MS 8963
Papers of Russell Braddon (1921-1995)



Scope and Content Note

  • Papers
  • 1949-1990
  • 1.4 m (10 boxes)
  • Available for reference

The papers of Russell Braddon were donated to the Library by his estate in 1995-96.

They contain 47 volumes of manuscript drafts of his works, a small amount of correspondence, including letters from Joan Sutherland, Lord Beaverbrook, the second Lord Thomson and General A.E. Percival, as well as photographs of Braddon at book launchings, of Joan Sutherland, and other photographs.


Biographical Note

Russell Braddon was born in Sydney in 1921 and educated at the University of Sydney. He was imprisoned in Changi for four years during World War II, and his controversial book, The naked island, describing his experiences as a prisoner, sold more than a million copies. He wrote biographies, novels, histories and TV scripts. He lived in Britain from 1949 until 1993, and died in NSW in 1995.

His books included:

  • 1952 - Piddington
  • 1952 - Naked Island
  • 1954 - Those in peril
  • 1956 - Nancy Wake
  • 1956 - Out of the storm
  • 1958 - End of a hate
  • 1958 - Gabriel comes to 24
  • 1960 - Proud American boy
  • 1961 - Naked Island (play)
  • 1962 - Joan Sutherland
  • 1964 - Year of the angry rabbit
  • 1965 - Roy Thomson of Fleet Street
  • 1966 - Committal chamber
  • 1968 - When the enemy is tired
  • 1968 - Inseparables
  • 1969 - Will you walk a little faster
  • 1969 - Siege
  • 1971 - Prelude and fugue for lovers
  • 1972 - End play
  • 1973 - Suez: splitting of a nation
  • 1974 - Hundred days in Darien
  • 1977 - All the Queen's men
  • 1977 - Finalists
  • 1980 - Predator
  • 1983 - The other hundred years war: Japan's bid for supremacy 1941-2041
  • 1984 - Murray River (TV)
  • 1985 - Burma Railway (TV)
  • 1986 - Thomas Baines
  • 1988 - Images of Australia
  • 1989 -Woman in arms
  • 1990 - Funnelweb
  • 1990 - Knife edge (play)

Series Descriptions

Series 1. Literary Drafts

Bound volumes (or for items 3-7, notebooks) containing the original drafts of Braddon's published works. The titles used are not always the same as the published title. Braddon's title-page annotations are given where applicable. Dates in square brackets indicate date of publication.

Volumes

1      The Piddington broadcasts, "Piddington scripts, written June      
       1949 onwards in London for BBC, Johannesburg radio, Sydney 2GB,   
       BBC TV".                                                          

2      Reminiscences, "notes taken Sydney - London - Berlin -            
       Johannesburg - Austria - Music hall tour - also ponies!",         
       1949-52.                                                          

3-7    The naked island, notebooks.                                      

8      The naked island, "published, the day King George VI died, by T.  
       Werner Laurie", 1950-51, letter from Lieutenant-General           
       Percival, 1952.                                                   

9      Those in peril, 1953.                                             

10     Odds and ends, "journalistic articles, mainly for the Express",   
       1953-54.                                                          

11     Cheshire V.C., The Seekers, "articles for Everybodys and Picture  
       Post", 1954.                                                      

12     Cheshire V.C., "the story of Group Captain Leonard Cheshire,      
       Victoria Cross, DFC, DSO and two bars", 1954; includes 9 loose    
       pages.                                                            

13     Out of the storm, "novel of postwar Austria and Australia -       
       comparison of the old world and the new, of pessimism and         
       weariness with optimism and vigour", 1954-55.                     

14     Short stories and articles, "articles for Express, Everybodys     
       and nobody much except me - also letters from Cheshire,           
       Christiansen, etc.", 1954-55.                                     

15     Newspaper and magazine articles, including 'VJ Day - ten years    
       after', 'Film treatment of The Naked Island', 'Why I am [not] an  
       expatriate', 'Imprisonment', 'Psychiatric ward', 'Sutherland',    
       ca 1955-62.                                                       

16     Nancy Wake G.M., "the story of Nancy Wake - George Medal, Croix   
       de Guerre with two palms and silver star, Resistance Medal,       
       United States Freedom Medal", 1955-56; some loose notes.          

17     Nancy Wake: an adaptation for a musical in collaboration with     
       Gale and Slavin; 12 loose pages in back, n.d.                     

18     The end of a hate, 1958.                                          

19     Gabriel comes to 24, [1958].                                      

20     Shock treatment: a television play in four acts adapted from      
       'Gabriel comes to 24'; includes a loose note.                     

21     The proud American boy, [1960].                                   

22     Joan Sutherland, [1962].                                          

23     The year of the angry rabbit, [1964].                             

24     Lord Thomson of Fleet [1965].                                     

25     The committal chamber: a play, [1966].                            

26     The committal chamber: a novel, [1968].                           

27     When the enemy is tired, 1968.                                    

28     The inseparables (novel), [1968].                                 

29     The inseparables (play), [1968?].                                 

30     The siege: Kut el Amara, [1969].                                  

31     Prelude and fugue for lovers, [1971].                             

32     End play, 1971.                                                   

33     End play: a play in three acts and The jigsaw man: a play, n.d.;  
       includes some loose pages.                                        

34     Suez, [1973]; includes a loose note.                              

35     A hundred days of Darien, 1974; includes loose typescript         
       preface on Buckingham Palace letterhead.                          

36     All the Queen's men, [1977].                                      

37     The finalists, 1977.                                              

38     Operation shepherd (part of The finalists), n.d.                  

39     Thomas Baines: artist and explorer, 1986.                         

40     Funnelweb, [1990].                                                

41     1788 and all that, n.d.                                           

42     A clock striking, n.d.                                            

43     Getaway, n.d.                                                     

44     The remarkable progress of Private Lilyworth, n.d.                

45     Why is Lydia, n.d.                                                

46     Why is Lydia: a play, n.d.                                        

47     You'll never get off the island: a play in three acts, n.d.       

Series 2. Correspondence

Loose correspondence removed from the volumes in Series 1. Names in italics indicate the original location in that series. Names of persons indicate the writer of each letter.

Items

       The naked island                                                  
1      Lt.-Gen. A.E. Percival, 1952.                                     
2      Cliff Whitelocke (Christmas card), 1958.                          

       Gabriel comes to 24                                               
3      Dr Kenneth Farn, 1981.                                            
       Shock treatment: a television play in four acts adapted from      
       'Gabriel comes to 24'                                             
4      J, (pages 2-3 only), n.d.                                         

       Joan Sutherland                                                   
5      Joan Sutherland, 1965.                                            

       Lord Thomson of Fleet                                             
6      Lord Beaverbrook, 1963.                                           
7      Lord Thomson, 1976.                                               

       The siege: Kut el Amara                                           
8      John Forward, 1960.                                               
9      G.O. Roberts, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1969.              
10     Hasan Al-Anbari, Iraqi Embassy, 1969.                             
11     Sir John Mellor, 1969.                                            
12     Zeki Kuneralp, 1969.                                              
13     Professor Turan Onat, 1970.                                       

       Prelude and fugue for lovers                                      
14     André de Toth, 1971.                                              

       Suez                                                              
15     Selwyn Lloyd, M.P., 1964.                                         
16     A. Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1971.                
17     Sir Robert Turton, 1971.                                          
18     Selwyn Lloyd, M.P., 1971.                                         
19     Douglas Hurd, political secretary to Prime Minister Edward        
       Heath, 1972.                                                      
20     Winthrop Aldrich, 1972.                                           
21     Lord Avon (Anthony Eden), 1973.                                   

       All the Queen's men                                               
22     Lt-Col Peter Williams, 1975.                                      
23     Major-Gen. Philip Ward, 1976.                                     
24     John Goring, 1977.                                                
25     Bruce Bell, 1977.                                                 

       A clock striking                                                  
26     Yuzo Hatano, Consul General of Japan, Toronto, 1983.              
27     Masao Miyoshi, 1985.                                              

Series 3. Official Documentation

Loose documents removed from the volumes in Series 1.

Items

       The inseparables (play)                                           
1      Iraqi press card, 1969.                                           
2      Iraqi [?] disembarkation card, 1969.                              

       All the Queen's men                                               
3      Entry permit to Hyde Park Barracks, London, n.d..                 

Series 4. Photographs

Loose photographs removed from the volumes in Series 1.

Items

       Nancy Wake G.M.                                                   
1      Braddon autographing copies of Nancy Wake, ca 1956                
2-3    Nancy Wake identity cards                                         
4      M. Comboult and Mme. Sainson                                      
5      Aerial photograph                                                 

       Joan Sutherland                                                   
6-7    Joan Sutherland                                                   
8      Joan Sutherland and Franco Zeffirelli                             
9      Joan Sutherland and This is your life group                       

       Lord Thomson of Fleet                                             
10-12  Braddon and the first Lord Thomson at the launching of Roy        
       Thomson of Fleet Street, 1965                                     

       When the enemy is tired                                           
13-14  Dachau concentration camp museum                                  

       The inseparables (play)                                           
15     Strip of three identity photographs of Braddon                    
16     Negative of a cartoon, n.d.                                       
17     Iraqi [?] street scene, n.d..                                     

       All the Queen's men                                               
18     The New Standards (military parade), n.d.                         

Box List

Series  Items        Box                                                  

1       1-6          1                                                    
        7-10         2                                                    
        11-14        3                                                    
        15-19        4                                                    
        20-23        5                                                    
        24-28        6                                                    
        29-33        7                                                    
        34-38        8                                                    
        39-42        9                                                    
        43-47        10                                                   

2       1-27         11                                                   

3       1-3          11                                                   

4       1-18         11                                                   
Guide compiled May 1996. Last updated 22 August 1996