Papers of Gen Sir Alexander John Godley, GCB, KCMG (1867-1957)
[GODLEY: 1. Correspondence] with Col Sir Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V, 1911-1933.
Correspondence between Godley and Col Sir Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V. 163pp.
Correspondence between Godley and Col Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V, concerning relations between the King and his colonial troops, including Godley's suggestions that His Majesty become Col in Chief of certain Colonial Regts and appoint some senior New Zealand officers as his Aide de Camps, 1911-1913.
Correspondence between Godley and Col Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V, relating to operations by the troops under Godley's command during World War One, notably a description of the composition of the New Zealand force under Godley's command in Egypt, and the calibre of its officers, Feb 1915; detailed descriptions of operations in Gallipoli, including the Allied landings at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, May 1915, the Turkish attack on Quinn's Post, Jul 1915, the Battle of Sari Bair, Aug 1915, and the evacuation of Allied troops, Dec 1915, as well as descriptions of the system of reinforcement and supply, weapons and living conditions; detailed descriptions of operations on the Western Front, including the Battle of Messines, Jun 1917, various actions during the Third Battle of Ypres, notably the First Battle of Passchendaele, Sep 1917, and actions in the Ardre Valley during the Second Battle of the Marne, Jul 1918. Wigram's replies include detailed notes on political and social events in Britain during World War One, including opposition against general conscription, led by Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe; problems surrounding the production of munitions, 1915, notably negotiations with trades unions, a miners' strike and the new Munitions Ministry under the control of the Rt Hon David Lloyd George; opinions on the diplomatic negotiations of the government with the Balkan states; the Easter Rising in Ireland, 1916; the Maurice Affair, in which Maj Gen Sir Frederick (Barton) Maurice wrote a letter to The Times accusing the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Lloyd George, of false statements regarding the strength of the British army on the Western Front, May 1918.
Correspondence between Godley and Col Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V, concerning the Belgian Princess Marie de Croy, recommended by Godley for an OBE for her actions in rescuing and sheltering wounded Allied troops during World War One.
Correspondence between Godley, Col Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V, and Lt Col Arthur John Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham, mainly descriptions by Godley of his service as Commander in Chief BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), notably the French occupation of the Ruhr and its effect on British relations with the French and Germans, 1923.
Correspondence between Godley and Col Sir Clive Wigram, Assistant Private Secretary to HM King George V, relating to Godley's later career as Governor and Commander in Chief of Gibraltar, mainly social and political news from Gibraltar, including details of unrest in Spain culminating in the Spanish Revolution, 1931, and Godley's relations with the new Spanish Republic.
[GODLEY: 2] Correspondence relating to
the visit of Alfred Charles William
Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe, to Cologne, Germany,
File of correspondence relating to the visit of Alfred Charles William Harmsworth, Viscount Northcliffe, to Cologne, Germany, including a confidential wire from the Military Permit Office informing Godley, then Commander in Chief of the BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), of Northcliffe's proposed trip to Cologne, 22 May; various telegrams and correspondence sent between the Times office in London, Godley's Headquarters, and Northcliffe's hotel in Bologne, France, making arrangements for the visit; Godley's letter to Northcliffe explaining the circumstances of his original invitation and expressing his opinions concerning possible risks to his personal safety whilst visiting Germany, 29 May 1922; a strongly worded telegram from Sir Eyre Alexander Barby Wichart Crowe, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, accusing Northcliffe of attempting to stir up trouble between the French and British, and instructing Victor Alexander Sereld Hay, Baron Kilmarnock, British High Commissioner of the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission, to ignore his visit, 30 May 1922; a letter from Geoffrey Harmsworth thanking Godley for making available the file of letters relating to the visit for research for Northcliffe (Cassell, London, 1959), 1956. 20 items, 28pp.
[GODLEY: 3] Letters to Godley from
various military friends
and acquaintances, 1901-1954
Letters to Godley from FM Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke of Brookeborough, notably Alanbrooke's refusal of the Chairmanship of the Royal Empire Society, 1947. 5pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Harold Rupert Leofric George Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, on the latter's appointment as Col of the Irish Guards following the death of FM Frederick Rudolph Lambart, 10th Earl of Cavan, 1946; his appointment as Minister of Defence, 1952. 4pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe, on the possible appointment of Maj Gen Edward Walter Clervaux Chaytor, Commander Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division in Palestine, to command the New Zealand Division on the Western Front, 1917. 6pp.
Letters to Godley from Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone, notably the Chairmanship of the Royal Empire Society, including discussion relating to various candidates; business relating to the amalgamation of Haileybury College, Hertfordshire, and the Imperial Service College, Westward Ho!, Devon, of which both men were governors. 28pp.
Letters to Godley and Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley, from FM William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron Birdwood of Anzac and Totnes, notably offering his thanks to Godley and his wife for their work in Egypt and Gallipoli during 1915, and his pleasure that Godley is to succeed him in commanding ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps); his promotion to command 5 Army on the Western Front and his regrets at leaving ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), 1918; numerous reminiscences of the period spent commanding troops at Gallipoli; discussion of reductions in the Indian army, to be created by the amalgamation of various regiments, and the political and economic repercussions, 1921-1922; the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne by the Turkish Republican Government led by Turkish Gen Mustapha Kemal Pasha, 1923; discussion of the character of Raymond Poincaré, French Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the French military occupation of the Ruhr, Germany, 1923. 61pp.
1919 Feb 18
Letter to Godley from the Rt Hon Gen Louis Botha, Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, regretting his inability to visit Godley during a recent visit to Carvin, France. 1p.
Letters to Godley from Adm the Hon Sir Algernon (Douglas Edward Harry) Boyle, on the support given by RN cruiser HMS BACCHANTE to the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) forces in Gallipoli, and responding to rumours of the accidental shelling of Allied troops. 19pp.
Letters to Godley from Gen Sir Redvers Henry Buller, notably Buller's opinion that the Mounted Infantry should not become disconnected from the general infantry forces of the army. 5pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Julian Hedworth George Byng, 1st Viscount Byng of Vimy, mainly brief notes of acknowledgment of congratulations on the performance of the Canadian Corps and 3 Army during World War One, and Byng's promotion to FM in 1932. 15pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Frederick Rudolph Lambart, 10th Earl of Cavan, notably on the British handling of the Chanak Crisis during the Graeco-Turkish War, 1920-1922, and the Lausanne Conference which followed hostilities, 1923; comments on Godley's participation in the negotiations between the British and French governments following the French occupation of the Ruhr, Germany, 1923; Godley's appointment as General Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Command, 1924; Cavan's opposition to proposed reductions in the manpower strength of the army, with Godley's draft replies, offering suggestions for financial savings in other areas, namely the amalgamation and closure of various military schools. 54pp.
 Jan 22
Letter to Godley from AF Alfred Ernle Montacute Chatfield, 1st Baron Chatfield of Ditchling, concerning his recent election as Chairman of the Royal Empire Society. 2pp.
1916 Feb 4
Letter to Godley from Lt Gen Sir John Steven Cowans, Quartermaster General of the Forces, thanking him for congratulations on his promotion. 1p.
1918 Aug 9
Letter to Godley from Lt Gen Sir Arthur William Currie, Commander Canadian Corps, replying to Godley's letter of congratulations on the performance of his unit during the first day of the Battle of Amiens, Aug 1918. 2pp.
Letters to Godley and Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley, from Adm Sir John Michael de Robeck, 1st Bt, notably on events in Gallipoli including rumours of the accidental shelling of Allied troops by the RN, 1915; brief descriptions of the naval blockade of the Dardanelles straits, 1916; comments upon Gen Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton's evidence before the Dardanelles Commission relating to the accidental firing of HMS BACCHANTE's guns on Allied troops, 1917; opinions on the foreign policy of the Rt Hon David Lloyd George and the British Government especially towards Greece, Turkey and Russia, 1920. 37pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Sir John Greer Dill, notably on Dill's retirement as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1941; the wherabouts of Belgian Princess Marie de Croy, and descriptions of Washington, USA. 6pp.
Letter to Godley from Adm Sir William Wordsworth Fisher, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, thanking him for allowing several of Fisher's midshipmen to stay at Godley's summer cottage on Gibraltar. 1p.
Letters to Godley from Lt Gen Sir Bernard Cyril Freyberg, General Officer Commanding 2 New Zealand Div, notably describing the morale of his unit during the march to Tripoli, Libya, following the Second Battle of El Alamein, Egypt, 1942. 3pp.
1943 Feb 12
Letter to Godley from FM John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort, Governor of Malta, thanking him for congratulations on Gort's promotion to FM. 1p.
Letters to Godley from FM Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, mainly personal correspondence, including a letter of congratulations on Godley's appointment as General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Forces, and a brief description of a tour of South Africa in 1923. 9pp.
Letters to Godley and Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley, from Gen Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton, notably an official military inspection tour of Canada, with an assessment of the standard of the infantry, artillery and cavalry, 1913; his departure from the post of Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Oct 1915; attempts to ensure that Godley be awarded a KCB for his service in Gallipoli, 1915-1916; views on the conclusions of the Dardanelles Report, and his prospects for future employment, Apr 1918; brief commentaries on events of the war, and praise for Godley and his troops, 1918; disagreements with Gen the Rt Hon Sir John Grenfell Maxwell in the Morning Post over Hamilton's claims concerning the supply of troops from Egypt to the Dardanelles in 1915, as articulated in his Gallipoli Diary (Edward Arnold, London, 1920), 1920; arrangements for and descriptions of a trip to Germany, 1922; responses to a speech made by Hamilton and printed in The Times of 26 Apr 1923, concerning the lack of resources for the training of Australian officers, despite the excellence of the Royal Military College at Duntroon, Canberra, Australia, 1923; correspondence relating to the Suvla Bay landings of Aug 1915 at Gallipoli, notably a cutting of a letter in The Times of 30 Oct 1923 from [Lt] John Still, previously Adjutant 6 Bn East Yorkshire Regt, giving an eyewitness account of operations on Scimitar Hill and Tekke Tepe, during 8-9 Aug 1915. 66pp.
1954 Mar 17
Letter to Godley from FM Sir Allan Francis (John) Harding, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, thanking him for welcoming Harding as a new member of the Mounted Infantry Club. 2pp.
[1942 Jun 22]
Letter to Godley from FM William Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron of Archangel and Ironside, commenting briefly on the news of the fall of Tobruk, Libya, to German FM Erwin Rommel and the Afrika Corps. 2pp.
1920 Jun 6
Letter to Godley from Gen Sir Claud (William) Jacob, Chief of General Staff, India, notably an account of difficulties faced in India, namely an exhausted Indian army, inexperienced British units, a frontier war in Waziristan and internal unrest, and an overview of attempts to rectify the problems. 2pp.
1931 Mar 20
Letter to Godley from AF John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, thanking Godley for his kindness to his wife during a recent visit by her to Gibraltar. 2pp.
Letters to Godley and Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley, from Adm Sir John Donald Kelly, mainly personal correspondence, including a description of his successor as Commander in Chief, Home Fleet, Adm William Henry Dudley Boyle. 24pp.
Letters to Godley from AF Sir Roger John Brownlow Keyes, 1st Bt, mainly personal correspondence, including brief comments on the evacuation of troops from the Dardanelles, 1915, the attempt by the RN Dover Patrol to block the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend, Belgium, 1918, and the career of Capt Guy Dalrymple Fanshawe, RN, 1922. 19pp.
Letters to Godley from Gen the Hon Sir Herbert (Alexander) Lawrence, mainly brief notes of thanks or congratulations on the performance of units under Godley's command. 10pp.
Letters to Godley from Lt Gen Sir Frederick Stanley Maude, notably on preparations for Godley's trip to Canada on the way to take up his appointment as General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Forces, 1910; a description of the recent events of Maude's command in Mesopotamia, including the reorganisation and development of communications and resources which enabled the significant advance of the British army to the line of the River Hai, and beyond the River Tigris, 1917. 8pp.
Letters to Godley from Gen Sir John Grenfell Maxwell, notably those written as Commander in Chief, Forces in Egypt during the Gallipoli campaign, including a refutal of accusations that he prevented soldiers from returning to the front after recovering from wounds or illness, and the rejection of a plan to place 2 Australian Div under the command of Lt Gen Sir William Eliot Peyton. 16pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Paul Sanford Methuen, 3rd Baron Methuen, notably a letter written whilst Commander in Chief, South Africa, describing conditions under his command, 1909; letters praising a Maj Mabris with the Maori contingent for his help in controlling the colonial troops stationed on Malta, 1918. 14pp.
Letters to Godley from FM George Francis Milne, Baron Milne of Salonika and Rubislaw, notably a brief description of conditions at Salonika, 1916; his desire to succeed Godley as Governor of Gibraltar following his retirement as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1933. 7pp.
Letters to Godley from Lt Gen Sir John Monash, notably thanking him for congratulations upon his unconfirmed appointment as Commander, Australian Army Corps, 1918; the return of all Monash's documents and papers created during the Gallipoli campaign, 1915, which he had given to the War History Organisation, 1925; a description of his present work for the Australian Government and others, 1925. 6pp.
1945 Sep 6
Letter to Godley from FM Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, Commander in Chief, BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), describing the conditions facing the German people, and expressing concern about the possibility of widespread disease across Europe. 2pp.
Letters to Godley from Lt Gen Sir Archibald (James) Murray, notably on the possibility of Godley succeeding him as Senior General Staff Officer, 1 Div, Aldershot Command, 1907; a description of the preparations of the Turkish army for the Battle of Romani, Egypt, and the repulsion of the attack by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force under Murray, Aug 1916; the dissatisfaction of Maj Gen Henry George Chauvel, General Officer Commanding 1 Australian Div, with Murray's recognition of his services during operations at Romani, Dec 1916; thanks for Godley's congratulations on the success of temporary Lt Gen Sir Philip Walhouse Chetwode's Desert Column at the Action of Rafah, Egypt, 9 Jan 1917, and details of the forming of another cavalry division. 20pp.
[1919-1930] Oct 17
Letter to Godley from US Gen John Joseph Pershing, regretting that he has missed seeing Godley during a short stay in London. 2pp.
Letters to Godley from Gen Sir William Platt, briefly describing operations in East Africa up to and including the invasion of Abyssinia and Eritrea by British forces and the Battle of Keren, 1941; the British invasion of Madagascar, Sep-Nov 1942. 4pp.
Letters to Godley and Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley, from FM Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer, 1st Viscount Plumer of Messines, and Annie Constance Plumer, Lady Plumer, notably comments on Godley's plans for the organisation of the New Zealand military forces, 1911 and 1913; notes on an outline plan for the Battle of Messines, carried out by British 2 Army on the Western Front under the command of Plumer on 7 Jun 1917; correspondence with Godley throughout 1917 and 1918, mainly praising the performance of 2 ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), and discussing the progress of the war; reflections concerning Godley's post as Commander in Chief, BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), and his views on the French invasion of the Ruhr, Germany, in Jan 1923. 96pp.
1939 Dec 27
Letter to Godley from AF Sir (Alfred) Dudley (Pickman Rogers) Pound, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, thanking him for his congratulations following the Battle of River Plate, off the coast of Uruguay, 13 Dec 1939. 1p.
Letters to Godley and Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley, from R Adm the Hon Alexander Robert Maule Ramsay, notably replying to Godley's thanks after a visit to the Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth. 7pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford, notably concerning the benefits of a shortened version of the regulation Lee Enfield rifle for use by mounted troops, 1902. 9pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Sir William (Robert) Robertson, 1st Bt, mainly friendly correspondence, notably comments on New Zealand officers attending the Staff College, 1912; the military expansion of Germany, especially at sea, 1912; correspondence with Godley relating to the French occupation of the Ruhr, Germany, 1923, with copies of detailed letters from Godley on his negotiations with French officials concerning the protection of the French line of communication running through the British Zone on the Rhine, and the personal views of both men on the situation, Jan-Feb 1923. 60pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Sir William Joseph Slim, both brief notes of thanks for congratulations, on a successful broadcast and the award of a GCMG. 2pp.
Letters to Godley from Gen Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, mainly social correspondence, including praise for the performance of the troops under Godley's command in Gallipoli, Sep 1915; his views on events following the French occupation of the Ruhr, Germany, 1923; reaction to Godley's news from Gibraltar, of which Smith-Dorrien was also Governor from 1918-1922. 15pp.
Letters to Godley from MRAF Sir Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1st Bt, notably on a misunderstanding between the two concerning the dissemination of tactical information to RAF squadrons during manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, 1925, and thanks for Godley's letter of appreciation for the work done by the RAF units under his command, 1928. 2pp.
Letters to Godley from HRH Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, Duke of Windsor, notably arranging a visit to the Serrapeum, Egypt, 1916, and thanks for a copy of Godley's biography Life of an Irish Soldier (John Murray, London, 1939), 1939. 2pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell, mainly replying to Godley's letters of congratulation on various awards and promotions, including a brief comment upon the operations of the Western Desert Force in Egypt during Dec 1940 and plans for an assault into East Africa, 1941. 5pp.
1919 Oct 19
Letter to Godley from AF Rosslyn Erskine Wemyss, 1st Baron Wester Wemyss of Wemyss, thanking him for his letter of congratulations on Wemyss' promotion and peerage. 3pp.
Letters to Godley from FM Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, 1st Bt, mainly social correspondence, including thanks for congratulations on his election as Conservative MP for North Down, Ireland. 7pp.
1941 Mar 19
Letter to Godley from Lt Gen Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, General Officer Commanding, British Forces in Greece, briefly commenting upon his recent appointment. 1p.
1902 Jul 29
Letter to Godley from Gen Sir (Henry) Evelyn Wood, General Officer Commanding, Southern Command, responding to Godley's proposals concerning the establishment of Mounted Infantry at Salisbury, Wiltshire. 1p.
Letters to Godley from FM John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres, notably congratulating Godley on his work in preparing the New Zealand forces for Imperial service, 1913; the appointment of a commanding officer for the Irish Guards in place of Lt Col Robert (Chaine Alexander) McCalmont, 1923. 10pp.
1919 Feb 5
Letter to Godley from HRH Albert Frederick Arthur George, Duke of York, expressing his disappointment at being unable to accept Godley's dinner invitation due to bad weather. 2pp.
[GODLEY: 4] Letters from Godley to
Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley,
written during his service on the Western Front, World War One,
1916 Jun 27-1918 Dec 8
Unpublished volumes containing typescript copies of letters written by Godley to his wife, Louisa Marion Godley, Lady Godley, during active service on the Western Front during World War One, mainly personal and social news, but also giving day-to-day accounts of his activities as General Officer Commanding 2 ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), later 22 Corps, notably preparations for and descriptions and aftermath of the Battles of Messines Ridge, Jun 1917 and Passchendaele (Third Ypres), Jul-Nov 1917; descriptions of operations culminating in the withdrawal of 2 Army from the head of the Ypres Salient during the Battle of the Lys, Apr 1918; participation in the Second Battle of the Marne under French Gen Henri Berthelot, Commander French 5 Army, Jul 1918; the advance of the British Armies in France, across the Somme battlefields, 1918. 2 vols.
[GODLEY: 5] Biographical material relating to
Godley and his family, 1939-1966
Life of an Irish Soldier: Reminiscences of General Sir Alexander Godley, GCB, KCMG (John Murray, London, 1939). 1 vol.
1957 Mar 8
Photocopy of Godley's obituary taken from The Times. 1p.
Photocopied extracts giving biographical details of Godley and his uncle John Robert Godley, taken from An Encyclopedia of New Zealand (Government Printer, New Zealand, 1966) and A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Dept of Internal Affairs, New Zealand, 1940). 9pp.