Balfour, Elliott Archibald
Elliot Archibald BALFOUR

1. Official Papers
2. Personal Papers
3. Diaries and trek notes
4. Memoirs
Reference code: GB-0033-SAD
Title: Balfour, Elliott Archibald
Dates of creation: 1932-1981
Extent: 0.5 box
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections
Created by: material relating to service in the Sudan
Language: English

Elliot Archibald BALFOUR

(1909- )

1909-1913 Visited Sudan whilst his father Dr. (later Sir)Andrew Balfour was working there
1932-1933 A.D.C. Khartoum
1933-1934 A.D.C. Singa, Fung Province
1934-1936 A.D.C. Wad Medani, Blue Nile Province
1936-1937 Seconded to Department of Education, Gordon College as tutor
1937-1942 A.D.C. Nyala, Darfur
1941-1942 A.D.C. El Fasher, Darfur
1942-1945 D.C. Raga and Wau, Equatoria
1945-1950 D.C. Gedaref, Kassala Province
1951-1952 Chief Inspector, Civil Secretary's Office, Local Government Branch, Khartoum
1952-1954 Deputy Governor, Northern Province
1954-1955 Governor Northern Province
1955 Retired


1. Official Papers
2. Personal Papers
3. Diaries
4. Memoirs

1. Official Papers
1954 Nov 12-24
Farewell letter and telegram to E.A. Balfour from Isma`il al-Azhari on his retirement from Sudan service
2. Personal Papers
1978 Feb
Descriptive note about letters written by Balfour to his mother, Lady Grace Balfour from 1932 to 1951, with reminiscences of early memories of Sudan, his arrival in 1932 and service under Bramble Bey in Omdurman
[1932 Aug 31]-1933 Feb 19
Letters home from Balfour to his mother (in Britain and later in Kenya) describing his journey to the Sudan and early experiences as an A.D.C. in Khartoum and Omdurman. Includes descriptions of life on board ship from Gibraltar (606/3/65); companions on board (606/3/66-68); journey through the Mediterranean (606/3/69-70); development of ear infection, stay in Port Sudan hospital and journey by train to Khartoum (606/3/71-74); probationary period in Khartoum with W.O.B. Lindsay, inspection of sanitary arrangements, dinner with Sir H. MacMichael (606/3/75-78); daily work routine under Armstrong the Acting Governor, morning ride with ma`mur and `umdah, interviews with proprietors of local shops, visit to Balfour house (606/3/79-84); description of typical day, visit to Gebel Aulia (606/3/85-89); visit of Abyssinian priest (606/3/90-92); shooting trips, boredom of office work (606/3/93-100); Armistice Day service (606/3/101-102); arrangements for mother's proposed visit to the Sudan (606/3/103-106); invitation to tea at the Schools Club (606/3/107-108); transfer to Omdurman, inspection of suq and prison, visit to Khartoum North dairy run by the Kfouri's, Caledonian dinner (606/3/109-111); prospects for transfer to one of the provinces, inspection of building sites (606/3/112-115); sailing on Blue Nile (606/3/116-118); arrangements for Christmas Day (606/3/119-122); dinner with Bishop Gwynne, beginning of Ramadan, speech to crowds by Grand Qadi (606/3/123-126); New Year's celebrations, visit of Governor-General to Omdurman (606/3/127-129); conducting magisterial enquiry, meeting Duke of Gloucester at the Palace (606/3/130-133); end of Ramadan (606/3/137-140); anniversary of King's visit to the Sudan-distribution of charity to poor, garden party (606/3/141-144); news of transfer to Singa in Fung Province (606/3/145-147); meeting with the son of the Mahdi (606/3/148-149)
1978 Feb
Notes by Balfour on the contents of file 606/4, describing his life as an A.D.C. in Singa, headquarters of Fung Province and including references to the repression of the slave trade, the implementation of native administration and ushur assessment
1933 Mar 4-Nov 19
Letters from Balfour at Singa to his mother describing the daily routine of his life as a D.C. in Singa, including descriptions of Thomson, the governor, and his wife, Blackley the D.C. and Maj. Ellison the veterinary inspector (606/4/4), of Mek Hasan Adlan, descendant of the Fung emperors (606/4/5) and of Yusuf al-Aqab, nazir at Abu Hashim and Henderson the doctor (606/4/8); account of first trek to Abu Hashim, meeting with Yusuf al-Aqab, inspecting the dispensary and school and attending the nazir's court (606/4/11-16); arrangements for his mother's visit to Singa (606/4/17-18); crackdown on illicit stills (606/4/20); last trip by lorry before the rains (606/4/23-24); Kenana court (606/4/28); Maulid al-Nabi celebrations (606/4/28-31); trek to the area around Doli, searching Kenana fariqs for guns (606/4/37-39); on trek to Dali to collect tribute using bulls instead of camels (606/4/45-47); difficulties in collecting taxes (606/4/48); ushur assessment (606/4/54); conflict between nomad Arabs (606/4/57-58); checking crop assessments of ushur boards (606/4/64-67)
1934 Jan 6-Nov 12
Letters from Balfour to his mother, from Khartoum re his Arabic and law exams (606/4/81-86); from Singa re allegations of extortion against the nazir of the east bank, Singa district, Yusuf al-Aqab and the consequent discrediting of native administration (606/4/84-85,90); re a burglary at his house (606/4/87); celebrations for the end of Ramadan (606/4/88); King's Day celebrations (606/4/90-91); trek to check on Kenana fariqs travelling via Suntab, Mahbuba, Jabal Dali, Bozi, Abu Gurud, Mazmum and Abu Rawwag (606/4/98-103); trial of Balfour's first major case (606/4/111); transfer to Wad Medani (606/4/112)
1978 Feb
Explanatory note by Balfour to accompany letters home from Wad Medani and Gordon College
1934 Nov 28-1936 Jul 10
Letters home from Balfour in Wad Medani to his mother re his first impressions of Wad Medani and the work there (606/5/3-4); continued problems with sciatica (606/5/5,7); description of Managil district for which he was responsible (606/5/7-8); meeting with the ruler of Managil district, Shaikh `Abd al-Baqi (606/5/8); map of Wad Medani town (606/5/9); meeting with the wife of Clarke the governor (606/5/10-11); Christmas celebrations (606/5/12-13); demands by the Arakiyin at Managil for a separate nazir (606/5/18-19); visit to Hag Abdulla to enquire into the behaviour of a policeman (606/5/32); description of journey back from Kenya (606/5/36)
1936 Sep 12-Dec 26
Letters home from Balfour to his mother including re his farewell to Wad Medani and secondment to Gordon College as a tutor (606/5/40); assessment of his efforts at teaching (606/5/40-41); description of typical day (606/5/42); correcting exam papers, opinion of Sudanese teachers (606/5/45); views on events in Europe (606/5/47); Christmas celebrations (606/5/50-51)
1978 Feb
Explanatory note to accompany letters home from Darfur describing the journey to El Fasher and his duties at Nyala
1937 Sep 29-1938 May 2, 1939 Aug 26-1940 Jan 15
Letters home from Balfour in Nyala and on trek to his mother including from El Fasher describing the journey out, the resthouse at El Fasher and the Sultan's palace (606/6/3-4); journey to Nyala, description of the town with a sketch of his house (606/6/5); description of English members of the community (606/6/6); local people and account of the Mahdist rising of 1921 in Nyala (606/6/11-12); preparations for horseshow (606/6/15); meetings with nazirs of the Habbaniyyah and the Fallata (606/6/16); horseshow and hearing of petitions (606/6/18); Christmas in El Fasher including his involvement in an accident during the horse-races (606/6/20-21); trek by lorry and mule hamla along the upper waters of the Bahr al-Arab stopping at Dar Rizeigat, Sefaha and meeting with Capt. Stubbs, D.C. Aweil district (606/6/26-30); trek on the Habbania river (606/6/35); outbreak of the war (606/6/39); experiment in producing clarified butter at Um Kardus (606/6/42); Christmas celebrations at El Fasher (606/6/49)
1978 Feb
Explanatory note to accompany letters home from El Fasher 1940-42 and Raga in Equatoria Province 1943-45. Includes an account of his work raising and training the Home Guard in El Fasher and an assessment of southern policy
1940 Jun 29-1942 Feb 27
Letters home from Balfour at El Fasher to his mother describing his move to province headquarters (606/7/4); his appointment as D.C. Home Guard (606/7/5); trips to Geneina, including relations with the Sultan of Dar Masalit and the French across the border (606/7/9,13); visit to El Fasher by Huddleston the Governor-General to attend the Baqqarah show (606/7/10); fall of Kassala and the capture of Tobruk (606/7/14,16); praise for the S.D.F. in the east (606/7/18); journey back from leave in Kenya (606/7/22-24); work as liaison officer with French troops passing through El Fasher and duties as official in charge of the prison (606/7/30); investigation of a scandal at the prison (606/7/31); visit from Roseveare, Director of Education, inspection of schools and King's Day celebrations (606/7/35); trip to Khartoum and transfer to Raga (606/7/36)
1943 Nov 7-1945 Sep 15
Letters home from Balfour in Raga and Wau, Equatoria Province, to his mother re his leave in Kenya and decision to buy a piece of land at Malindi (606/7/37-40); visitors to El Fasher during his service there including King Peter of Yugoslavia and General de Gaulle (606/7/43); ban on the export of Sudan stamps (606/7/45); visit from Skeet, the governor (606/7/48); trek to the Bahr al-Arab and Raga, shortage of government grain and death of Sir Douglas Newbold (606/7/49); drive to increase grain production in the south (606/7/50); end of the war (606/7/52); Sudanisation of government posts (606/7/54); transfer to Gedaref (606/7/56)
1978 Feb
Explanatory note to accompany letters from Gedaref, 1945-50 and from Khartoum 1951, describing the public order problems of Gedaref District after the war, changes in local government, increased political activity with the first local government and later Legislative Assembly elections and his duties as Senior Inspector, Department of Local Government in Khartoum
1945 Oct 10-1950 Dec 11
Personal letters home from Balfour at Gedaref to his mother concerning his reluctance to leave the south, description of Gedaref and progress in local government there (606/8/4); increasing mechanisation (606/8/9-10); responsibility for Gedaref district with an assessment of its importance (606/8/17-19); appointment as judge in a trial of the brother of Nazir `Abd Allah for corruption (606/8/25-27); growing political awareness in the Sudan (606/8/30); search for poachers (606/8/32-33); trek up the Rahad river (606/8/35); explosion of dynamite kept for the civil well-digging programme (606/8/36); moves towards independence (606/8/38-39); discussions with A. Disney on district matters (606/8/43-44); statement by the Governor-General at an Advisory Council meeting that the Sudan would be independent within 20 years (606/8/44-45); journey back from leave in England (606/8/48,63); attendance at a Coptic wedding (606/8/50); riots in Khartoum and Omdurman (606/8/50-51); inspection of mechanised crop production scheme (606/8/52); decision to decontrol grain (606/8/53); different views on independence (606/8/54); visits to Basunda, a trading post near the Abyssinian frontier and to Gallabat (606/8/56,58); trip to Bija district (606/8/60); failure of the rains (606/8/63); visit with P. Broadbent, Deputy Governor to the mechanised crop production scheme (606/8/64); distribution of famine relief (606/8/64,68); Marshall report on local government (606/8/70); difficulties on the district council (606/8/72); trek with Lister the Inspector of Agriculture to the open plains in the south of the district (606/8/74-76); pressure on land in Africa and resulting damage to reserves of game (606/8/76-77); extension of grain growing areas and the division of the district council into two (606/8/82,84,92); tribal meeting at Goz Regeb (606/8/84); difficulties with an American missionary (606/8/85); handing-over of the northern part of the district to Khartoum North district (606/8/97,99); labour troubles at Atbara and problems with the Mahdists at Gedaref (606/8/99); from Kassala hospital re his transfer to Khartoum (606/8/101)
1951 Jan 16-Nov 6
Letters home from Balfour in Khartoum to his mother mainly describing his social life but also mentioning a visit to Gedaref in connection with the split of the old district council into two (606/8/105); inspection of the municipal council at Atbara (606/8/110); visit to Blue Nile Province, discussion of the prosperity of the Gezira (606/8/112); strikes in public utilities (606/8/116); police strike in Khartoum (606/8/121); attempts to abolish sewage buckets (606/8/123-124); demonstrations in support of self-government (606/8/125)
3. Diaries and trek notes
1932 Aug 27-Nov 26
Diary of Balfour sent home in addition to his letters and covering the journey to the Sudan by sea from Birkenhead and life on board ship (606/3/35-40); a visit to veterinary headquarters and the Survey Department (606/3/41); visit to the aboretum, meeting with Rugman the Financial Secretary (606/3/43); sanitary inspection (606/3/44); inspection of central prison in Khartoum North and the province prison (606/3/45); town ride with the ma`mur, `umdah and shaikhs to Burri (606/3/46); visit to Omdurman suq and markaz (606/3/47); listening to Sudanese musicians in the municipal gardens (606/3/47-48); visit to Balfour House (606/3/48-49); settlement of dispute over a donkey (606/3/51); Khartoum municipal council meeting (606/3/52); attended major court at Khartoum North (606/3/55-56); town ride with governor (606/3/57); visit to the Supper Club (606/3/59)
1933 Dec 7-21
Trek diary covering journey by lorry to Roseires District to assess livestock for tax purposes. Includes a description of Jabal Buk village and its people where he met up with MacDowell and Drs. Pridie and Henderson (606/4/71-72)
4. Memoirs
Memoirs of Balfour's life in the Sudan from his early memories of childhood in Khartoum (759/11/1) to independence in 1955. Subjects covered include his selection board and extra year's study at Cambridge (759/11/3-5); the journey out to the Sudan (759/11/5-6); servants (759/11/7-8); service under Bramble Bey at Omdurman (759/11/10-12); life as A.D.C. Singa including a description of trekking and `ushr assessment (759/11/14-17); routine office work (759/11/17); large public scandal connected with Native Administration (759/11/17-18); the role of the ma`mur, police and clerical and accounting staff and the job of dealing with petitioners (759/11/19-21); transfer to Wad Medani, description of urban work (759/11/22-24); appointment as tutor at Gordon Memorial College (759/11/24-26); journey to Nyala in Darfur (759/11/26); description of the Baqqarah tribes and their nazirs (759/11/28-29); polo, horse racing and horse shows (759/11/29-31); legal work and the penal system (759/11/31); transfer to El Fasher, training of Home Guard (759/11/35-36); visits from General de Gaulle and other notables (759/11/37-38); transfer to Raga in the western Bahr al-Ghazal (759/11/39); description of southern policy (759/11/42); Raga-Wau road and difficulties of keeping it in a state of repair (759/11/43-44); local government in Gedaref (759/11/47); mechanical crop production in Gedaref District, the influx of labour from the west and the resulting rise in crime (759/11/49-50); well-digging and building of reservoirs (759/11/50); building schools (759/11/51-52); elections for the Legislative Assembly (759/11/53-54); return to Khartoum as Senior Inspector of Local Government (759/11/56); Khartoum Province police strike (759/11/57); Deputy Governor and later Governor of Northern Province (759/11/59-61); journey home (759/11/62-64); assessment of British contribution to the Sudan's development (759/11/65-68)