This collection consists of 47 rolls of film of various lengths, reflecting Sir Donald Hawley's career and travels as a colonial diplomat and lawyer. The earlier films show his time in the Trucial States (United Arab Emirates) and include visits around the area, both official and unofficial. There are shots of ceremonies including the celebration of Eid, ceremonial dances, the recognition of Sheikh Rashid Bin Said as Ruler of Dubai, and scenes showing dignitaries and the Trucial Oman Scouts.
The following films show similar scenes in Muscat and Oman generally, where Hawley held office as British Ambassador. These films include footage of Oman National Day celebrations, visits and parades, and tours around the country.
Remaining films cover Hawley's time in Eqypt and Iraq, with footage of visits to many archaeological sites. There are also a number of reels showing scenes in Malaysia, recording Hawley's last posting overseas.
The footage is interspersed with family and domestic scenes, such as the marriage of Donald Hawley to Ruth Howes, and shots of their children in various countries and settings. Several holidays also feature, such as trips toTuscany and Cyprus.
19 of the 47 films have been digitised.
Extent and medium
Papers of Sir Donald Hawley are held at Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections (ref. GB-0033-HAW)
Sir Donald Hawley KCMG MBE (22 May 1921–31 January 2008) was a soldier, lawyer, administrator and author, but will be remembered for his accomplishments as a diplomat. He spent much of his working life in colonial political service.
Hawley was educated at Radley School, Oxfordshire, then at New College, Oxford, where he studied Law. During WW2 he served with the Royal Artillery in Sudan, and in 1944 joined the Sudan Political Service, then later the Sudan Judiciary of the High Court in Khartoum. After his stay in Sudan, Hawley began working as an overseas Political Agent in the Trucial States (United Arab Emirates) based in Dubai (1958-1962), then moved to Cairo as Head of Chancery (1962-1965). This was followed by a two-year posting in Lagos (1965-1967).
After a sabbatical at Durham University which was cut short, Hawley was posted to Baghdad in 1968 as Commercial Counsellor, at a time when Britain was resuming relations with Iraq. Between 1971 and 1975, he served as the first British ambassador to Oman. He spent the last four years of his service as High Commissioner to Malaysia from 1977 to 1981. Within the Hawley film collection, his stays within Dubai and Muscat in Oman stand as the most prominent of his recorded visits, alongside his time in Baghdad and Malaysia.
His family feature large in his films. Hawley married Ruth Howes, a notable presence within the footage, in 1964, after meeting her in Cairo. They had three daughters (Sarah, Caroline and Susan) and one son (Christopher).
Hawley was awarded an MBE (Member of Order of British Empire) in 1955, CMG (Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George) in 1970, and knighted KCMG in 1978 (Knight Commander of St Michael and St George).
Following retirement, Sir Donald and Lady Hawley lived in Little Cheverell, Wiltshire, where he wrote a number of books, including several on the Sudan and a history of Little Cheverell. Sir Donald Hawley died in 2008.
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Hawley collection, 1958-1981
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Hawley collection, 1958-1981
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