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The University of Southampton
Special Collections

MS 350 Papers of Alan Campbell-Johnson

Alan Campbell-Johnson

Alan Campbell-Johnson (1913-98), OBE, CIE, was a public relations specialist and author. From 1937 to 1940, he served as political secretary to Sir Archibald Sinclair, leader of the Liberal Party, who recommended him to Lord Mountbatten. Campbell-Johnson worked for Mountbatten first at Combined Operations and then, from 1943 to 1946, at Supreme Allied Command South East Asia (SEAC). At both Combined Operations and at SEAC, Alan Campbell-Johnson had a special responsibility for record keeping. After the war he maintained the link with Lord Mountbatten on an informal basis, working on the official despatches for SEAC; and in February 1947, he became the first and only press attaché to a Viceroy of India, accompanying Mountbatten for the transfer of power to the newly independent India and Pakistan. He remained with Lord Mountbatten, while Mountbatten was the first Governor General of India, until June 1948. Campbell-Johnson’s account of partition, Mission with Mountbatten (1951), remains one of the most dynamic records of the event. It is evident from this, from his papers and those of Lord Mountbatten, that the management of the presentation of partition to the media, in the subcontinent and worldwide, was a crucial element in the process. The connection with Lord Mountbatten was sustained throughout the remainder of Lord Mountbatten’s life, with a particular eye to the presentation of his role in the press and, in the longer term, managing historical reputation. As part of this work, Campbell-Johnson gathered materials for a future biographer of Lord Mountbatten, interviewing contemporaries and assembling documents. He also turned his expertise in public relations into a career founding a public relations consultancy and becoming both a Fellow of the Institute of Public Relations and its President.

About the collection

A chronological sequence of correspondence, 1946-69 (A2096/1-29) including material relating to Aung San and Burma (A2096/10); papers, 1936-98, including correspondence relating to Mission with Mountbatten, notes and research papers, condolence letters to Mrs Campbell-Johnson on the death of her husband, a citation for an honorary degree to Alan Campbell-Johnson at the University of Southampton, 1990.

Combined operations papers, 1945-6 (A3002/1); South East Asia Command papers, 1943-75 (A3002/2), containing a series of reports, printed papers and reminiscences, including reminiscences of Lord Mountbatten, and copies of the SACSEA official personal daily diary, and publications, mainly drafts of sections of the official history of the Second World War; files relating to India, 1939-71 (A3002/3/1), including Press Information Bureau Government of India summaries and press reports and cuttings, 1947-9, printed daily arrangements of the Viceroy and subsequently of the Governor General, 1947-8, social invitations for Campbell-Johnson while in India, 1946-8; files of Campbell-Johnson as press attaché, 1947-8 (A3002/3/2); working papers of Campbell-Johnson, including of two research assistants employed for work in preparation for a biography of Mountbatten (A3002/4).

Date range:


Former references:

A2096, A3002


65 boxes



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