Political Resident, Persian Gulf, 1928-1929; Political Agent, Kuwait, 1929-1936; Chief Local Representative Kuwait Oil Company from 1936. Acted as Political Agent, Kuwait at the request of H.M.G. 1941. Thereafter Chief Local Representative of the Kuwait Oil Company Limited. Married, 1920, Violet Lucas-Calcraft (Dame Violet Dickson, 1896-1991) - 1 son and 1 daughter. Died 14 June 1959.


Largely chronological but arranged as follows:

  • Correspondence 1894-1932
  • Political Intelligence Reports 1918-22
  • Kuwait 1922-50
  • Diaries 1937-1958
  • Career Papers

Access Information


For conservation reasons access to the original photographic albums is by consultation with the Archivist. Please note many of the Dickson photographs are available on microfiche.

For further information on how to use the Middle East Centre Archive, please see our Archon entry at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/a/A13531965

Acquisition Information

Received as a gift from Mrs. Violet Dickson, Feb 1970.

Other Finding Aids

Alternative Form Available

Some Kuwait Agency Administration Reports copied for British Library Oriental and India Office Collections.

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description created by Clare Brown 27 August 1998 and revised by Debbie Usher 2 February 2004.

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions on copying or quotation other than statutory regulations and preservation concerns

Custodial History

In the possession of Harold Dickson and his family.

Related Material

In Middle East Centre Archive

GB165-0086 John Dickson Collection (father)

GB165-0364 Dame Violet Penelope Dickson Collection (wife)


Dickson, H.R.P. The Arab of the Desert: a glimpse into Badawin life in Kuwait and Sau’di Arabia (London : George Allen & Unwin, 1949)

Dickson, H.R.P. Kuwait and her neighbours (London : Allen & Unwin, 1956)