Arthur, Allan James Vincent

1. Official Papers
(a) Khartoum
(b) Shendi, Northern Province
2. Personal Correspondence
(a) Letters home from Arthur
(b) Letters home from Dawn Arthur (D.A.)
(c) Miscellaneous personal letters
3. Memoirs
4. Photographs
Reference code: GB-0033-SAD
Title: ARTHUR, A.J.V.
Dates of creation: 1933-1983
Extent: 1.5 boxes
Held by: Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections: Sudan Archive
Created by: material relating to service in the Sudan
Language: English

Arthur, Allan James Vincent

(1915- )

1949-1951 A.D.C., Khartoum
1951-1954 D.C. Shendi, Northern Province
1951-1952 Chairman Shendi District Council
1954 Deputy Governor Designate, Northern Province
1954 Retired from the Sudan Political Service


1. Official Papers
2. Personal Correspondence
3. Memoirs
4. Photographs
For Maps see under Official papers

1. Official Papers
(a) Khartoum
1950 Mar 14
Note on the reorganisation of the Sudan Police as a separate department of Government, by L.C. Beaty Powell, Acting Commissioner of Police, with covering letter from J.W. Robertson, Civil Secretary
1950 Apr 11-12
Note on the organisation of the Indian Police, with particular reference to the system in force in the Punjab, by Arthur, with comments on the proposals of the Acting Commissioner of Police above
1950 Jan 23
Khartoum District annual report, 1949 by Arthur, including information on staff and visitors to the District, local affairs, local government, labour, climate, agriculture and forests, public health, education, veterinary work, communications and water supply, game, buildings, lands, trade, finance, etc.
1951 Mar 22
Khartoum District annual report Jan 1950 - Feb 1951 by Arthur Details as above but also includes a statement of land auction revenues from Jan 1950 - Feb 1951; statement of expenditure of slum clearance in 1949 and 1950 and proposed expenditure for 1951; a list of the Khartoum Markaz staff; and a list of members of the Khartoum Town Bench
1951 Mar
Khartoum District monthly diary by Arthur
(b) Shendi, Northern Province
1951 Jun 25
Shendi District annual report, 1950-51 by Arthur, including details of public security, local government, justice, finance, economics and trade, agriculture and forests, veterinary work, lands and buildings, communications, public health, education and labour
1952 Jun 20
Shendi District annual report, 1951-52, by Arthur. Details as above but including also an account of the Governor-General's visit to Shendi in Dec 1951
1953 May 11
Shendi District annual report, 1952-53, by Arthur Details as above
“Shendi District handbook, 1949” by P. Hogg, revised 1954 by Arthur Includes the following:
General introduction covering geography, climate, communications, state administration, local government, agriculture, education, public health, economics and trade, population data, etc.
1954 Feb
Handing-over notes by Arthur Details as above but also includes a large section on the replanning of Shendi town, notes on junior officials and clerks, index to Shendi personalities and list of holders of robes of honour
1953 Apr 26
Letter from Arthur to the Governor, Northern Province on replanning at Shendi
List of basins, Shendi District
List of motor routes, Shendi District
Note on agricultural lands by P. Hogg, 1949
Map of Sabaloka. Africa series 1:250,000 sheet 45-N (1933)
Map of Shendi. As above. Sheet 45-0 (1933)
Map of Atbara. As above. Sheet 45-K (1937)
2. Personal Correspondence
(a) Letters home from Arthur
1949 Feb 2 - Dec 30
Personal letters from Arthur in Khartoum to his parents. They detail his social life (including sailing, films, plays and the girl guides) and his official work, especially slum clearance, land repossession, inspection of buildings, and local opposition to his projects (726/4/31). There are also descriptions of his house, domestic arrangements, problems with servants, the cosmopolitan nature of Khartoum (726/1/32), arrangements for his wedding and honeymoon and the cost of living in Khartoum (726/4/69)
1950 Jan 6 - Dec 29
Letters from Arthur in Khartoum to his parents describing the demolition of the old deims (726/5/6) and attempts to control further building (726/5/20,24,49); land auctions and assessments (726/5/12); his promotion to D.C. (726/5/16); the financial problems of the Sudan Club (726/5/16,19); the effectiveness of the Marshall Report (726/5/20); a 3 day strike by the Light and Power Co. (726/5/21) and the Railway strike (726/5/52,54,58); a visit to the Gebel Aulia Dam (726/5/25-26); a farewell parade of the S.D.F. (726/5/26); the opening of Khartoum North Civil Hospital (726/5/28); and the extension of the light industrial areas (726/5/59). He also discusses the effects of the economic war between India and Pakistan (726/5/37)
1951 Jan 5 - Dec 18
Letters from Arthur to his parents from Khartoum (726/6/1-23), Shendi (726/6/24-68) and on trek, concerning social meetings with officials, arrangements for leave, his transfer to Shendi (726/6/7); the birth of their son Gordon (726/6/11); description of Shendi District (726/6/20,29); lack of administrative policy in Zeidab (726/6/32) and the election violence there (726/6/33-34); the police strike in Khartoum and repercussions in Shendi (726/6/41); abrogation of the Anglo-Egyptian treaties (726/6/49-51); Sudanese feelings on independence (726/6/50-51,54-55); student demonstrations in Khartoum (726/6/53); and the visit of H.E. and Lady Howe to Shendi (726/6/68)
1952 Jan 10 - 1954 Jun 17
Letters from Arthur in Shendi to his parents, detailing family matters; a trek to Massaniya West district (726/6/71-72); District Council Finance Committee proposals on tax reform (726/6/70, 73-74, 78); an illegal strike by the Sudan Federation of Trade Unions (726/6/77); and planning work for the extension of Shendi (726/6/78-79)
1948 Aug 1 - 1954 May 11
Letters from Arthur in the Sudan and on leave in England, to his parents-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Drake. They are almost entirely concerned with personal and family matters, wedding arrangements, the birth of Charles Vincent Arthur and the death of Arthur's father but there are also brief references to political demonstrations and riots in Khartoum (726/3/26) and the proposed evacuation of British wives from Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile Provinces (726/3/27)
(b) Letters home from Dawn Arthur (D.A.)
1948 Sep 8 - 1949 Dec 30
Letters from D.A. en route to the Sudan and at Khartoum, to her parents Mr. and Mrs. Drake describing their house in Khartoum and social life there and arrangements for shipment of household articles and wedding presents. Brief mention is also made of the Civil Secretary's visit to Khartoum (707/16/27,32,39); the scheme to assign the duties of the D.C. to separate departments (707/16/55); and political demonstrations in Khartoum (707/16/44)
1950 Jan 7 - 1954 Apr 14
Letters from D.A. in Khartoum, Atbara and on leave, to her parents, describing her life in Khartoum, her involvement with the Girl Guides and arrangements for leave in England. Brief reference is made to a general strike and railway workers' demonstration (707/17/19-20); Arthur's work on a report on the Indian Police (707/17/30-31); strike of the workers in the power station and water works (707/17/34); Arthur's appointment on D.C. (707/17/38); and pay rises for all civil servants (707/17/41)
(c) Miscellaneous personal letters
Miscellaneous personal letters including:
Letters to Mrs. Drake (D.A.'s mother) from Beryl Simpson, Dorothy Arthur (Arthur's mother) and Bishop Gelsthorpe. All purely personal and family matters.
1949 May 2
Letter from James Lawrence at El Fasher, to Arthur re the purchase of Darfur carpets
1983 Sep 27
Letter from Ahmad Muhammad Al-Amin Abu Shama to Arthur concerning changes in the written law in the Sudan
3. Memoirs
1982 Feb
Personal memoirs of Arthur concerning chiefly his life in the Sudan Political Service (2 copies):
Previous career in India and appointment to the S.P.S.
Life as D.C., Khartoum, Jan 1949 - Apr 1951, covering law and order, taxation, the Khartoum Municipal Council, land auctions and town planning, political situation, distinguished visitors, impressions of the Sudanese, etc.
Life as D.C., Shendi, Apr 1951 - Apr 1954 covering law and order, process of justice and his trial of cases, taxation, local government, agriculture, boundary disputes, political developments, etc.
Life as Deputy Governor, Northern Province, Apr - Jul 1954
Conclusions and description of a return to Sudan in 1964
Retirement and details of other jobs
Second copy of memoirs
1953 Dec 23
Appendix A - ‘Slum clearance in the Sudan - the removal of the old deims in Khartoum '
1951 May
Appendix B - ‘Tenants' agitation in Zeidab ' - a series of letters and reports to the Governor Northern Province on the disturbances
Appendix C - ‘The District Officer in India and the Sudan ' - a paper by Arthur
1982 Feb 6
Appendix D - ‘Sanders of the River ', extract from The Times on Edgar Wallace
4. Photographs
Aerial photographs of:
Ed Damer