C. A. E. Lea
Cyril Alexander Edward Lea

1. Official Papers
(a) Khashm el Girba, Kassala Province
(b) Tokar, Kassala Province
2. Personal Papers
3. Diaries and Trek Notes
(a) Kordofan
(b) Kassala
4. Photographic Material
5. Printed Material
In Archive
Reference code: GB-0033-SAD
Title: C. A. E. Lea
Dates of creation: 1926-1939
Extent: 2 boxes
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Created by: C. A. E. Lea
Language: English

Cyril Alexander Edward Lea


1926-1928Assistant District Commissioner, Khashm el Girba, Kassala Province
1928-1931Deputy Assistant Civil Secretary, Khartoum (Native Affairs)
1931-1933Assistant District Commissioner, Soderi, Northern Kordofan
1933-1935Chief Inspector of Schools (Northern), Education Department
1935-1937Assistant District Commissioner, Tokar, Kassala Province
1940-1941Governor-General's temporary commission as Bimbashi in the Sudan Defence Force
1941-1942Seconded to Occupied Enemy Territory Administration (Eritrea) as T/Major
1942-1944Attached to Publicity Section, British Embassy, Cairo
1944-1946District Commissioner, Gedaref, Kassala Province
1946-1949Assistant Director of Establishments, Finance Department
1949-1951Director of Establishments, Finance Department
1952Retired from Sudan service


1. Official Papers
2. Personal Papers
3. Diaries and Trek Notes
(a) Kordofan
(b) Kassala
4. Photographic Material
5. Printed Material

Accession details

Presented by Lea, 1979-1982

1. Official Papers
(a) Khashm el Girba, Kassala Province
1927 - 1928
Butana notebooks kept by Lea while Assistant District Commissioner Khashm el Girba; a day-by-day record of orders received, work done, itineraries, transcripts of telegrams and conversations. Originals handwritten in pencil. For typescript copies see SAD 645/8/46-131 under 2. Personal Correspondence.
1927 Feb 23 - Jul 1
1927 Jul 3 - Sep 6
1927 Sep 17 - 1928 Mar 13
(b) Tokar, Kassala Province
1935 Dec 1 - 1936 Jan 23
Carbon copies of official correspondence sent by Lea while Assistant District Commissioner, Tokar
1936 Feb 9 - 1937 Jan 10
Carbon copies of official correspondence sent by Lea while Assistant District Commissioner, Tokar. Letters at SAD 645/6/66-72 relate to activities connected with the outbreak of war with Italy.
2. Personal Papers
1926 Dec 8 - 1927 Apr 3
Earliest extant copy (typescript) of letters from Lea to his parents, written in the form of a journal and covering his journey to the Sudan, a short period at Kassala and his first months as ADC Khashm el Girba. (For later copy see below)
1982 Jan
“Letters to my parents, 1926-7” and “Three Butana notebooks”: typescript copies of SAD 645/2-645/4 and SAD 645/7 above, with an introduction by Lea describing his background and Sudan experience, explanatory note to the letters and notebooks, and glossary of terms used
3. Diaries and Trek Notes
(a) Kordofan
1931 Mar 8 - May 27
Journal of Lea giving a daily account of his life at Soderi, Northern Kordofan, covering the period from the journey to Soderi to take over from Hector Maclean Watt to the last stage of the journey to Omdurman to go on leave. (Part manuscript and part typescript. For typescript transcript, see below, SAD 676/8.)
1931 Sep 26 - 1932 Oct 10
Journal of Lea covering his service at Soderi, Northern Kordofan. For the period 10 Oct-31 Dec 1932 see duplicate book at SAD 677/2 below. Top copies lost. For typescript transcript see SAD 676/8 below.
1933 Jan 12 - Jun 4
Trek journal covering a tour of Soderi by Douglas Newbold, Governor of Kordofan (12-25 Jan 1933); a trek from Bara to the White Nile border (20 Feb-6 Mar 1933); and part of a trek from Soderi to Mellit in Darfur with Shaykh Sir `Ali al-Tum. For 20-22 Mar and 3-18 Jun see duplicate book at SAD 677/3 below. For typescript transcript see SAD 676/8/1-170 below.
1931 Mar 7 - 1933 Jun 14
Typescript transcript of Lea's journals SAD 645/9 and SAD 647/7-647/8 above, with explanatory note and glossary
1931 Mar 7 - 1944 Jun 18
Carbon copies of Lea's journals SAD 645/9 and SAD 647/7-647/8 above, including copies of correspondence. SAD 677/3/1-80 includes copies of correspondence written in 1944 in Gedaref District.
1931 Mar 7 - Apr 30
1931 Apr 30 - Oct 1
1931 Oct 1 - Nov 14
1931 Nov 15 - Dec 28
1931 Dec 28 - 1932 Feb 10
1932 Mar 3 - Oct 10
1932 Oct 10 - 1933 Mar 5
1933 Mar 25-Jun 18 & 1944 May 17-Jun18
(b) Kassala
1935 Oct 31 - Dec 2
Journal covering Lea's service in Tokar, and including the following photographs:
Tokar town after the habub season
Tenants planting cotton seed at Tokar
Senior Agricultural Inspector's huts, Tokar Delta
Sudanese agricultural officer standing in front of a motor truck
Hamid `Ali, a guide, in the Karora mountains
`Aqiq village, police post and suq
Realignment of streets at `Aqiq to face oncoming habubs in order disperse the dust
Nafar, No. 4 Company, Camel Corps
Ombashi, No. 1 Company, Eastern Arab Corps
1935 Oct 31 - Dec 2
Typescript copy of Lea's Tokar journal SAD 677/4/1-92 above, with introduction and further comments and explanations added in 1981
1935 Nov 9 - Dec 1
Lea's journal written during service at Tokar, including copies of correspondence, route reports and sketch maps
1939 Nov 3 - 28
Trek journal describing a journey by A.C. Beaton, R. Salmon and Lea in the Karora hills to recruit local scouts and plan the establishment and provision of bases in anticipation of an Italian attack. Includes route reports and sketches.
Xerox copies of sketches of views in the Karora hills included in trek journal SAD 677/7/1-124 above. Many are painted in water colours. The original of SAD 677/8/8 is missing from the trek journal.
4. Photographic Material
[ca. 1937 - 1938]
Album of photographs illustrating Tokar sand clearance, presented to Lea by K.B. El Koussa, contractor
5. Printed Material
In Archive
Glossary of vernacular topographical terms used on maps in the Middle East
[ca. early 1950s]
Typescript copy of “A grammar of the Tigri language” by A.C. Beaton, later published as A.C. Beaton and A. Paul, A grammar and vocabulary of the Tigre language: (as spoken by the Beni Amer), Khartoum (1954)
The sub-ma'mur's handbook, Khartoum, with signatures of various owners