Hugh Lunghi was born in Tehran [Iran] in 1920, the son of Philip Lunghi, a member of the British legation in Tehran and the Shah's financial adviser. His mother was Anglo-Russian and Lunghi was brought up speaking both Russian and English. After studying Latin and Greek at the University of Oxford, Lunghi joined the army, becoming a major in the Royal Artillery. His fluency in Russian soon brought him into demand as an interpreter, and he joined the British Military Mission to the Soviet Union as aide-de-camp to the Mission's leader, Lieutenant-General Sir Giffard Martel, in 1943. Lunghi also attended the so-called "Big Three" conferences between Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam [Germany], interpreting for the British Chiefs of Staff, and also for Winston Churchill, [Robert] Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin, when the chief interpreter, Major Arthur Birse, was otherwise engaged or resting. While still with the British Military Mission, just before the Potsdam Conference, Lunghi was in Berlin in July 1945, and was one of the first of the British forces to enter Hitler's bunker.
After the war, Lunghi continued to make good use of his language skills, becoming second secretary at the British Embassy in Moscow and serving as chief interpreter at conferences in the Kremlin for the next ten years. He served as conference secretary and interpreter for all the Western Powers in the Berlin Blockade conference at the Kremlin in 1948, and was personal assistant and interpreter to Lord Montgomery of Alamein in his talks with Stalin and the Soviet Chiefs of Staff.
In the later years of his career, Lunghi joined the BBC World Service and became programme organiser for the Czechoslovakian section when Czechoslovakia was invaded by Soviet troops in 1968, later becoming assistant head of the BBC's Central European Service. He died on 14 March 2014.
Includes: Lunghi's wartime papers from the British Military Mission to Moscow and the "Big Three" wartime conferences, including files and a book found by Lunghi in the Reich Chancellery and Hitler's bunker; photographs and other papers from Lunghi's time at the British Embassy in Moscow.
Initially, Hugh Lunghi gave LUNG 1/4 to the Archives Centre in July 1999, followed by the rest of his papers in May 2011.
LUNG 1/4 was originally added to the Miscellaneous Papers, as MISC 58, but when Lunghi gave the rest of his papers to the Archives Centre it was added to these under its new reference code.
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 Hugh Lunghi, LUNG
A copy of this catalogue 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 catalogue description was compiled by Katharine Thomson in September 2011. Biographical information was taken from the papers themselves and from online articles by Lunghi.