Papers of Randall Erskine Ellison

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 161 MSS. Afr. s. 1947
  • Dates of Creation
      1928-1958, 1984
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 box, 2 albums

Scope and Content

Articles, drafts and photographs relating to career in the Education Servicein Nigeria and Somaliland, 1928-1958; also text of address given at his memorialservice by his brother, the Rt. Revd. G.A. Ellison, formerly Bishop of London,1984.

Administrative / Biographical History

Randall Erskine Ellison (1904-1984) was educated at Repton School, then New College,Oxford, where he gained an MA. He was Superintendent of Education, NorthernProvinces, Nigeria, from 1928 and was seconded to British Somaliland as Directorof Education, 1938-1943. During World War Two, he undertook military servicewith British Somaliland and Nigerian Forces, 1940-1943. He was made AssistantDirector of Education, 1945 and Deputy Director, 1946. He was made DeputyDirector of Education, Northern Region, Nigeria, 1955, Director, 1956, andAdviser on Education, 1957. He gained the post of Chairman of the Public Service Commission,Northern Region, Nigeria in 1958, retiring in 1961. After his retirement, hewas Assistant Secretary of the Church Assembly, Dean's Yard, London, 1962-1963and Chairman of the Africa Committee of the Church Mission Society, 1969-1973. He was a memberof the Council of Westfield College, London University, 1964-1978 and wasHonorary Steward, Westminster Abbey, 1964. Awarded the CMG in 1960, he was theauthor of An English-Kanuri sentence book(London, published on behalf of the Government of Nigeria by the Crown Agentsfor the Colonies, 1937).

Conditions Governing Access

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


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

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 806 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).

Conditions Governing Use

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


A diary and letters home from Africa were donated by Mrs. J.E. Ellison in [March] 1994; a file of papers relating to his CMG appointment, 1960 was donated by Miss Mary Lambert on 22nd April 1999.

Related Material

Letters, diary entries, etc. as Superintendent of Education in Nigeria,1930-1935, 1945-1949 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 421); tapes and transcript ofinterview concerning education service in Northern Nigeria, Somaliland andTanganyika 1928-1957 (ref. MSS. Afr. s. 1332).