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


M1959 - M1960

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Roscoe Family
Papers of the Roscoe Family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1899 - 1952
Collection Number
M1959 - M1960
52 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

The material filmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project includes: Letters 1927-28 from H. Greenfield to Edward S. Roscoe concerning living conditions in New Zealand and Rabaul; Letters 1899-1924 of John M. Gawne to his sister Katherine Roscoe containing accounts of army life in Singapore, South Africa and the Philippines; Letters 1934 of Theodora Roscoe to her mother describing South Australia and Northern Territory; Papers 1916-52 of Theodora and Edward C. Roscoe relating to Sir Thomas White, Harefield Park Hospital, conscription in Australia, Capt. E. Roscoe's expedition to Northern Territory 1934, Hermannsburg Mission, Tasmanian Indigenous Australians, and Road Transport Unit. Correspondents include W.M. Drummond, F. Albrecht and Jeannie Gunn.

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

Material selectively filmed as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1984 (AJCP Reels: M1959-1960). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Buckinghamshire Record Office. Aylesbury, England. For further information see Roscoe Family at the Buckinghamshire Record Office (

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

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid 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.


Albrecht, F.; Army and defence; Australian Aboriginals: Tasmania; Central Australia; Conscription in Australia (1916–17); Drummond, W.M.; Gawne, John M.; Greenfield, H.; Gunn, Jeannie; Harefield Park Hospital; Hermannsburg Mission, NT; Hospitals; Indigenous Australians: Tasmania; New Zealand; Northern Territory; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Rabaul, New Guinea; Roscoe Family; Roscoe, Edward S.; Roscoe, Katherine; Roscoe, Theodora; Singapore; South Africa; South Australia; White, Sir Thomas


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 390, p148.

Biographical / Historical

Edward S. Roscoe (1849-1932) of Horn Hill Court, Chalfont St. Peter, was Registrar of the Admiralty from 1904 to 1932. He was the author of several books on history, biography and maritime law. He married Katherine Gawne.

Theodora Roscoe (1897-1962), the daughter of Edward and Katherine Roscoe, was a lecturer at the Harefield Park Australian Military Hospital in 1917-18. She contributed to Country Life, Time and Tide, Contemporary Review and other journals and was the author of Romances of old Buckinghamshire (1922), Market morning and other poems (1929) From the country and other poems (1936) The martinet; poems (1940), From the Chilterns; poems (1946) and St. Albans and other poems (1953). In 1917 she married her cousin Capt. E.C. Roscoe.

Item Descriptions

Series D115/25-53. Papers of Edward S. Roscoe, 1927 - 1928

3 items

Letters from Horace Greenfield, March 1927 - February 1928 (File 47)

3 items

Letters to Edward Stanley Roscoe from a friend Horace Greenfield in Australia and Papua New Guinea

H. Greenfield (Auckland) to E.S. Roscoe, 5 March 1927 (Item)

No openings for professional men in Dominions; limited resources of New Zealand; work as farm labourer; immigrants are 'cannon fodder of Empire'; plans to proceed to Australia and Singapore.

H. Greenfield (Salamoa, Papua) to E.S. Roscoe, 14 June 1927 (Item)

Work as supercargo on S.S. Montoro; Catholic mission; lack of discipline on ship; more respect for Englishmen in America than in Dominions.

H. Greenfield (Rabaul) to E.S. Roscoe, 21 February 1928 (Item)

Work at Burns, Philp office dealing with planations; salary; living conditions in Rabaul.

Series D115/54-67. Papers of Katherine E. Roscoe, 1899 - 1934

4 items

Letters to Katherine E. Roscoe, 1899 - 1900 (File 58)

1 item

Filmed selectively.

John M. Gawne (Singapore, Penang) to his sister, Katherine Roscoe (30 letters), 1899 - 1900 (Item)

The letters refer to family news, illnesses, military duties, monotony of Army life in Singapore, social conditions, conditions in Philippines, Boer War. Some letters are incomplete.

Letter of Raymond Savage (File 65)

1 item
R. Savage (Adelaide) to Katherine Roscoe, 11 April 1924 [i.e. 1934] (Item)

Meeting with Theodora and E.C. Roscoe; trip to Victor Harbour; recollections of Harefield.

Letters of Theodora Roscoe, 1934 (File 66)

Theodora Roscoe (Adelaide, Alice Springs, Melbourne) to her mother, Katherine Roscoe, 1934: impressions of Adelaide and Australians; E.C. Roscoe's expedition to Northern Territory; Adelaide Show; Germans and Cornish in South Australia; visit of Duke of Gloucester to Adelaide; family news.

(14 letters)

Letters of Theodora Roscoe, 1934 (File 67)

Theodora Roscoe (Adelaide, Victor Harbour, Alice Springs) to Katherine Roscoe, 1934: voyage to Australia; passengers; social events; Anzac Day procession; Sir Alexander Hore-Ruthven; Australian landscape; flowers; travels of E.C. Roscoe; Dr Helen Mayo; impressions of Alice Springs; churches; gold-mining in Northern Territory; camel ride; men in outback; plans for return to England; family news.

(17 letters)

Series D115/73-171. Papers of Theodora and Edward Cecil Roscoe, 1916 - 1952

43 items

Papers concerning Sir Thomas White (16 letters), 1943 - 1952 (File 118)

4 items
T.W. White. Australia's outlook. Talk given to Royal Empire Society, (5pp., roneoed), 13 April 1943 (Item)
T.W. White to Theodora Roscoe, March 1943 - September 1943 (Item)

Poetry Society; publication of Sky Saga; work at R.A.F. Station at Brighton; relations between R.A.F. and R.A.A.F.; return to Australia; Federal elections; possible leadership of United Australia Party. (9 letters).

Nancy Pearn to Theodora Roscoe, July 1943 - December 1943 (Item)

Publication of Sky Saga. (4 letters).

Sir Thomas White to Theodora Roscoe, 1951 - 1952 (Item)

Work as High Commissioner; talks; visit to Horn Hill Court; reception for R.G. Menzies. (3 letters).

Photograph Album, 1916 (File 141)

Album containing 47 small photographs of W.M. Drummond and J. Fraser, 1st. Australian Division, mainly taken while on leave and with Roscoe Family in Buckinghamshire.

Although listed, this material was not filmed by the AJCP.

Papers relating to Australian Auxiliary Hospital No.1, Harefield Park, 1916 - 1918 (File 142)

5 items
Letters to Theodora Roscoe, 1916 - 1918 (Item)

From Australian soldiers and former pupils in England, France and Australia and from bereaved relatives in Australia. (21 letters)

R.W. Emerson. Friendship., 1917 (Item)

Sent to Theodora Roscoe in 1917 by Private A. Huntriss (d.1918) of Inverell.

Photograph of Private G.A. Kelly of Glenrowan, Victoria. (Item)
Death notices (Item)
Draft poems (Item)

Letters of William M. Drummond, 1916 - 1917 (File 143)

1 item

Although listed, this material was not filmed by the AJCP.

W.M. Drummond (London, Glasgow, Portland, Salisbury, France) to Theodora Roscoe, 1916 - 1917 (Item)

Conditions in camp; health; books; poetry; fighting in France; conscription in Australia; departure from England; voyage on S.S. Euripedes. (22 letters)

Many of letters are very personal.

Miscellaneous Australian letters, 1916 - 1946 (File 144)

Correspondents include Mrs W. Kelly (Glenrowan), Elsie Slater (Sydney), Rev. P.M. Smith (Adelaide). They refer to Theodora Roscoe's work at Harefield Park, return of soldiers to Australia, award of badge, and missions in Alice Springs.

(6 letters)

Harefield Park Boomerang, December 1917 - December 1918 (File 145)

Five issues of Harefield Park Boomerang, edited by Theodora Roscoe.

Biographical / Historical

Harefield Park, Middlesex, was lent to the Australian Government in 1915 and was Australian Auxiliary Hospital No. 1. As well as edit the magazine, Theodora Roscoe taught French to patients at the Hospital.

Cuttings concerning Capt. E. Roscoe's expedition, 1934 (File 147)

Newspaper cuttings concerning the visit of Capt. E. Roscoe and Theodora Roscoe to Australia in 1934 and the Transport Unit expedition to Alice Springs. Most are from Adelaide newspapers. Apart from reports of the expedition, they refer to interviews with Theodora Roscoe, social events that she attended, Harefield Hospital and general topics such as the Northern Territory and aborigines. There are also a few cuttings. In addition, there are four photographs of the Roscoes at Alice Springs and a typescript report on the Overseas Mechanical Transport Directing Committee and the 1934 expedition.

(2 folders)

Letters of E.C. Roscoe to Theodora Roscoe, June 1934 (File 148)

2 items
E.C. Roscoe (Helen's Springs) to Theodora Roscoe, 8 June 1934 (Item)

Description of camp, landscape, roads.

E.C. Roscoe (Newcastle Waters) to Theodora Roscoe, 11 June 1934 (Item)

Visit to cattle station; description of Newcastle Waters; Tennant Creek road; turkey shooting.

Letters and telegrams from Theodora Roscoe to E.C. Roscoe, 1934 (File 149)

Written from Adelaide, Alice Springs and Melbourne, the letters refer to travel arrangements, race meetings, plays, concerts, clubs, painting, visit of Duke of Gloucester to Adelaide, impressions of Melbourne, climate, and people. The enclosures include some letters from friends in England.

(34 items)

Letters to E.C. Roscoe, 1934 (File 150)

Miscellaneous papers, including letters (mainly from England) invoices, receipts, permits from the South Australian Motor Vehicles Department to operate a 15 ton transport unit, and cuttings on tests on 15 ton diesel-engined trucks.

(17 items)

Notebook of Theodora Roscoe, 1934 (File 151)

Very rough notebook and loose sheets, mainly in pencil, containing notes for a book on Australia and including drafts on gardens, books, Alice Springs and Sydney Harbour. There are some quotations from D.H. Lawrence's Kangaroo.

Although listed, this material was not filmed by the AJCP.

Letters to Theodora Roscoe and photographs, 1934 - 1935 (File 152)

5 items
Letters of Theodora Roscoe, F. Albrecht (Hermannsburg), Jeannie Gunn (Melbourne) concerning Roscoe's visit to Northern Territory. (Item)
Small photographs of Alice Springs (Item)
Itinerary of voyage to Australia, March 1934 (Item)
Cuttings concerning Alice Springs, Hermannsburg Mission and Transport Unit (Item)
Poem on Melbourne by Theodora Roscoe. (Item)

Correspondence and papers of Theodora Roscoe, 1934 - 1938 (File 153)

Letters to Theodora Roscoe, 1934 - 1938 (Item)

From Lady Masson (Melbourne), Lady Mitchell (Adelaide), F. Davies (Adelaide) and others.

Manuscripts and typescripts of Theodora Roscoe (Item)

Subjects including her visit to central Australia, Australian birds and the Tasmanian Indigenous Australians.

Newspaper cuttings (Item)

Concerning Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, C.T. Madigan's book Central Australia, visit by J. Masefield to Australia.

Correspondence and papers of Theodora Roscoe, 1939 - 1944 (File 153)

3 items
Photographs of passengers on Strathnover, and of Alice Springs (Item)
Reprint of article by Theodora Roscoe on her visit to Australia, Contemporary Review, November 1939 (Item)
Broadcast by A. Moorhead on Barkly Highway, 22 November 1944 (Item)

Letters of F. Davies to Theodora Roscoe, 1934 - 1938 (File 154)

Written from Adelaide, the letters refer to social events, race meetings, polo tournament, gardening, Australian fauna, and Roscoe's visit to Alice Springs.

(12 letters)

Correspondence and papers of E.C. Roscoe, 1934 - 1939 (File 156)

4 items

Filmed Selectively.

Other pages comprise invoices, receipts, cheque butts, prospectuses, booklets.

E.C. Roscoe to Maj.-Gen. J.H. Bruche (Melbourne), 17 April 1934 (Item)

Trial of 15 ton unit from Adelaide to Bordertown; plans to start for Alice Springs.

E.C. Roscoe (Newcastle Waters) to Elizabeth Eden, 22 June 1934 (Item)

Description of Newcastle Waters and landscape; cattle station.

Typescript notes on 15 ton Road Transport Unit. (2pp.) (Item)

Manuscript on financial arrangements as recommended to Department of Interior. (1p.)

Manuscript on financial arrangements as recommended to Department of Interior. (1p.) (Item)

Australian photographs, 1934 (File 157)

6 items

Although listed, this material was not filmed by the AJCP.

Photographs of Road Transport Unit (Item)
Photographs of Roscoes on board ship, 1934 (Item)
Photographs of Alice Springs and central Australia (Item)
Photograph of F. Downer (Item)
Photographs of koalas and platypus. (Item)
Photographs (Item)

Supplied in 1950 by Australian News and Information Service, including Adam Lindsay Gordon's cottage at Ballarat, Flinders Ranges, Grand National Steeplechase, Melbourne Cup, cattle mustering, Australian flowers, birds, Newcastle Steelworks.

Letters to Theodora Roscoe, 1922 - 1961 (File 158)

Correspondents include H.S. Nicholas (Sydney), Mabel Savage (Adelaide) and E.C. Roscoe (Barclay Tableland). The letters refer to books, social conditions in Sydney, E.C. Roscoe's visit to Alexandria Station and Australian birds.

(7 letters, copy complete)

Carpentarian, April 1938 - April 1940 (File 159)

1 item

5 issues of Carpentarian, journal of Diocese of Carpentaria.

Although listed, this material was not filmed by the AJCP.

Typescript entitled 'Tennant Creek, Central Australia', referring to a journey of Capt. Cowland and Capt. Phillips from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek (2pp.), 1938 (Item)

Filmed selectively.