Geoffrey Harper was born in Patea, New Zealand, 21 November 1894. He was educated at Huntley School and Wanganui Collegiate School, New Zealand.
He joined the Royal Navy and served on HMS Highflyer, 1913-14, HMS Endymion, 1914, HMS Dreadnought, 1914-16, HMS Godetia, HMS Daphne and HMS Devonshire, 1916, and HMS Courageous. 1916-17. He was promoted Acting Lieutenant, 1917, and Lieutenant, 1918, and served on HMS Indomitable, 1918-19. He joined HMS Odin and saw action in Somaliland (Somalia), 1919-20. He retired from the Navy, 1931.
He was employed as a teacher at St Michael's School, Uckfield, 1931-5, and Assistant Superintendant at the Lancashire and Cheshire National Sea Training Home for Boys, Wallasey, 1935-6. He became private secretary to the Governor of the Leeward Islands, 1936-8.
He rejoined the Royal Navy and was assigned to HMS Lucia off the coast of East Africa, 1939-40. He was Fleet Navigating Officer, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 1940-2; Assistant King's Harbour Master, Sheerness, 1942-4; and Captain Superintendant, Tricomalee, 1945-7. He retired in 1948.
He remained in Ceylon, working as a teacher in Colombo, 1949-54, and bursar at St Thomas' College, Guritalawa, 1954-6. He settled in Umtali, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 1956-8; Durban, South Africa, 1958-61; and Malta, 1961-2. He died on 1 October 1962.
The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Audrey Chitty, 1970 and 1971.
The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.
Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.
Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Geoffrey Harper, HRPR
Churchill Archives Centre also holds a collection of newspapers given by Audrey Chitty (reference: GBR/0014/CHTY).
Copies of the collection level description and catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London, and on the Janus website http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk.
This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, August 2004. The collection has been catalogued. Information was obtained from a curriculum vitae amongst the papers.