National Library of Australia
The collection constitutes a rich record of Gowrie's life, from a boy at Eton and young officer of the British Empire, to a 'mature man of affairs' who held several appointments of vice-regal office in Australia. The papers are varied in format and include official and private correspondence, cables, genealogical and biographical papers, legal and financial records, speeches, broadcasts, photographs, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia. Aspects of the life and work of Gowrie's wife, Zara, and their son, Patrick Hore-Ruthven, are also detailed in the papers.
Importantly, the successive phases of Gowrie's distinguished public career in Australia are recorded: as Governor of South Australia (1928-34), Governor of New South Wales (1935-36), and Governor-General of Australia (1936-44). Thus, the collection represents an almost unbroken period of vice-regal service in Australia, during times of great transition, including the Depression and World War II. Gowrie's popularity with Australians is reflected in extensive correspondence, and his friendship with Prime Minister John Curtin is also partially recorded in the papers.
Amongst the fellow governors, politicians, military leaders, monarchs and other prominent individuals, from both Australia and overseas, whose letters can be found in the collection are Lord Kitchener, Joseph and Enid Lyons, Lord Baden Powell, Sir George Murray, Lord Bruce, Stanley Baldwin, Sir John Latham, Sir Keith Officer, F.M. Forde, R.G. Menzies, W.M. Hughes, General Douglas MacArthur, Eamon de Valera, Maie Casey, Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Lloyd Dumas, Sir Earle Page, Sir Robert Garran, Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Montgomery, Ben Chifley, Daisy Bates, Lloyd Rees, Lord Dudley, Joan Hammond, Sir Keith Hancock, May Gibbs, Lady Stonehaven, Ivy Brookes, Lord Slim, Paul Sorensen, Mab Grimwade, Emily Dutton and Sir Philip Game.
Also well-documented are Gowrie's years as a soldier when he fought in the Egyptian Army in the Sudan, and held positions of high-command in World War I. Some of the military correspondence was written shortly after, or even in the midst of battles, and several items record his observations at Gallipoli where he witnessed the attack at Lone Pine, and at Suvla Bay.
Gowrie's life spanned the latter decades of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, and the collection reflects the prevailing importance of Empire, especially in papers relating to the Empire Day Movement of which he was president. There are also papers relating to the vice-regal couple's social service interests and charitable involvements such as the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Movements, the Australian Red Cross, and early childhood care centres.
A biographical account of Gowrie's life, Gowrie VC by John Blanch, was posthumously published in Melbourne in 1998. Typescript drafts of the title form part of the genealogical component of the collection.
The collection is partly available for reference and partly closed. Files 1, 11 and 15 in Series 6 and Folder 17 in Series 8 are subject to Royal Copyright and access restrictions, and remain closed for 60 years from the date of creation; all other papers are available for reference.
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Lord Gowrie, National Library of Australia, MS 2852, [series and file/item number]'.
The papers were donated to the National Library in seven instalments: by Gowrie's grandson, the Honourable Malise Hore-Ruthven, in 1970, 1981 (two instalments), 1983, 1986 and 1993, and; in 1999 by Barbara Blanch, widow of Gowrie's biographer, John Blanch.
In addition, in 1969 the Library received a collection of books acquired by Lord Gowrie, which had been housed at Australia House since 1955. Most of the volumes were presentation copies inscribed by the authors. Those books not already held were added to the Library's general book collection, whilst duplicate titles were offered to other libraries through the Clearing Centre.
The Gowrie Papers were originally sorted in two main groupings in 1980 and 1984. Separate listings were made for each body of papers, incorporating different series numberings, and two microfilm editions produced. In late 2000, Library staff began amalgamating the two sequences, resulting in this new arrangement and descriptive list in 2001. The internal arrangement of most files was not disturbed, except in a few instances where papers had been incorrectly placed in folders. Readers should note that as official and family correspondence was often kept interfiled by the Gowries, letters from either category can be found dispersed across the various series.
In addition to Gowrie's own papers, a number of other Library collections contain materials relating to his and Lady Gowrie's careers. The papers of Phyllis Parkinson, Private Secretary to Lady Gowrie, including engagement lists, photographs, greeting cards, invitations and newspaper cuttings are housed at MS 7321. Correspondence between Lord Gowrie and Lord Huntingfield, Governor of Victoria (1934-39) and Acting Governor-General of Australia (March-September 1938) was microfilmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project and filed at mfm M2820-2824.
Four photographs of, and two short letters by, Lady Gowrie form part of the papers of Mabel Carrodus, a Red Cross and gardening acquaintance, at MS 8499. A portrait photograph of Lady Gowrie, taken by Charles Luke in the 1930s, is housed in the Pictures Collection at PIC P1100 LOC M1.
Other correspondence by Lord Gowrie is located in the papers Sir John Latham (MS 1009), Sir Josiah Symon (MS 1736), H.H. Pearce (MS 2765), Alfred Deakin (MS 1540), Sir Isaac Isaacs (MS 2755) and Sir Ernest Scott (MS 703), and the literary critic Kate Baker (MS 2022). Additional letters by Lady Gowrie can be found in the papers of Latham and Symon, and in the correspondence of Sir Keith Officer (MS 2629).
Short recollections of Lord and Lady Gowrie recorded by Alec Chisholm, Hector Harrison and Nell Allgrove in 1972, 1973 and 1981 form part of the Oral History Collection at ORAL TRC 121/34, 121/46 and 1087, respectively.
Official papers relating to Gowrie's term of office as Governor-General of Australia are housed in the National Archives of Australia (http://www.naa.gov.au/).
|1872||Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven born 6 July, Windsor, England, second son of Walter Hore-Ruthven, eighth Baron Ruthven, and Lady Caroline Gore, daughter of the fourth Earl of Arran|
|1879||Zara Eileen Pollok born 20 January, Ireland, daughter of John Pollok, Lismany, Galway|
|c. 1882-83||Weekly boarder, Westward-Ho Junior School, Devon|
|c. 1884-85||Boarder, Winton House school, Winchester|
|1885-87||Educated, Eton College; withdrawn due to eyesight problem|
|1887-91||Office work at James Finlay and Co. (merchants),Glasgow|
|1892||Tea planting, Assam, India; succumbed to malaria and returned to England with parents via China, Japan, Canada and America|
|1898-99||Joined 3rd (Militia) Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry; served with Egyptian Army in the Sudan campaigns, where he was present at the Battle of Gedaref and other operations resulting in the final defeat of the Khalifa; awarded Victoria Cross (1898)|
|1899||Commissioned to Cameron Highlanders; captain (1900)|
|1905-08||Military Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to Lord Dudley, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and his successor, Lord Aberdeen|
|1908||Married Zara Eileen Pollok, 1 June; promoted to captain in 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards|
|1908||Married Zara Eileen Pollok, 1 June; promoted to captain in 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards|
|1908-1910||Military Secretary to Lord Dudley, Governor-General of Australia (Alexander Hore-Ruthven arriving in Australia, July 1908, via Canada; Zara arrived September 1908 with Lady Dudley)|
|1909-1910||Served on staff of Lord Kitchener during Australian defence investigations|
|1910-1914||Military service, India|
|1913||Birth of only surviving son, Patrick, 30 August, Quetta|
|1913-14||Quetta Staff College|
|1914 (Sept.)||Sailed from Karachi, India, to France in City of Poona|
|1914 (Nov.)||Zara arrived in United Kingdom|
|1914-15||Brigade Major in France during WWI; severely wounded at Gallipoli as GSO II in Welsh Guards and returned to England|
|1916-1917||GSO I to 62nd Division|
|1917 (Jul.)||Returned to France|
|1917||Second son Alistair born 2 August (died 4 August)|
|1916-18||GSO I to Welsh Guards Division, September-December|
|1916-19||Brigadier-General on general staff of 7th Army Corps; appointed to DSO with bar, CB and CMG, five times mentioned in dispatches|
|1918||Commander of 29th Infantry Brigade|
|1918-19||Commanded 28th Highland Brigade, France and Germany|
|1920-24||Commander of Welsh Guards|
|1924-28||Commander of 1st Infantry Brigade, Aldershot|
|1926-27||Senior Steward, National Hunt Committee|
|1928||Appointed KCMG; retired from Army|
|1928-34||Governor of South Australia|
|1930 (Jan.)||Death of Aide-de-Camp, Hugh 'Puck' Grosvenor, Port Phillip Bay|
|1930 (Dec.)||Zara departed for England, arriving 14 January 1931|
|1931||Patrick Hore-Ruthven entered Cambridge|
|1931 (Aug.)||Zara returned to Adelaide|
|1935||Created a Baron (Lord Gowrie), GCMG|
|1935-36||Governor of New South Wales|
|1936-44||Governor-General of Australia|
|1937||Privy Counsellor; Zara in United Kingdom, January-May|
|1938||Toured Bali and Java at the invitation of the Government of the Netherlands East Indies; private visit to India to see Patrick|
|1939||Patrick Hore-Ruthven married Pamela Fletcher in London, 5 January|
|1942||Zara admitted to hospital with pneumonia; Patrick Hore-Ruthven killed in action in Libya, 24 December, unknown to parents|
|1943 (Feb.)||Cable received with news of Patrick's death|
|1943||Undertook four week tour of inspection of Allied Defence Forces in Northern Australia and New Guinea, May-June|
|1944||Departed from Australia, September|
|1945||Created an Earl|
|1945-53||Deputy Constable and Lieutenant-Governor of Windsor Castle|
|1948||Elected President of Marylebone Cricket Club|
|1955||Death of Lord Gowrie, 2 May, Gloucestershire|
|1965||Death of Lady Gowrie, 19 July|
A series of childhood letters penned by Alexander Hore-Ruthven from about the age of seven until nineteen years old. Principally addressed to his mother, the correspondence includes weekly reports from Winton House school, Winchester College where he boarded from 1884 to 1885 and Eton College, Windsor, where his education continued from 1886 to 1888. His schooling finished prematurely when he was withdrawn from Eton due to eyesight problems, and was sent into business by his parents, to a tea merchant's office in Glasgow. Folder 13 contains some correspondence from India in 1891, where the young Gowrie subsequently worked on a tea plantation, together with two childhood letters from his brother Walter.
The hopes of Lord and Lady Ruthven for a commercial career for their son were forestalled by his succumbing to malaria in India. This opened the way for the young Hore-Ruthven to follow his natural aspiration to enter the armed forces. He first enlisted in the militia as part of the 3rd Battalion Highland Light Infantry, but was soon drawn to the more exciting military theatre in the Sudan. There, as a member of the Egyptian Army under Kitchener, he was selected to command a detachment of the Slavery Department Camel Corps to Kassala. On 22 September 1898, during action of Gedaref, he saved the life of an Egyptian officer, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Thereafter followed commissions as a Special Service Officer in the Somaliland operations between 1903 and 1904, and Military Secretary and Aide-de-Camp to Lord Dudley, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and his successor, Lord Aberdeen between 1905 and 1908. From 1908 to 1910 he was again Military Secretary to Dudley, as Governor-General of Australia, during which time he served on the staff of Kitchener during Australian defence investigations.
In 1912, at the request of Kitchener, Gowrie was appointed to the Quetta Staff College, West India. In 1914, when war was declared in Europe, he quickly joined British forces in France from where he was transferred to Gallipoli in May 1915. There he witnessed the Suvla Bay operations and attack on Lone Pine, before being severely wounded by shrapnel and returning to England. In 1916 after recuperation he was appointed Colonel of the 62nd Division, leading his troops on operations on the Somme and elsewhere in France until armistice was declared in 1918.
This series includes materials relating to the various aspects of Hore-Ruthven's military career, including a scrapbook of cuttings and photographs, together with some letters about his involvement in the Sudan War, and his brother Walter's participation in the Boer War. Other files include commissions, military correspondence, a medical report and travel documents. Two files contain reports received in Gowrie's capacity as Military Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia and orders and reports from World War I, 1917-19.
A copy of his observation report at Lone Pine is located in Series 15/Folder 2; letters written to his wife during his service on the Dardanelles are filed at Series 7.3.
Late in 1927, when commander of the 1st Guards Brigade, Aldershot, Gowrie received an unexpected summons to Downing Street. There Prime Minister Baldwin asked the astonished officer whether he could be recommended to the King for the position of Governor of South Australia, as successor to Sir Thomas Bridges. After consulting his wife and son Patrick, the five-year appointment was announced on 6 January 1928, and a knighthood created on 24 January. The newly dubbed Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven and his wife arrived in Adelaide on 12 May 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression, leaving Patrick to continue his studies at Eton. Figuring in the disembarkation party was, the Honourable Hugh 'Puck' Grosvenor, a qualified pilot and Gowrie's Aide-de-Camp, with whom he flew on official duties to all areas of the State.
This series contains material largely recording the unofficial aspects of Gowrie's period of office. A popular governor, Gowrie's term was extended by one year to 1934, when an estimated crowd of 100,000 people bade him farewell. Within the series the papers are generally arranged chronologically, and include: arrangements and letters of congratulations on his appointment as Governor (from correspondents such as Sir Isaac Isaacs and Keith Officer); a volume of dispatches to and from the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, 1928-33 (one discussing the 'bodyline' cricket crisis); pocket appointment diaries, 1933-34; and printed souvenirs and pamphlets. Amongst the correspondence are letters from Lord Baden Powell requesting Hore-Ruthven's patronage of the scout movement (of which he became Chief Scout), items documenting Lady Hore-Ruthven's association with the Girl Guides, papers containing interesting information on administrative conditions in India, and a letter from Sir Philip Game, Governor of New South Wales, outlining his position in the constitutional crisis involving Premier Jack Lang.
Series 17 contains an album of speeches delivered during the period of Gowrie's governorship. Correspondence and papers relating to his appointment as Governor of New South Wales, received whilst still Governor of South Australia, are located in Series 4; papers and correspondence relating to the accidental death of 'Puck' Grosvenor are filed in Series 10.
After completing Sir Alexander's term as Governor of South Australia, the Hore-Ruthvens returned to England. They had not been home a year before he was gazetted as Governor of New South Wales on 14 December 1934, in succession to Sir Philip Game. Sir Alexander arrived in Sydney on 21 February 1935, with Lady Hore-Ruthven following on 23 March, having left Patrick to continue his studies at Cambridge. His governorship corresponded with a time of relative political calm in the State, but expectations for the fulfilment of his five-year term were cut short on 19 August 1935 with the announcement he would succeed Sir Isaac Isaacs as Governor-General of Australia in January 1936.
This series comprises papers relating to Hore-Ruthven's appointment and duties as Governor, such as letters of welcome, a Government House visitors' book, and copies of some outwards correspondence on concerns of the office. Of special interest are a number of items which document the 150th birthday celebrations of the State of New South Wales. There are also letters and cables of congratulation received on Hore-Ruthven's elevation to the peerage as Lord Gowrie of Canberra in Australia and Dirleton in East Lothian, on 22 November 1935. Also included are notifications and letters relating to his appointment as Governor-General of Australia in August 1935.
On 22 January 1936, Gowrie assumed office as Governor-General, where he became immensely popular with the Australian public, and valued counsellor to Cabinet Ministers during World War II. His tenure coincided with a number of national international upheavals, such as the abdication of Edward VIII, outbreak of World War II and threat of Japanese invasion, and instabilities of the Menzies and Fadden governments. Gowrie became a close friend of John Curtin, in particular, and the Governor-General and Prime Minister conferred on frequent occasions. During this period Lady Gowrie was also appreciated for her extensive work for charity and the war effort. Australia's affection for the couple is evident in the letters they received when their only surviving child, Patrick, was killed in action in 1942, and on their departure from Australia on 10 September 1944. Gowrie was created an Earl on retirement from vice-regal duties, returning to England and the office of Deputy Constable and Lieutenant Governor of Windsor Castle.
The papers in this series have been arranged in four main groupings according to function or activity. The largest group, the sequence of general correspondence, contains material pertaining to the office of Governor-General, including copies of some outgoing letters. Joseph and Enid Lyons, John Curtin, Lord Baden Powell, Sir George Murray, S.M. Bruce, Stanley Baldwin, Sir John Latham, Sir Keith Officer, F.M. Forde, R.G. Menzies, Sir Ernest Clark, Sir Leslie Wilson and W.M. Hughes, amongst others, are represented in the correspondence. Files 11, 13, 14, 16 and 18, which were borrowed by John Blanch for his biography Gowrie, VC, contain content listings at the beginning of each folder.
Also included are two files of military communications, comprising secret cables on the progress of the War, and correspondence on war matters, such as copies of communications from General Douglas MacArthur. A sequence of farewells and good wishes received by the Gowries as they were preparing to leave Australia, form the next grouping, together with letters of congratulation on Lord Gowrie's Earldom. The series ends with a number of files of miscellaneous printed souvenirs and pamphlets which were collected by the Gowries during their term of office.
In 1945 the Earl of Gowrie, succeeded Lord Wigram as Deputy Constable and Lieutenant Governor of Windsor Castle. There he and Lady Gowrie resided in the Norman Tower in semi-retirement until 1953, attending to ceremonial and other aspects of Castle administration. The papers reflect both official Castle duties and Gowrie's varied personal interests, including many Australian contacts which he had developed over the course of his career.
Amongst the materials are engagement and pocket diaries for the years 1945-47, and a sequence of retrospective castle files inherited from Wigram, which include some interesting papers on arrangements made to protect the Royal Family during the war years. Also represented are some important files concerning castle administration, which include correspondence with the Lord Chamberlain and the Privy Purse Office. The death of King George VI in 1952 is also documented in Folder 20 with letters of condolence and copies of orders of memorial services.
The correspondence is varied, and comprises personal notes welcoming the Gowries back home to England, letters concerning a proposed biography, invitations to join the boards of companies, a controversial letter by Gowrie to the Times, and several items reflecting his interests in political and military matters. Winston Churchill, Lord Montgomery, General Douglas MacArthur, Ben Chifley, Daisy Bates, Bert Oldfield, the Queen Mother, Bishop E.H. Burgmann and Lloyd Rees are amongst the correspondents.
Gowrie's numerous associations with other institutions and organisations are also represented, such as the Order of the Garter, and the Empire Day Movement of which he was president. Files 10 and 21 contain some correspondence, printed material and ephemera relating to Gowrie's involvement with the National Hunting Committee, and in horse racing in general. Papers regarding the Welsh Guards are located in Folder 23, including correspondence, speeches, ceremonial procedures, and some photographs documenting Gowrie's position as Colonel. Folder 22 contains some interesting papers on cricket, such as a letter to Lady Gowrie from Don Bradman, and a letter to Gowrie from Prince Phillip.
Please note: Files 1, 11 and 15 subject to Royal Copyright and access restrictions and are therefore CLOSED for 60 years from the date of creation.
This series contains correspondence relating predominantly to unofficial concerns, which do not readily fall into the other series. Often, however, the distinction between business and personal correspondence is tenuous as many of the Gowrie's personal friends (and sometimes family members) were often involved in official matters, and Lady Gowrie's charity work was an integral part of her personal life. A list of nicknames used by family members when addressing one another is contained in Appendix 1.
The papers have been placed into the following subseries:
Correspondence from Lord Gowrie to Lady Gowrie, from approximately the time of their engagement to his death in 1955. The material varies in format, and includes cables, personal letters and affectionate notes from Gowrie ('Sandy') to his wife ('Zara'). Many were penned during his long absences on military service, and give personal descriptions of the events at the front, such as his experiences at Gallipoli. The early years of their marriage are particularly well documented, and there are letters recording their wedding and voyage to Australia in 1908 and period at Quetta Staff College from 1911 to 1914.
The files sometimes include letters from relatives and associates, which the Gowrie's filed in situ with their own letters. The placement of these has not been disturbed in sorting.
Letters written by Lady Gowrie to her husband ('Sandy'), including some cables and notes, many of which are undated.
Family and personal correspondence of Lady Gowrie, together with letters relating to her extensive work for charity and the war effort. Of special interest in Folder 2 are two long letters by Daisy Bates, with accompanying photograph of Bates at Canberra Railway Station in 1933. Other correspondents include Sir Robert Garran, Dame Enid Lyons, Ben Chifley, Joan Hammond, George W. Waddell, Maie Casey, Sir Keith Hancock, May Gibbs, Lady Stonehaven, Ivy Brookes and Lord Slim. The chairs and secretaries of several charitable organisations are also represented, and there are letters exchanged with the Australian Red Cross and Lady Gowrie Child Centre (Perth).
Condolences received by Lady Gowrie on the death of her husband are filed in Series 12; a sequence of letters from Lady Stalbridge (mother of 'Puck' Grosvenor) forms part of Series 10.
This subseries contains correspondence predominantly to and from non-family members, though the Gowries did keep some family letters scattered through the files. There are some letters recording Lord Gowrie's early military service, whilst others are from prominent persons such as Sir Ernest Clark, William Slim and Sir Philip Game. Also filed here is a folder of letters seemingly unconnected to the Gowries, which were presumably forwarded to the vice-regal couple by their correspondents, or were acquired from some other sources because of their interesting contents. One letter, for example, is addressed to Lord Wakehurst by Hugh Frewen, a regular Gowrie correspondent and cousin of Sir Winston Churchill.
General cables received by the Gowries in the period 1907 to 1945 are filed in Series 9; condolences received on the death of Patrick Hore-Ruthven form part of Series 11, and 'Puck' Grosvenor of Series 10. Letters to the Gowries from Lady Cooper and Lord Ranfurly are located in Series 7.11.
The Gowrie's only surviving son, Patrick, was born in Quetta, India on 31 August 1913. He was educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge before marrying Pamela Fletcher in 1939. This series comprises letters of Patrick, to and from his parents, his wife and other associates, beginning with childhood correspondence written whilst a boarder at Hawtrey's School in 1921. The letters continue from Eton, which he attended between 1926 and 1931, whilst Gowrie was Governor of South Australia. Of particular interest is correspondence received by the Gowries whilst Patrick was on active service, including a copy of his last letter to his parents in December 1942.
A small number of additional letters by Patrick are scattered in the various family correspondence series. Papers and correspondence relating to Patrick's death and the posthumous publication his poetry and letters are contained in Series 11; a statement relating to his hospitalisation in Misurata, Libya is filed in Series 7.6; a folder of press cuttings documenting aspects of his life are located in Series 20. Correspondence between Patrick and Pamela Hore-Ruthven and the Countess of Ranfurley is filed in Series 7.11.
Patrick Hore-Ruthven married Pamela Fletcher, daughter of the Reverend Fletcher at Westminster Abbey on 5 January 1939. The couple spent their honeymoon in Australia. The couple had two sons, Alexander Patrick Greysteil ('Grey') in 1939, and Malise Maitland ('Skimper') two years later. Patrick was on active service for most of their short marriage, and never met either of his sons before his premature death. This subseries contains letters and cables to Pamela Hore-Ruthven, many received during her husband's long absences, from her mother and father-in-law, her own family and other friends and associates. In 1952 she remarried, becoming Mrs Derek Cooper.
Correspondence between Patrick and Pamela Hore-Ruthven and the Countess of Ranfurly is filed in Series 7.11; condolences received by Pamela Cooper on the death of her mother-in-law, Lady Gowrie, are filed in Series 13.
Letters to and from Malise and Angela Hore-Ruthven, brother and sister-in-law of Lord Gowrie. Filed amongst the correspondence is a typescript copy of an letter describing the marriage of Walter Hore to the Honourable Mary Ruthven, founders of the Hore-Ruthven family in 1806.
Letters to and from Lady Gowrie's brothers Robert and Allan Pollok, including some family photographs.
Letters to and from Ruby and Louis Fleischmann and Sheela and Freddie Blacker, sisters of Lady Gowrie and their husbands. The three sisters maintained a close relationship and a partial record of their correspondence is preserved in this subseries.
Other letters by Ruby and Sheela are dispersed through the other correspondence series, especially Series 7.12.
Lady Gowrie retained this file of letters from her mother, Mrs James Barry, written in the period 1917-39 when her daughter was often abroad. An additional letter to Mrs Barry from daughter Sheela is contained in Series 7.1; condolences received on Mrs Barry's death are filed in Series 7.3.
Whilst at Eton, Patrick Hore-Ruthven became close friends with the young Lord Ranfurly (Dan). His mother Lady Cooper (Harriet) began a correspondence with Lady Gowrie in Australia, periodically reporting on the health and activities of their sons. The boys' friendship continued into adulthood, and there are a number of letters addressed to Patrick and Pamela Hore-Ruthven from Dan's wife, the Countess of Ranfurly (Hermione). Some of these were written in Egypt where the Ranfurlys were stationed during World War II, giving news of Patrick's movements in the Middle East.
This subseries contains files of general correspondence, mostly between family members. Lady Gowrie's sisters Sheela and Ruby are amongst the correspondents, together with their first cousins Lilian, Violet and Iris Brassey. A few non-family letters have been left undisturbed in the files where they were filed by the Gowries.
This series contains formal and informal communications with the Monarch, the Royal Family and the Royal Family's personal staff, during Gowrie's long period of service to the Crown. Together the files span the reigns of King George V, King Edward VIII, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. In some cases Gowrie corresponded directly with the Monarch, but more usually, contact was directed through the successive private secretaries Lord Stamfordham (1901-31), Lord Wigram (1931-36) and Sir Alexander Hardinge (1936-43). Other representatives of the Crown whose letters appear in the files are Sir Edward Harding, Sir Alan Lascelles, Sir Frederick Ponsonby, Lord Passfield, and Godfrey Thomas, Private Secretary to the Duke of Gloucester.
Gowrie's letters principally take the form of periodic reports, describing tours undertaken and current events, as well as reporting issues of political, economic and social importance. Accordingly, the series includes substantial correspondence of a political nature, and incorporates several letters from political leaders, such as Prime Ministers Curtin and Lyons, directly relevant to the accompanying Royal Correspondence. Other topics covered include the succession of office by the Duke of Kent; confidential notes of interview with Sir Robert Garran relating to the political crisis created by the death of Joseph Lyons in 1939; and arrangements for the importation of birds for the Royal aviary.
Please note: Folder 17 is subject to Royal copyright and access restrictions and is therefore closed for 60 years from the date of creation.
A short series comprising three files of general cables received by the Gowries in the period 1907-45.
Cables of condolence on the deaths of Patrick-Hore Ruthven and Lord Gowrie are filed in Series 11 and 12, respectively; secret cables relating to the progress of World War II are located in Series 6. Other cables of a congratulatory and personal nature are filed with the aspect of Gowrie's life to which they relate in Series 3, 4 and 7.
In 1930, Hore-Ruthven's Aide-de-Camp, 'Puck' Grosvenor, planned a flight to England via South Africa in a seaplane. Although an experienced and skilled airman, he and his co-pilot were killed in a freak accident on their first practice flight over Port Phillip Bay, Victoria. The Hore-Ruthvens felt his loss keenly.
Items in this series include planning documentation and arrangements for the proposed flight and fittings specifications for the aircraft, as well as obituaries and memorial services following the incident. After Grosvenor's death, a regular correspondence continued between his mother, Lady Stalbridge, and the Hore-Ruthvens which is recorded in Files 2-6.
Gowrie's typescript recollections of Grosvenor are from part of his draft autobiography in Series 15.
In 1933, after graduating from Cambridge, Patrick-Hore Ruthven joined the Rifle Brigade and served in the Middle East. On 20 December 1942 he was severely wounded whilst on a paratroop commando in the Western Desert, and died four days later in the Misurata Italian Hospital, Libya. Although reports of his wounding had filtered through, news of his death did not reach the Gowries at Government House, Yarralumla until February 1943. He was survived by his wife, and two young sons whom he had never met due to the intervention of World War II.
This series contains correspondence arising from the Patrick's death, including cables and dispatches establishing his fate, letters of condolence and copies of replies. Then follows a sequence of papers relating to the posthumous editions of his poems, which he had begun writing as a child (published as The happy warrior. Sydney : Angus and Robertson, 1943) and letters (published as Joy of youth. London : Peter Davies, 1950).
A review of The happy warrior is filed at Series 5/Folder 29; correspondence of Patrick is contained in subseries 7.5; a photograph of the Patrick Hore-Ruthven memorial fountain at Government House, Canberra can be found in Series 19; press cuttings documenting aspects of his life and death are located in Series 20.
After a long period of declining health, Lord Gowrie died in Gloucestershire on 2 May 1955, survived by his wife and two grandsons. Papers in this series comprise alphabetically arranged letters and cables of condolence received by Lady Gowrie, together with a record of memorial arrangements and tributes to her husband. Also filed here is documentation for the design of Lord Gowrie's tomb and a memorial window, and papers detailing the family coat of arms and conferral of the Gowrie title.
A single folder of condolences received on the death of Lady Gowrie on 19 July 1965 are preserved in this series. Most letters are addressed to her daughter-in-law, the former Pamela Hore-Ruthven, who had remarried in 1952 becoming Mrs Derek Cooper.
This series contains official documents conferring honours and offices on Lord Gowrie, together with related correspondence. Amongst the varied documentation are certificates awarding honorary degrees, a Masonic document appointing Gowrie the New South Wales representative of the United Grand Lodge of England, and associated documents such as 'The Oath of a Privy Counsellor' and a financial breakdown for the 'Creation of a Barony'.
Commissions and proclamations of appointments of Gowrie to positions of public office are filed in the appropriate series.
A series of files containing genealogical, autobiographical and biographical information and writings about Gowrie and his family. Files 1-3 contain some family history papers including printed notes concerning De Burgh Fitzpatrick Persse (1840-1921), an ancestor of Lady Gowrie, materials regarding the Gowrie baronetcy, and other items about the Ruthven family name researched by the vice-regal couple. There are also some letters about the so-called 'Gowrie conspiracy', which discuss the mysterious death on 5 August 1600 of the third Earl of Gowrie and his younger brother.
At the prompting of publisher Peter Davies, on his return to England Gowrie set about recording his life in an autobiography. The London manager of the Melbourne Herald John Blanch was contracted to assist as ghost writer in 1950. The manuscript was partially completed on the latter's return to Australia in 1953, but remained untouched for thirty years when Blanch, by this time blind from diabetes, again took up the project with the assistance of Shona McDowall. The resultant biography was posthumously published as Gowrie, VC by Blanch's wife Barbara in 1998. Folders 4-15 comprise successive versions of the original autobiographical manuscript, whilst Files 17-25 contain the typed and edited stages of the reworked biography Gowrie, VC.
File 16 incorporates other papers used by Blanch in the course of his research, including copies of letters by John Curtin, and correspondence with Curtin's daughter, Elsie Macleod dated 1986-87.
This series contains material relating to some of the legal, business and financial aspects of the Gowries' personal and official lives. The varied documentation includes: Lloyds Bank correspondence and statements; financial arrangements for official appointments; passports; life insurance of Patrick Hore-Ruthven; the wills of Lord and Lady Gowrie; a file relating to the financial and legal obligations of the Gowries to the bankruptcy of the leading Adelaide stockbroking firm H.W. Hodgetts and Co.; Bedford Jeffries Osborne's settlement regarding Patrick Hore-Ruthven's sons; correspondence and accounts pertaining to the rental of Gowrie's property; insurance papers, general accounts, and assorted ledgers; records of the estates of Lady Gowrie's father, James Barry and Lady De La Warr.
As part of their official duties Lord and Lady Gowrie made many speeches (an estimated average of one per day whilst they were in Australia), as well as regular national broadcasts. Some of the typescripts of these are preserved in this series (proportionally more by Lady Gowrie than her husband, as Lord Gowrie spoke from typed notes rather than full transcripts, especially later in his career).
Lord Gowrie's speeches include a volume of indexed orations, delivered whilst Governor of South Australia between 1928 and 1934, and his maiden speech in the House of Lords. Within the files, speeches marked with a cross appear to have been rejected, or substantially reworked.
Another sequence of files contains a large number of drafts of Lady Gowrie's speeches and final typescripts, arranged according to her own subject divisions. Interfiled with these items are drafts and typescripts for prefaces to publications, some correspondence relating to her speeches and broadcasts, as well as copies of speeches by other individuals.
The series ends with some miscellaneous files, including the text of Gowrie's final broadcast to the people of Australia. Files 28-29 contain speeches by other individuals which appear to have been collected for their inherent interest, or as an aid to their own speech making activities. Speeches by R.G. Menzies, Canon W.J. Edwards, Sir Ernest Fisk and Lady Wakehurst are included.
Farewell speeches given by Gowrie upon relinquishment of the office of Governor-General are filed in Series 5; some general speeches delivered as Deputy Constable and Lieutenant-Governor of Windsor Castle are contained in Series 6.
A series comprising printed and draft prose and poetry, collected by the Gowries over the course of their careers. Featuring amongst the varied essay titles are the typescripts: 'Anzac operations' by the young Hore-Ruthven; a lengthy account entitled 'Experiences of an Australian nurse' by Edith White; 'An episode in the life of Lord Kitchener', an obituary 'The Bartons of Wallerawang', typed and annotated by Lord Gowrie;'Advance from Mons with apologies to the famous retreat of 1914' by Jim Lewis; and an annotated draft by J. Elliot Monfries 'Not test cricket'.
The verse and poetry in this series are also varied, some is in the Gowrie's handwriting, and it is often unclear whether they are the authors of the poems, or merely copiers. The verse is both serious and humorous (including some obvious parodies), typed, handwritten and sometime printed, often unsigned and originally retained in multiple copies. Much of this material appears to have been sent to the Gowries by friends who were aware of their appreciation of poetry.
The majority of images in this series are contained in photographic and special presentation albums, often associated with an official visit or event.
Files 1-3 contain loose photographs, many of which are identified, which depict Gowrie's service in the Sudan, family portraits, and the departure of Sir Alexander and Lady Hore-Ruthven from Adelaide.
Other photographs relating to Lady Gowrie's family are filed in Series 7.8; a photograph of Daisy Bates at Canberra Railway Station in 1933 is located in Series 7.3.
The Gowries were extensive collectors of press cuttings, relating variously to the social and official aspects of their office, their unofficial activities, and their political, personal and international interests. For many years Lord Gowrie subscribed to a clippings service to help maintain his collection. A long sequence of loose clippings, which include coverage of the careers of Lady Gowrie and Patrick Hore-Ruthven, is followed by several albums which document the major aspects of Gowrie's vice-regal service. Some of the nine volumes are indexed by Lady Gowrie, others are numbered, and several contain occasional correspondence or photographs.
Other clippings documenting aspects of Gowrie's military service and command of the Welsh Guards form part of Series 2 and 5.
This series contains personal and family papers and keepsakes which do not fall readily into the preceding series. It includes some unidentified address lists, an assortment of used and unused stationery, multiple copies of a roneoed recipe for 'Quenelles of rabbit', a few isolated, undated papers, miscellaneous printed material including hymn books, business cards, tickets and place cards, and an assortment of personal objects, such as postcards, an Old Contemptibles Association badge, Ascot races badge, one florin coin, tickets and placecards, glass fountain pen filler, plastic envelope holder, pin cushion, business cards, mirror and a Carta Della Zona Varese Domodossola map.
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