Sir James Bowker, G.B.E., K.C.M.G. A n archive of private correspondence dating from 1908 to 1945.
Reginald James Bowker [1901-1983]: after Charterhouse and Oriel College, Oxford he entered the Foreign Office serving in Paris, Berlin, Ankara, Oslo, and Madrid before WW2. Following the period covered in this archive he went on to serve as Ambassador to Burma, Turkey, and Austria before retiring in 1961.
In all there are some 50 letters in envelopes, many from his mother, beginning in 1908 when he was at prep school. An amusing one to him at Charterhouse in 1917 includes drawings of him and is addressed by his mother My dear James (you are too old to be called Jim now. There are several letters from Bowker to his mother, Edith, and the odd ones to his father – a regular officer with the Hampshire Regt. One includes a photograph of him in a soccer team. His mother copies the occasional letter from Lt Colonel F Bowker during WW1 when she was living in Cavalry Lines at
Poona and the colonel was serving in Turkey: he mentions journeys and casualties, etc.
I have not had time to read through every letter but there are many discoveries to be made. Many of the letters have passed through the FO diplomatic bags so there is no censorship. One includes two years of pay and allowance notices, letters from Drummonds bank list his extensive considerable holdings [some £40,000 in 1939]. Thre is a seating plan for a diplomatic dinner fiven by Lady Maud Hoare. There is the occasional love letter. Some of his mother’s letters are written on writing paper of the Anglo Turkish Relief Committee. A further 25 or so modern envelopes contain letters from 1919 to 1942 which do not have original envelopes. Accompanied by a few copied photographs and some copied notes of biographical interest. aug12/2
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