Private Papers of General Sir William Platt GBE KCB DSO
Sketches, printed items and other documents relating to his service in Africa as General Officer Commander-in-Chief East Africa Forces during the Second World War, including: two Special Orders of the Day (30 August 1941 and 4 October 1941) while he was GOC in Sudan and Eritrea, congratulating his men on crussing the Italian forces in East Africa, and his leaving to take over a new command; a book 'A Spear For Freedom' (Mkuki Na Bunduki, Nthungo Ya Ufulu, Efumu Kulwe Ddembe) (90pp, Ministry of Information, East Africa, Nairobi, November 1942), a pictoral account telling how Kisarishu, an African villager, became a pioneer in the East African Pioneers, with captions in English and three African languages (Swahili, Zulu and Chichewa [?]); a booklet 'The Story of the East Africa Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (24pp, Ministry of Information, East Africa, Nairobi, December 1943); a copy of 'Off Parade - East Africa Command Weekly Review' (8pp, issue No 43, 24 December 1943); a book 'Ordnance Factories, Kenya Colony' written by East Africa Army Ordnance Corps, telling the history of tanneries, blanket mills, boot factories, soap factories, cotton mills, repair departments, with photographs, and production graphs (1939 - 1943); a presentation booklet presented to Platt by Lieutenant C J F Earle and Staff Sergeant A E Angus, GSI Drawing Office, of the story of the 'Exchange News', the newssheet for Exercise Exchange, troop movements in Somalilands (January - February 1944), with details of the staff, original artwork and stories, copies of the editions of the newssheet in English and Swahili, photographs, jokes and other details; an Official Programme of Army Exhibitions and Displays in Nairobi (August - September 1944); a humorous hand-drawn booklet 'Par Avion' containing pen and ink and watercolour sketches about the General trying to fly in a plane to Madagascar, written by those behind Exchange News (1945); an Italian commemorative magazine about the Duke of Aosta, following his death in Allied custody in 1942 (32pp); a ts letter (2pp, October 1944) to Platt from General Nasi which had accompanied the Duke of Aosta's pistol and Sam Brown, and includes quotes from Aosta's diary about his meeting Platt in 1941; three ts accounts by General Platt about the capture of HRH the Duke of Aosta in May 1941 and his subsequent captivity, and commenting on some of the items he donated to the Imperial War Museum (7pp, February 1963). Together with a file of letters kept by General Sir William Platt while GOC-in-Chief East Africa Command, consisting: A ts letter to Vice-Admiral R Leathem, C-in-C East Indies Squadron (2pp, 29 June 1940) written by Major-General Douglas Povah Dickinson, General Officer Commanding East Africa Force, giving details of his planning an operation to capture Kismayu in Italian Somaliland in August 1940, and with plans for operations for July 1940, and asking him for a Naval Officer to arange details and liaise regarding naval aspects of the operation; A ms letter (2pp, 23 May ) to Major Edge, G2 ARVs, HQ East Africa Forces, from Colonel, later Major General, George Warren Richards, discussing changes in 7th Armoured Division, promotions of colleagues, and South Africans in AFVs, the course of the war; A ms letter (7pp, 28 November 1942) to Platt from an unknown Major General discussing his plan to travel to Ethiopia, hoping to meet Duncan Sandys, the possibility of an Expeditionary Force being created, and if not his return; A ts letter (1p, 7 November 1942) to Platt from Arthur [?], Office of Rear Admiral Naval Air Stations, congratulating him on the conclusion of the East African Campaign; A ts letter (1p, 31 May 1943), signed by Godfrey Huggins, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, offering Platt the services of 1st Battalion Rhodesian African Rifles should he need them, and the possibility of raising more Battalions; A ts letter (1p, 10 June 1944), signed by Rt Rev Reginald Percy Crabbe, Bishop of Mombasa, discussing the possibility of a combined service at an Army Exhibition in Nairobi September 1944.