Guide to the Papers of the Hearnshaw Family (as filmed by the AJCP)


M2850 - M2853

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Hearnshaw Family
Papers of the Hearnshaw Family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1939 - 1986
Collection Number
M2850 - M2853
13 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Includes: Letters 1939-47 of Leslie and Gwenneth Hearnshaw to his parents in England; Letters, written from Perth, 1947-48 of Gwenneth Hearnshaw and her mother, Mrs Dickens, to Leslie Hearnshaw; 'An Englishman in War-time New Zealand', an account by Leslie Hearnshaw while living in New Zealand 1938-47, and on subsequent visits 1964-1986; Diaries 30 January-11 February 1940, kept by Leslie and Gwenneth Hearnshaw during a holiday at Mt Egmont, New Zealand.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the private residence of Mrs S. Wall. Merseyside, England, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1993 (AJCP Reels: M2850-M2853). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

The private residence of Mrs S. Wall. Wirral, Merseyside, England

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Maori people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress. It contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Dickens, Mrs (Perth); Hearnshaw Family; Hearnshaw, Gweneth; Hearnshaw, Leslie; Mount Egmont, New Zealand; New Zealand; Psychologists


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 213, pp79-80.

Biographical / Historical

Leslie Hearnshaw (1907-1991) was the son of Professor F.J.C.Hearnshaw, Professor of History, King's College, London University. He was educated at King's College School, Christ Church Oxford and King's College London. He graduated with first class honours in Psychology from London in 1932, and from 1933-38 was an investigator for the National Institute of Industrial Psychology. In 1937 he married Dr Gwenneth Dickens (d. 1993) of Perth, Western Australia. From 1939 to 1947 he was lecturer in Psychology at Victoria University College, Wellington and from 1942 Director of the Industrial Psychology Division of DSIR at Wellington. In 1947 he returned to England and was Professor of Psychology at Liverpool University until retirement in 1975. He was the author of Cyril Burt: Psychologist. Hodder and Stoughton, 1979.

Item Descriptions

Series 1-9. Letters from Leslie and Gwenneth Hearnshaw, February 1939 - October 1947

9 items

In New Zealand to parents, Professor and Mrs F.J.Hearnshaw, Oxted, Surrey.

Wellington, 5 February 1939 - 19 November 1939 (File 1)

Subjects include: journey to Wellington on Awateu; house hunting; situation of Wellington; 'great beauty about the place'; visit to Paremata; other members of the university; accommodation at the university; academic duties; listening to wireless news from England; earthquake; entertaining other members of the university; new social security scheme; Beaglehole family 'attractive and talented'; end of term functions; speaking at evening meetings; libraries in Wellington; Professor Hunter's knighthood 'well deserved, as Hunter has done more for the university than any other person'; tour of textile mill; New Zealand fish; visit by Industrial Psychology class to Bryant and May's factory; visit to university by Sir Harry Batterbee, UK High Commissioner; budget; declaration of war 'no alteration in the course of our days. College started normally at the beginning of the week'; holiday at Munro's bunkhouse at Paremata; problems of foreign exchange 'the college library has ceased buying books.'

Includes: press cuttings and photographs. (210p.)

Wellington, 12 November 1939 - 27 October 1940 (File 2)

Subjects include: examinations; weather 'the wind is certainly the worst feature of the Wellington climate'; working on house and garden; Centennial exhibition; visit to Museum; Christmas Day 1939; picnic on Tinakori Hill; holiday trip to Mt Egmont; censorship of letters; social activities; new biology block opened by Fraser, Minister of Education; academic duties; death of Professor Hugh Mackenzie; death of Prime Minister Savage; Centennial Art Exhibition; WEA lectures; war news; visit to Hursthouses at Christchurch, 'a charming city of markedly English character'; 'New Zealand is gradually waking up as a result of the course of the war'; conscription; New Zealand war loan; arrival of evacuated children and adults from England; Sir Cyril Newall's appointment as Governor General.

Includes: press cuttings. (211 p.)

Wellington, 26 November 1940 - 9 November 1941 (File 3)

Subjects include: visit to Orongorongo River; climbing Mt Matthews; war news from England; examining MA theses; sinking of Australian and New Zealand ships by raiders; loss of mail; Christmas Day, 1940; broadcast tribute to Professor Bergson; sending tins of sheep's tongues; social activities; academic duties; Noel Coward in Wellington; comet; holiday at Paraparaumu Beach; blackout enforcement; Japanese intentions; WEA lectures; degree ceremony followed by social evening at John Beaglehole's; sending tins of food; registration of married men for military service; birth of second daughter; meeting of New Zealand Vocational Guidance Association; proposed study of Maori community at Otaki with Ernest Beaglehole; accompanies Ernest Beaglehole to Wellington Prison to lecture on Maoris 'prison audience is at present a very intelligent one - in parts - as the prison holds a number of persons who have been holding pacifist meetings in the streets against regulations'; advising Tootal factory at Christchurch.

Includes: press cuttings. (212p.)

Wellington and Otaki, 16 November 1941 - 19 October 1942 (File 4)

Subjects include: performance by Wellington Repertory Company; social activities; bad weather at Otaki; arrangements at Otaki; poi dance; local Maoris; death of Turu, headman of Tainui village; tangi ceremonies; visiting local schools to test Maori children; Maori church service; Rev. Temuera; news of Pearl Harbour; 'New Zealand is being placed on a Full war footing.'; playing Euchre at home of Henare Taratoa; Christmas Day at Otaki; fall of Malaya; farewell party at Otaki; academic duties; call up of married men; lecturing on psychological principles of camouflage to army officers; making a shelter in underground garage; air raid precautions; ARP duties at college; survey of munitions factories, at request of DSIR, at Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch; earthquake, 24 June 1942 'my nice little bust of Socrates was decapitated'; DSIR proposal to run new section devoted to industrial psychology; army medical examination; wireless talks on clear thinking; second earthquake 'Socrates again decapitated'; transfer to Home Guard; giving psychological tests to girls entering the army; war cabinet approves establishment of Industrial Psychology Division of DSIR.

Includes: newspaper cuttings; drawings by the children. (171p.)

Wellington, 18 October 1942 - 17 October 1943 (File 5)

Subjects include: Lady Newall's visit to university; AGM of Royal Society of New Zealand; war news from North Africa; examinations; work on house and garden; tour of army camps with Ernest Beaglehole; duties with Home Guard; visit to Beaglehole at Otaki; Christmas holiday at Paremata; religious observance in New Zealand; touring munitions and war work factories in Auckland; visit to Rotorua and Ohinemutu; Hell's gate; geysers of Whakarewarewa 'boiling water being flung 20 ft or so in the air'; Piha; 'the great shame is that over 90 per cent of New Zealand's bush has been destroyed, some of it to make room for farm lands'; Auckland University staff; holiday at Marlborough Sounds 'scenery is really very fine'; fishing; food shortages due to need to feed American troops in the Pacific; factory tour to Invercargill and Christchurch; coal shortage; Lancaster bomber touring New Zealand; New Zealand society; visit to mental hospital at Porirua; Home Guard disbanded; food parcels; Mrs Rothmann, German refugee psychoanalyst; Dominion settlement Association; factory tours of Napier and Palmerston North; election campaign.

Includes: postcard of Chief Mahuta, Te Toka. (168p.)

Wellington, 24 October 1943 - 29 October 1944 (File 6)

Subjects include: lecturing to Army education officers on Psychological aspects of education; butter rationing; 'We are not now allowed to buy cream without a medical certificate'; Dominion Physical Laboratory; social activities; possible causes of high incidence of mental illness in New Zealand; Professor Nevins, American Professor of History, on a fact finding tour; factory tour of South Island; report on Industrial Absenteeism; Christmas at Munro's bunkhouse at Paremata; New Zealand financial affairs; sending food parcels; birth of third daughter; Dig for Victory Exhibition and Horticultural Show; Industrial Psychology Advisory Committee; meat rationing; woollen mill at Akaroa, settled by French; Professor Rankine Brown 'on the staff since the college started in 1899'; lecture course in Industrial Psychology; inaugural meeting of Institute of Industrial Management; degree ceremony; triennial local elections; visit to Harry Valder at Hamilton, migrated to New Zealand in 1884.


Wellington, 5 November 1944 - 24 October 1945 (File 7)

Subjects include: examinations; sending food parcels; publication of discussion course on Industrial Psychology by Dr Winterbourn and L.H.; Professor Kirk's retirement party; on WEA Brains' Trust at Hastings-Napier; holiday at Murchison with Dr Kurzweel; hospitality of farmers; visit to Upper Moutere, a German settlement; Agricultural Show; New Year holiday at Paremata; application for chair of Psychology at Sydney University; social activities; trips to Auckland and Hamilton; academic duties; Native Plant Museum; end of war in Europe celebrations; Vocational Guidance Conference; L.H.'s book on Industrial Psychology selling well; application for chair of Psychology at Melbourne University; trade union demonstration to Parliament against 'national socialism', originally organised to protest against nationalisation of Bank of New Zealand; atomic bomb on Japan; end of war against Japan celebrations; visit to dam construction site on Waikato River 'these Public Works encampments attract a strange mixture of human types'; Massey College; holiday on Waiheke Island.

Includes: 25 July 1945, Testimonial from Dr E Marsden, DSIR. (140p., some faint letters.

Wellington, 4 November 1945 - 18 December 1946 (File 8)

Subjects include: retirement party for Professor Rankine Brown; academic duties; Christmas Party for children of academic staff; Christmas at Paremata; work on house and garden; factory trip to Dunedin and Invercargill; Riverton 'just about the end of the earth'; job prospects in England; meetings of Industrial Psychology Committee and New Zealand Institute of Industrial Management; sending food parcels; shortage of labour in New Zealand; birth of son; death of Professor Hearnshaw; giving evidence to Parliamentary Commission on population; family allowances; holiday at Raumati; application to Liverpool University; fire at Centennial Exhibition buildings.


Wellington, Sydney, Capetown, 22 December 1946 - 8 October 1947 (File 9)

Subjects include: Christmas holiday at Paremata; clothes shortages; interview for Liverpool post; academic duties; proposed study leave in England; appointed to chair at Liverpool - financial problems involved; travel arrangements; house sale, fixed by Land Sales Court; Gwen and children to stay in Perth for six months; voyage to England on Empire Star, via Sydney and Cape Town.

(47p., some faint letters.)

Gwenneth Hearnshaw (Dunera, Mt Lawley, Stratheden) and the children to Leslie Hearnshaw (Liverpool), 3 September 1947 - 10 March 1948 (File 10)

3 items

Subjects include: voyage on Dunera, sea sickness; docking in Sydney; flight to Perth; house at Mt Lawley; Mrs Dickens' health; children's health; booking passage to England; daily events; visit to farm at Mt Hawke; meeting old friends and colleagues; visit to Perth University and University bookshop; heat; purchasing furnishings; voyage to England on Stratheden; other passengers; Bombay.

(188p., some faint letters).

Mrs Dickens (West Perth) to Leslie Hearnshaw re visit from Gwenneth and children, 7 September 1947 (Item)
Gwenneth (Mt Lawley) to Mrs Hearnshaw re leaving New Zealand and arriving in Perth, 2 October 1947 (Item)
Mrs Dickens (West Perth) to Leslie Hearnshaw re departure of Gwenneth, 8 March 1948 (Item)

Photographs of the children at Perth.

Series B. An Englishman in War-time New Zealand, 1938 - 1986

1 item

Account by Leslie Hearnshaw of residence in New Zealand, 1938-1947; 1964; 1969; 1976; 1979; 1986; n.d. (File)

Includes quotations from the letters and expanded details of L.H.'s academic and wartime work.


Series. Diaries of Gwenneth Hearnshaw, 30 January 1940 - 11 February 1940

Kept of holiday to Mt Egmont. Includes photographs.

Gwenneth Hearnshaw (89p.) (File 1)

Leslie Hearnshaw (51p) (File 2)