William Hasted was born in India on 28 September 1897, son of William Anderson Hasted, an official of the Indian Civil Service, and his wife, Mabel Jessie. At various times he was educated at the Royal Military Academy Woolwich, Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge and the School of Military Engineering, Chatham, but the chief part of his education was at Cheltenham College, which he attended from about 1910 to 1915. He was then commissioned into the 2nd Division of the Royal Engineers, serving in France and Belgium during the First World War, 1916-18, for which he was mentioned in despatches and received the MC in 1916.
In 1920 Hasted married Hella Elizabeth Mary (she died in 1961), daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Cuming, of Doneraile, County Cork, Ireland; they had no children. Some time after the war, Hasted became an Instructor of Military Engineering, first at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (1924-1926) and then at the Royal Military College of Canada, in Kingston, Ontario (1926-1930). He then returned to army life, serving as Garrison Engineer at Tidworth [Wiltshire] (1930-32), then OCRE South Irish Coast Defence (1932-1936). Hasted was posted to India's North West Frontier with the Bengal Sappers-Miners (Peshawar) in 1936, before being appointed to northern command headquarters in 1937. He distinguished himself in the Waziristan Operations during 1937 (he was mentioned in despatches twice and was awarded the DSO) and became commander of the Royal Engineers in the Waziristan District, (1938-1941). He was mentioned in despatches again and became a CBE following the Waziristan Admadzai Operations in 1940, then Deputy Chief Engineer at the Northern Command headquarters of the Tenth Army (1941-1942). Hasted was then appointed Deputy Engineer-in-Chief (Air), at General Headquarters in New Delhi (1942-1943), taking charge of airfield construction, then Chief Engineer of the Fourteenth Army in Burma [later Myanmar], from 1944-1945, for which service he was awarded the CB. He then served as Chief Engineer for the Allied Land Forces of south-east Asia command (1945-1946), before ending his military career as Engineer-in-Chief in India (1946-1947).
Hasted retired in 1948. After a brief spell as Controller of Aerodromes for the Ministry of Civil Aviation (1947-48), and the inaugural President of Loughborough College, Leicestershire (1950-1951), he became the first Controller of Development for Kuwait in 1952. Hasted oversaw the development of new schools, water distillation plants, power stations, a new port at Shuwaikh and the beginning of Kuwait Airways, which was launched in 1954, in the same year as his retirement from the Persian Gulf.
Following this second retirement, Hasted remained active, purchasing a dairy farm in North Devon in 1955, marrying Catherine Levis in 1961 after his first wife's death, then emigrating to Australia in 1963. He joined a civil engineering firm in the following year, then in 1966 spent time renovating an old house in Australia and in 1968 obtained a taxi-drivers' permit and drove a taxi for one year. In 1969 he returned home to renovate his old family home in Suffolk, before opening licensed premises in 1975, two years before his death on 29 October 1977.
The papers are entirely concerned with projects during Hasted's appointment as the first Controller of Development for the ruler of Kuwait.
This small collection of papers of Major-General Hasted were given to the Churchill Archives Centre in 1978 by his son.
The papers are owned by Churchill College, Cambridge.
With the exception of papers too fragile to produce, 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 Major-General William Hasted, HSTD
A copy of this finding aid is 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 finding aid was prepared by Katharine Thomson at Churchill Archives Centre in June 2005 from an existing catalogue. Additional biographical information was taken from Who's Who (A&C Black) and from Richard Davenport-Hines's essay, 'Hasted, William Freke (1897-1977)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.