Documents, photographs and references related to

Sqdn. Ldr. Harold Hindle James, OBE, CG (1894-1969)

A very large collection of HH ("Huck") James's papers came to light in the summer of 2010, in the possession of his brother's stepson, Geoffrey Fox (b. 1938). It appears that they were retained by James's brother "Bob"-Eric Trevenen James at his house, "Challonsleigh", Whitchurch, Tavistock, Devon. That house, and the nearby "Edgemoor House", Middlemoor, Tavistock PL19 9DY (which was previously owned by the parents of Eric's wife, Guglielma Fox (also née Fox), and was where Geoffrey Fox was born) are still owned by Geoffrey Fox and his wife Vicky, though they spend most of the year at their farm in Tanzania, and the houses are rented out as holiday lets. In the summer of 2010 I made two visits to the Foxes in Devon, and Geoffrey Fox gave me all the papers he had.

This page catalogues those related particularly to Harold Hindle James. Separate catalogues are in preparation for other papers retrieved from Challonsleigh and Edgemoor House. At present these catalogues remain work in progress, with many papers not yet listed.

In addition this page catalogues papers concerning Harold Hindle James, which have been obtained from other sources, in particular his cousins Margaret Beagley (nee Scott) and Robert CT James.

John Barnard
Updated 24 Apr 2017

Ref.

Description

Location

HHJ-1 Red volume of letters to/from James, dated mainly 1950s. Evidently he remained in Egypt during the revolution, returned to Britain around 1954, and was then back in Egypt throughout the Suez Crisis of 1956, spending most of the time ill in hospital. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-2 Commission papers as 2nd Lieutenant (Infantry) and as Flight Lieutenant (RAF).  Both signed in top left “George R. I.”, presumably the King. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-3 Photo album of James's from WW1 RFC service, including aerial photos of France and Egypt. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-4 Buff folder (green string) entitled “Family Papers”, mainly containing notes of James's  and letters relating to his expulsion from Egypt.  Also some related material concerning his bother Eric in Uganda. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-5 Invitation to investiture at Buckingham Palace (4 Mar 1930) (presumably his OBE). Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-6 Miscellaneous letters from his brother to him in Malta, and a few other letters from his cousin Michael Harrisson and from Egyptians (probably his servants). Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-7 Typescript report from Cairo, 16 Dec 1956. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-8 Miscellaneous letters to his brother, in white envelope. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-9 Envelope of reports on visits to Turkey, Spanish Sahara and Russia (1930s) Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-10 Envelope of press cuttings re expulsion from Egypt in 1967 Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-11 Photos of James invested with OBE in 1930, and as newly-commissioned officer. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-12 Small envelope of photos including James's grave on Malta Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-13 Various loose photos, some showing James with goatee beard Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-14 Miscellaneous photos from southern Egypt Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-15 James's passport and death certificates Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-16 James's OBE Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-17 In Remembrance of Some Tribal Wanderings on Special Service in Iraq 1924-1926: Diary with Letters and Some Verse. Typescript notes by HH James. See sub-entries below. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-17-1
Title page, contents and dedicatory poem "to RJS" [Robert Jope-Slade] [pp 1-3]
HHJ-17-2
Section 1. Outward Bound: and Language. Leave in Iraq. Diary entries 25 Jul - 9 Aug 1924 [pp. 4-20]. Voyage to Port Said aboard S. S. Naldera; train to Haifa; car to Baghdad via Acre, Tyre, Beiruit & Damascus
HHJ-17-3
Section 1, contd. Letters dated 17 Aug and 20 Sep; undated diary entry: all written at Hillah [pp. 21-35]. Brief reminiscence of earlier visit during Arab Revolt; lodging arrangements; dinner with Gertrude Bell; peasants' reaction to lunar eclipse; visits to Shaikhs Abbud al Haimur and to Umran al Hajji Sadoun (ref. to diary of Revolt) with "Mr and Mrs K."; visit to Najaf; visit to Kerbala during Shi'a pilgrimage and visit to Agha Mustapha Khan (nephew of Agha Khan III); personal impressions of government and role of British; impressions of Arab life in Hillah. 
HHJ-17-4
Section 1, contd. Letters dated 30 Sep, 12 and 13 Oct 1924 [pp. 36-46]. Work and social life with "Capt. O'C" (British advisor to Arab army); visit to Najaf and rumour of Wahabi attack; visit to Kufah, and reminiscences of 1920 siege there; meeting with Hajji Abbud; visit to Abu Sukhair and Ja'ara with recollections of his own bombing raids on them in 1920; visit to Shi'a tribes and discussions with Shaikh Umrad al Khalil of Jabar tribe; execution of shaikh from Nasariyeh tribe at Hillah. 
HHJ-17-5
Section 1, contd. Letter dated 17 Oct 1924; diary entries dated 26 & 27 Oct 1924 [pp. 47-58]. Histories of his Christian Arabic teacher and Assyrian personal servant; visit to Bedouin Shammar tribe; deaths of British twin babies; visit to Diwaniyah and Shamiyah district, meeting with Jewish community and Marsh Arabs; visits to Shaikh Sulman al Dhahir of Khazail tribe and Saiyid Muhsin abu Tabikh.
HHJ-17-6
Section 1, contd. Diary entries dated 27 & 28 Oct 1924 [pp. 59-71]. Visit to Bhar al Shinifiyeh; meetings with son of Saiyid Alwan ibn Abbas and with Shaikh Dakhil ibn Sha'alan (discussion of British bombing raids and injustice of previously-mentioned execution); stories of anti-British Abdul Wahid of Fatlah tribe; visit to Kamil al Chalib; arrival at house of Abdul Wahid. 
HHJ-17-7
Section 1, conclusion. Diary entries dated 28 & 29 Oct 1924; poem: In a Garden Near Farhan [pp. 72-77]. Discussions with Abdul Wahid; treatment of British prisoners after "Manchester disaster"; return by car to Diwaniyah; interview with Bedouin Shaikh suspected of involvement in disappearance of RAF officers; return to Baghdad. 

HHJ-17-8
Section 2. Baghdad. Letters dated 5 Nov, 13 Nov & 11 Dec 1924 & 7 Jan 1925 [pp. 78-86] Frustrations of office-based job at Headquarters in Baghdad under Col. D. (G.S.O.I. of Intelligence Dept.); working with "Flt. Lt. J-S" [Robert Jope-Slade]; 5-day tour to Shergat; meeting with Sir Henry Dobbs (High Commissioner to Iraq); cold weather and snow; tea with Gertrude Bell; new tour sanctioned.
HHJ-17-9
Section 2, contd. Diary entries 11-29 Jan 1925 [pp. 87-100]. Tour to Baquba, Sharaban, Kingerban, Tuz, Kirkuk, Arbil, Mosul with Jope-Slade; visit to ancient Assyrian Christian monastery (possibly Deir Mar Bihnam); anxieties of Mosul Christians; return to Baghdad via Shergat and new oil works.
HHJ-17-10
Section 2, contd. Letters dated 29 Jan, 9 & 16 March, 6 Apr and 25 May 1925 [pp. 101-108]. Moved into new mess with Jope-Slade; departure of Chief of Intelligence Col. D on home leave; changes in weather; attack on Baghdad-Beirut motot convoy and killing of French vice-consul's wife; return of Jope-Slade from 3-week tour; floods in Baghdad; "Baghdad boil" on ear; farewell weekend boat trip with Jope-Slade.
HHJ-17-11
Section 2, conclusion. Letters dated 8 & 21 Jun 1925; poem: Baghdad, Farewell! [pp. 109-112]. New job as Special Service Officer in Ramadi district.
HHJ-17-12
Section 3: Special service, Tribal Duties in the Dulaim Liwa, and Shamiya Desert. Letters dated 30 Jun, 5 & 16 Jul and 12 Aug 1925 [pp. 113-129]. Houshold in Ramadi; Major Y. (Administrative Inspector); visit to Shaikh Fahad Beg al Hadhdhal of Anizah tribal confederation; tour with Major Y. to Albu Kamal (Syria) via Hit, Haditha, Anah, and al Gaim; meeting with Lieut. Le M (French counterpart); "capture" of Bedouin Shaikh Dahir ibn Ali; visit to Bedouin Akhwan refugees fleeing Ibn Saud; complex intrigues between Iraqi government, Bedouin tribes and Sultan Ibn Saud; tour to Rahaiyah and Skikatah Oases; visit to Kerbala and Baghdad.
HHJ-17-13
Section 3, contd. Letters dated 26 Aug, 10 & 13 Sep and 7 Oct 1925 [pp. 130-141]. Tour to Najaf area with Flight-Lieut. M. SSO of Southeastern area) to investigate tribal quarrals among Anizah; visit to Ukhaidir castle; delay in sand-drift with British driver Shutes; visit to Fahad Beg at Fallujah; tour towards Janf in Ibn Saud's territory visiting unusual spring in underground cavern; letter from Col. D. congratulating him on report; tours to Jaziah district near Syrian border, and to Shamiyah district and encounters with raiders; meetings with visiting notables "Lord C" and "Lady H". ["Lord C" cannot be Lord Curzon, who as Viceroy of India would have known Huck's father, as he died in March 1925]
HHJ-17-14
Section 3, contd. Letters dated 7, 14, 18 & 29 Oct 1925 [pp. 142-154]. Mail difficulties; his brother Bob's (Eric Trevenen James) appointment to Uganda; retirement of Major Y.; Mosul question [Turkish claim to Mosul]; gift from Fahad Beg; tour to Dulaimiah and Shamiyah; disputes between Dulaini and Bani Tanuin tribes;British driver Shutes; visit to Fahad Beg's winter encampment and sandstorm; refugees from Hama (Syria) fleeing French; French maladministration in Syria; encouraging letter from Col. D., but warning of restlessness in area.
HHJ-17-15
Section 3, contd. Letters dated 18 Nov, 2, 15 & 24 Dec 1925; Poem, "Desert Voices" [pp. 155-169]. Orders to transfer to Diwaniyah; visit to Diwaniyah; tours to Al Qaim and Jazirah district; rescue of shepherd from raiders; Christmas at Ramadi with new Administrative Inspector, "Major W." [W.C.F.A. Wilson] and his wife.
HHJ-17-16
Section IV. "Special Service;" tribal duties in Diwaniyah Liwa; Baghdad Floods; a local "war"; and return to Europe on leave. Letters dated 5, 18 & 28 Jan 1926 [pp. 164-177]. Journey from Ramadi to Diwaniyah by boat down the Euphrates; tour to Jazirah desert area; attack on Iraqi officer by highwaymen; Christmas in Ramadi; brother Bob's departure for Colonial service in Uganda; house and office in Diwaniyah; local staff and British driver Shutes; battle between nomadic Shammar Bedouins and local farmers; Shammar camel train.
HHJ-17-17
Section 4, contd. Letters dated 31 Jan, 15 & 23 Feb, 2 & 28 Mar 1926 [pp. 178-193]. Tour to visit Fahad Beg al Hadhdhal; role of Fahad in negotiating between Ali al Shuarabat, leader of Akhwan refugees (HHJ-17-12) and Ibn Saud; moving camp with Bedouins; hunting with hawks with Fahad's sons; problems with car solved using butter as motor oil; meeting with Murhdi al Rufdi of Salgar section  of Anizah; discussions with Mujhim ibn Muhaid of Fada'an section of Anizah from Syria, who is pro-British but also supports Ibn Saud; cruelty to hare when training hunting hawks; visits to Emir Ibrahim of the al Mouali and Muhammed Pasha of the Bani Khalid tribes from Syria; camel ride wearing Arab head-dress; unaffected behaviour of Bedouin women, especially from Syrian tribes, and reaction of Iraqi Arabs; Arab customs of hospitality; desert flora and fauna (including leopards) at different seasons; plans for tour to investigate land dispute cases; noises audible during Ramadan.
HHJ-17-18
Section 4, contd. Letters dated 15 Mar, 6, 10, 14 & 19 Apr 1926 [pp. 194-206]. Monitoring of Government orders for redistribution of land by Abardi al Hussain, Sheikh of the Fatlah in Hor ibn Najur marsh region, north-east of Kufah; local influence and anti-British attitudes of Shi'ite Saiyid holy men; investigation of mistreatment of hostile tribesmen by brothers Abdul and Hassan Wahid al Sikr; visit to castle of Abadi al Hussein (Abdul Wahid's father-in-law) and progress of his son Sugban in dancing foxtrot; visitors to his house at Diwaniyah; floods in Baghdad and protection work; interview with Air-Vice Marshall concerning continued service in Iraq; plans for aeroplane mission to impress "tiresome chieftains".
HHJ-17-19
Section 4, contd. Letters dated 23 Apr, 11 & 18 May, and 1 Jun 1926 [pp. 207-218]. Successful aeroplane mission to impress Abdul and Hassan Wahid al Sikr; dispute between Abbas al Alwan of Kerid tribe and Sugban al Hussein of Fatlah involving deaths of some of their negro slave bodyguards; progress in investigation of Hassan Wahid torture case; personal observations on character of Arab sheikhs; dispatch of cigarette holder gift to Fahad Beg; touring tribal areas by horse; house at Dagharah; completion of "target map" of Dagharah tribes; murder [during 1920 revolt] of British political officer by Shaikh Sa'adun al Risn, who remain at liberty; dropping ultimatums on unruly tribesmen; defiance of government by occupants of Harhamah fort and surrounding intrigues.
HHJ-17-20
Section 4, contd. Letters dated 8 & 21 Jun 1926; undated [15 Jul 1926] diary entry "Death of Miss Gertrude Bell"; letter dated 28 Jun 1926 [pp. 219-231]. Surrender of Harhamah fort without need for bombing, and its subsequent levelling to ground; co-operation with "K" (local Administrative Inspector); visit to Baghdad, and indecision from Colonel on leave; report on Harhamah Fort episode viewed favourably by High Commissioner; arranging new jobs for personal servants during his leave; Iraqi grief at death of Gertrude Bell [on 12 Jul 1926]; Bell's disappointment at official attitudes in her last years; comments on T.E. Lawrence and recollections of seeing him; summer heat in Diwaniyah; high levels of fever [presumably malaria] following earlier floods; frustration at delayed leave; dealing with another intrigue by rich tribal leader; comments on General Strike in UK; comments on brother Bob's (E.T. James) proposed land acquisition in Africa.
HHJ-17-21
Section 4, contd. Letter dated 27 Jun 1926; diary entry 18 Aug 1926; poem: "Lament" [pp. 232-241]. Preparations for home leave and plans for return; farewell visits from local sheikhs inclduing Saoud Beg al Sa'doun, brother of exiled pro-Turk Ajami Pasha; difference of opinion with Squadron-Leader at AHQ resolved by appeal to Colonel; friendly discussions with Colonel; crash at Hinaidi killing ten air force fellows; reminiscences of one of them, Sterling-Webb; Shi'ite Muharram festival at Dagharah with women beating their breasts; returning home for six months' leave by car via Palmyra, Homs and Tripoli to Beirut, then coastal steamer to Cyprus; visits to Farmagasta, Nicosia and Limossol; comments on how cathedrals remain in Moslem hands despite British administration, and importance of British imperial prestige.
HHJ-18-1 Personal witness statement concerning the Cairo riots of 26 January 1952, during which the Turf Club was attacked, and several Britons in it were murdered, with appendices dated 30 Jan and 5 Feb.  Original typescript copy from papers of RCT James, now held by John Barnard; probably inherited from RCT James's mother Ethel. Annotated transcript prepared by John Barnard.
HHJ-18-2 Letter concerning "The Arab Refugee Plight in Gaza Area", dated 16 Mar 1952, and published in The Egyptian Gazette.  Marginal note "received 27.3.1952" in hand of James's aunt Ethel James.  Describes his visit to Gaza refugee camps, Feb 1952. Original newspaper cutting from papers of RCT James, now held by John Barnard
HHJ-18-3 Letter to his aunt Ethel James, dated 2 Jul 1952 Original typescript from papers of RCT James, now held by John Barnard
HHJ-18-4 Letter from Prince Mohamed Ali, dated Lausanne, 10 Dec 1954, with covering note by James. Original typescript from papers of RCT James, now held by John Barnard
HHJ-18-5 Manuscript letter (in pencil), dated 25 Apr 1955, describing the history of James's involvement in the Arab world, and mentioning his acquaintance with such people as St John Philby, Gertrude Bell and Glubb Pasha. Original MS from papers of RCT James, now held by John Barnard. A note on the back in Margaret Beagley's hand, suggests that he obtained it from her.
HHJ-18-6 Newspaper cuttings concerning expulsion from Egypt in 1967. Original newspaper cutting from papers of RCT James, now held by John Barnard
HHJ-19 Letter to his father dated 6 Sep 1912 describing his accommodation arrangements at Oxford, servant problems, his near-poisoning with arsenic and his Uncle Lionel James's forthcoming wedding Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-20 Long letter to his mother from Cairo dated 19 Jan 1920 Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-21 Letters to his father, mainly 1910-1915 Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-22 Photographs of (?) James and his sister Mollie Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-23 Envelope of unidentified photos marked "snapshots Latrigg 1915" Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-24 Telegram from Queen Mary's private secretary to James in Cairo, dated 31 May 1952, thanking him for his birthday greetings to the Queen, who was 85 on 26 May 1952. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-25 Photo of James in Arab dress in a Bedouin tent Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-26 Letters to James from the Private Secretary to Queen Mary, May and June 1949 Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-27 Unidentified photographs (probably mainly James as a boy, though there seems to be one of his father as a young man) Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-28 Leather trypitch of photos (? James withn this sister and brother) Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.
HHJ-29 Typescript account of James's visit to Saudi Arabia, March 1937, as a guest of H.E. Sheik Hafiz Wahba, Saudi Arabian Minister in London. He describes meetings with the British Minister Sir Reader Bullard, the Arabist St John Philby, HRH Amir Faisal (later King Faisal) and a private audience with King Saud himself. He also describes his return journey to Egypt on a ship carrying pilgrims returning from Mecca [21pp]. Original document retrieved from Challonsleigh, summer 2010, and held by John Barnard.