Lord Portal Collection

The Viscount Portal papers

Letters and memoranda exchanged during the war, both between Viscount Portal, Churchill and the principal RAF commanders. This collection presents those wartime papers which Portal had collated and subsequently bequeathed to his former college in Oxford. Contained within it, is Viscount Portal’s correspondence with the many different branches of the wartime RAF, including the AOCs of Fighter Command, Coastal Command and Transport Command (files 7, 8 and 11), as well as the Deputy Supreme Commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (file 12) and Portal’s letters to the successive AOCs of Bomber Command, Sir Richard Peirse and then Sir Arthur Harris (files 9-10). For the contents list of these document, please click on 'Lord Portal Archive - RAF'.

Three more Portal archives have recently become available for consultation. These were examined in detail, listed and catalogued by Mr Robert Sandell, to whom the Library staff wish to convey their gratitude. The recently declassified archives contain personal diaries and letters, original documents and copies of Portal's WW2 Minutes and other correspondence with Churchill, Harris and Mountbatten and many other British and American wartime leaders, official documents and papers relating to Portal's WW1 combat record, inter-war appointments, and post-WW2 business career, including speeches and articles from various periods. Also photographs and press cuttings. Separately, there are the working files used by Denis Richards for his biography of Lord Portal (Heinemann, 1977). For detailed lists of contents, see attachments below.

Access to the papers of Lord Portal is through the library staff in the usual way, but permission to publish extracts should be sought from:

Mr Sebastian Cox
Head of Air Historical Branch(RAF)
Building 824
Royal Air Force
West End Road
Telephone – 0208 833 8150