Fonds RC0197 - Adrian Grant Duff fonds

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Adrian Grant Duff fonds

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  • 1883-1987 (Creation)

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Physical description

1.1 m of textual records.
148 photographs.
14 maps.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Adrian Grant Duff was born on 29 September 1869 in London, the third son of Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff and was educated at Wellington College and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was gazetted to the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) in 1889.

He served on the North-west frontier of India, 1897-1898, and in South Africa, 1902. From 1905 to 1909 he was in the Department of Military Operations at the War Office. Then in 1910 he was appointed Assistant Secretary (Military) to the Committee of Imperial Defence. In that post, his chief responsibility was the production of a War Book, in effect a complete mobilization plan for the country should war occur. He rejoined his regiment in late 1912 and in May 1914 took command of the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch as its Lieutenant-Colonel. He was killed in action on 14 September 1914 in the battle of the Aisne.

In 1906 he had married Ursula Lubbock, the daughter of Lord Avebury. The couple had four children. Ursula later wrote a book about her father, The Life-Work of Lord Avebury (Sir John Lubbock) 1834-1913. Grant Duff's daughter, Shiela, is the author of several books, including an autobiography, The Parting of Ways (1982). The first chapter of this book provides a very useful history of both the Grant Duff and Lubbock families. She published an article, "The Origins of the War Book," Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, (September 1972), using one of the diaries in this fonds. Her name appears in the journal as Sheila Solokov Grant.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of original materials (and many holograph copies) created by Adrian Grant Duff and others, as well as research notes and extracts /of original materials created by his daughter, Shiela.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds (14-1998)was acquired from Maggs Bros. Ltd., Catalogue 1247, no. 118, in May 1998.


It is arranged into two series: Adrian Grant Duff and Shiela Grant Duff. The Adrian Grant Duff series is arranged into the following sub-series: Diaries, Indexes, and Account Books; Correspondence--Adrian and Ursula; Biographical and Military; Photographs; Printed Materials.

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