In April we received an additional donation to the archive of Arthur Jones Williams. This includes postcards to and from Arthur, photographs of the Williams’ family and letters to Arthur’s wife Nancy after his death. The archive is part of our Liddle Collection.
Arthur was born in Pwllheli, Caernarvon, in 1886. He trained to be a solicitor in Pwllheli, before moving to Sheffield to become a partner in the business of E. Tofield. A keen hockey player, Arthur was a member of a local team.
In the First World War Arthur joined the Welch Regiment, serving in the 1st and 4th Battalions. He was posted to Egypt and Palestine from May to November 1917. A 2nd lieutenant, Arthur was killed leading his men in the Battle of Beersheba on 3rd Nov 1917.
While in Egypt Arthur sent postcards to his wife, Nancy. Some, which are not postmarked, may have been forwarded after his death. One postcard shows Sherif Pacha Street, a main road in Alexandria, with its bustling crowds and horse drawn carriages. The street was named after the statesman Mohamed Sherif Pasha (1826-1887).
Another shows an Egyptian policeman and boy. It was from a series published by the London company A. & C. Black.
This beautiful colour postcard of Scarborough is postmarked 1909. It is not clear who sent it to Arthur, although it may have been his business partner Edwin Tofield, as the writer comments on a welcome rest from work!
Thomas, Arthur’s brother, stayed in The Wellington Hotel, Harrogate. On his postcard dated 1905 he asks Arthur to contact him by return.
In April Special Collections also received a donation of lecture and course notes that belonged to Sir Roy Shaw; Adult Education Lecturer and Director-General of the Arts Council. After a stint working as a Tutor-Organiser for the Workers’ Educational Association Shaw joined the University of Leeds in 1947 as a Lecturer in the Department of Extra Mural Studies. He was later a Senior Lecturer and Director of the University’s Adult Education Centre in Bradford. The Extra Mural Studies department at Leeds was well respected and it had developed an active programme of adult education teaching. It flourished in the years after World War Two where, along with Shaw, the department included E. P. Thompson, J. F. C. Harrison, Sydney Raybould and Asa Briggs.
Shaw’s course notes offer a really interesting insight into his teaching interests at the time and his thoughts around the importance of adult education. They touch on a diverse number of topics such as the democratisation and popularisation of culture, religion and its impact on adult education and the political landscape at the time. The notes demonstrate the issues important to extra mural practitioners in the post-war period.