Peter Canham albums of the Gold Coast [i.e. Ghana]
||Peter Canham albums of the Gold Coast [i.e. Ghana]
||Canham, Peter Holmes, 1914-1984, colonial administrator
|Extent and Medium
||267 images in 4 albums; Generally good condition, unless otherwise stated.
||Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library
|Content and context|
Peter Holmes Canham was born on 24 August 1914 and educated at St. Paul's School and Pembroke College, Oxford; BA (Hons). In 1938 he was appointed a Cadet in the Gold Coast Administration and arrived in the Colony on 10th August. His posts were ADC, Mampong, 1938-39, Acting D.C. Kumasi, 1940-42 and D.C. Bekwai, 1942-45, all in Ashanti. In this work in the field, he developed his rapport with Africans and his knowledge of the language (see note on Y30448O/89).
After two years as Senior Assistant Colonial Secretary, he was posted to Whitehall for a further two year in the African Department of the Colonial Office. Returning to the Gold Coast in 1950 he was, for a few months, in charge of the Kumasi district with special responsibility for the General Election under the Coussey Constitution but most of his remaining service, up to the Independence of the Gold Coast as Ghana in 1957, was in central administration - general secretariat duties, 1951-53, regional office, Cape Coast 1953-54, and Secretary to Sir Charles Arden-Clarke, the last Governor of the Gold Coast, 1955-57.
Peter Canham left the Overseas Civil Service on Ghana's Independence; he remained in the country in educational work for a time but later went to Headmasterships of secondary schools in Southern Rhodesia and Uganda, to principalships of teacher training colleges in Western and Northern Nigeria, and finally to teaching Third World Studies in the Institutes of Education under the Universities of London and Cardiff. He retired from Cardiff in June 1981 but his retirement was soon clouded by ill-health and he died in October 1984.
Ronald Wraith regards Canham as one of the last 'generalists' and comments:
'The generalists - the 'heaven-born' - were later to be regarded with some disapprobation. It is true that we could not have gone on like that in the post-War social climate but in the twilight of Empire the point did not arise. But the generalists served their day and generation well. Canham was not 'typical' of them, for contrary to much loose thinking they were not types but individuals. Each was unique but some, to coin a phrase, were more unique than others, and Peter Canham was one of these'.
A collection of albums relating to Canham's career in the Gold Coast. Like his papers, it is a partial collection.
Y30448O is an album of snapshots of his early days in the Colony.
Y30448P includes some photographs relating to his career and also some cuttings and other historical items.
Y30448Q is chiefly of official photographs of the period of Sir Alan Burns' Governorship, 1941-47.
Y30448R is of the last stages to Independence and of Governors Creasy (1948-49) and Arden-Clarke (1949-57). There is also a group of photographs of the funeral of Asantehene in 1970.
Y30448P-R are all albums with transparent film across each page, and since this method was not in use during Canham's career in the Gold Coast, these three presumably represent a re-arrangement of his collection during his later career or retirement. This theory is supported by the fact that a number of photographs have dark paper adhering to their backs, suggesting that they were removed from other albums, and Y30448P/23 was probably a mounted photograph removed from a frame. Canham annotated some of the photographs on the back; there are a few inscriptions in other hands, and some official photographs have typed captions on the back or below. The photographs have all been removed from their albums, examined and returned, and the source of captions is given in each album entry. Photographs taken by various official bodies, indicated by stamps on the backs, are described as 'Official'; where reference numbers are visible, these have been noted.
Ronald Wraith wrote a six-page appraisal of Canham's life, a photocopy of which, supplied by Alan Bell, Librarian of Rhodes House, has been inserted in Y30448O, and was drawn upon for the biographical information provided in this catalogue.
Given by Mrs. Jennifer Irvine, Peter Canham's sister, through Ronald Wraith CBE, in April 1990.
Access and Use|
Please cite as Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library, Peter Canham albums of the Gold Coast [i.e. Ghana], Y30448O-R
Use was also made, both in the biographical information and the other catalogue notes, of the Gold Coast Staff Lists of 1938 and 1956-57, the Colonial Office List and Who's Who.
Ronald Wraith deposited Canham's papers, which do not provide a systematic coverage of his career, in Rhodes House, Oxford.
This collection level description was entered by SG using information from the original typescript catalogue.
|Canham, Peter Holmes (1914-1984) colonial administrator|
|RCS/Y30448O-R contains: |
||Canham album of the Gold Coast [i.e. Ghana] 1938-39. Black album, measuring 255 x 190 mm, containing photographs; one is loose and there is an empty space by one caption. Unless otherwise stated, they are snapshots measuring 85 x 60 mm, in landscape (L) or portrait (P) format. The majority are amateur photographs, presumably taken by Canham or his associates during his early days in the Gold Coast. He travelled with a number of colleagues also on their first appointment to the Colony - which many of them served until Independence - and brief biographical details of these and other members of the Gold Coast administration who appear in these photographs are listed below. The album is well captioned, and the entries in Canham's own words have been copied in the catalogue. A few additional or explanatory notes have been added, where appropriate, after the indication of format or size. Each page has a geographical heading, and these have been included in this catalogue. Apart from the outward journey,and a few scenes in Accra, all of these photographs were probably taken in Ashanti, beginning with the capital Kumasi (17-24, 27-28, 100-102) to which Canham presumably reported. Manso Nkwanta is probably Manso on the Cape Coast-Kumasi road, and 25-26 should therefore precede 17. Lake Busumtwi, and Abunu on it (29-31, 43-44) is some 34 miles south-east of Kumasi, but Owabi has not been identified. Canham was apparently posted for a time as ADC Obuasi (plate 50), about 30 miles south west of Kumasi (44-66 - it is puzzling to know why Fuller - see plate 60 - was there). His main posting was to Mampong, north of Kumasi (67-99, 125-128, 133-153, 157-171). Banko (39-42, 45) is south of Mampong. Ejura (103-105) is on the road north-east from Mampong to Attabubu (106-110, 129-132), some 85 miles north east of Kumasi, and Bassa (111-124) is apparently in the same area. Nsuta (154-156) has not been located. Ronald Wraith wrote a six-page appraisal of Canham's life, a photocopy of which, supplied by Alan Bell, Librarian of Rhodes House, has been inserted in this album. Notes on officials pictured:. David Moor Allen (born 1916). Cadet 1938, continued in Ghana after Independence, M.B.E. Plates 2, 4, 7, 15, 20, 24 and 39. Lindsay Anderson Britton (born 1909). Formerly in Accountant-General's Department: A.D.C. Kumasi, 1938. Commissioner, Gambia, 1942. Plates 25, 33, 36-38, 40, 42. Rowland Edward Crabb (born 1914). Formerly in Colonial Treasury. Cadet 1938. Remained until Independence. Retired 1957. Plates 6, 9, 43-44. John Duncan (born 1914). Cadet 1938. Plates 4, 8-9. William Vickery Fuller (born 1907). Cadet 1929. Acting D.C. Mampong, 1937, D.C. 1946. Plates 60, 125, 132, 165, 172. Tom Hindle (born 1915). Cadet 1938. Continued in Ghana after Independence. Retired 1958. Plate 43. Sir Arnold Wienholt Hodson (1881-1944). Served in Bechuanaland Police 1904-1912 (see Y30549A for his photographs) and in military and diplomatic posts in Somaliland and Ethiopia 1912-1926. Governor of the Falkland Islands 1926-1930, Sierra Leone 1930-1934, and the Gold Coast 1934-1941. Plates 100-102, 157-162. Dr Charles Blake Jennings (born 1897). Assistant Director of Medical Services 1938. Plate 132. Cecil Douglas Ayrton Pullan (born 1910). Cadet 1933. ADC Bekwai to June 1938. Senior Assistant Colonial Secretary 1947. Plates 115, 125, 132. (Sir) George Evelyn Sinclair (born 1912). Cadet 1936. ADC Bekwai, July 1938. DC 1943. Deputy Governor Cyprus 1955-1960. Knight 1960. MP 1964-1979. Active in educational and development issues. Plate 25.
172 images in 1 album; Mostly in good condition..
||Canham album of the Gold Coast [i.e. Ghana] (Miscellaneous). A blue album, measuring 295 x 310 mm, with transparent wrap-over cover to pages, containing photographs and documents. Plates 1-3 are historical photographs, 4-6 extracts from the Illustrated London News, 7 an important telegram to Sir Gordon Guggisberg, and 8-12 snapshots, measuring approximately 85 x 60 mm. 16-20 are sepia postcards in portrait (P) or landscape (L) format. The remainder show events of 1941-1950. The caption to 1 is derived from an inscriptionon the back, as are 13-15 and 21-22. The details of 23 are from the mount of the photograph.
23 images in 1 album.
||Canham collection of the Gold Coast [i.e. Ghana] 1946. A red album, measuring 245 x 290 mm, with a transparent wrap-over cover to pages, containing photographs. The majority relate to official events of 1946 involving Sir Alan Burns (1887-1980) Governor of the Gold Coast 1941-47. These include the first meeting, on 23 July, of the Legislative Council formed under the March Constitution (38-43), and the Kumasi Durbar of 12 December (10, 12-32, 34, 36). Captions 1-2, 7-9, 18, 26-27, 37, 43-44 are from written details on the backs; 11 and 33 from typed captions on the backs; 38-41 from typed descriptions inserted below the photographs. Others are descriptive. The majority of those 12-36 have serial numbers between DW 4313 and 4337, and though the event they show is not named, 20 (DW 4327) is also to be found at Y30446D/7, where it is identified as a Durbar at Kumasi on 12 December 1946. 28, though not in the series, is clearly of the same occasion, as is 26, in which the Asantehene is dressed identically to 32. 33 and 35 appear to be of other occasions, but 10 probably belongs with it.
44 images in 1 album.
||Canham album of the Gold Coast [i.e. Ghana] 1947-57, 1970. A blue album, measuring 255 x 295 mm, with a transparent wrap-over cover to pages, containing photographs. 3-21 show events and groups from 1947-57 and 22-27 relate to the funeral of Asantehene Prempeh II, 1970. Captions to 1-11, 17-19, 23-27 are based on inscriptions on the backs, 12-16 have no inscriptions, 20-21 are supplied by DHS, and 22 is taken from the printed details on the back of the card.
27 images in 1 album.