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Book Description
Complete personal archive of documents and correspondence of Scottish mechanical engineer, Lieutenant-Colonel in the Sudan Defence Force, Personal military number 254419 (SDF 978), and freemason attached to the Khartoum Lodge, Andrew Cameron Robertson of Perthshire, who spent 24 years in Sudan and who contributed greatly to the accessibility of motor transport in Sudan, commercially, for war supply, and for agriculture. Comprises approximately 280 documents, manuscript and typescript, mostly correspondence and mostly in English, a scant few documents with portions in Arabic; including a certificate from the Governor of Sudan for a notable civil appointment; continuous correspondence regarding his military posts, the structuring of the Sudan Defence Force during and post war; some fascinating "private" letters describing concerns and incidents, and comprehensive documentation of his lengthy career in Sudan. Contained and chronologically organized in Robertson's five folio archival folders of Sudan Government stationery, each measuring approximately 25 x 35 cm. Together with his Army Book 439 Officer's Record of Service, signed by him, with manuscript entries throughout, blue cloth boards with fold-over flap, printed to front, measuring approximately 11 x 14 cm. Together with his signed Masonic membership certificate in English and Latin, with the embossed seal of the organisation, steel engraved allegorical illustration, a watermarked single leaf measuring approximately 31,5 x 40,5 cm. The lot in very good condition, a primary source archive which provides rare insight of the inner workings and politics of the Sudan Defence Force during the Second World War, post-war operations of the Sudan Government, by a respected Engineer who was for more than two decades greatly involved.
Dealer Notes
Primary source accounts from Sudan during the Second World War are rare. The present archive reveals matters of discord between the Army and the Government, during this period and after the war when restructuring of civil service was taking place, providing insight from a leading participant whose work as a mechanical engineer made a mark in Sudan, including the formation of a Mechanical Transport Department.
Andrew Cameron Robertson (born 1901) of Perthshire, Scotland, arrived in Sudan in 1927 on a three-year working contract as Motor Engineer for the Sudan Mercantile Co. Ltd. Upon arrival, he learned basic Arabic. His contract was renewed in 1930 and he became manager of the firm in 1932, which was by then called the Sudan Mercantile Company (Motors) Ltd. The earliest folder pertains to obtaining this work. In all, he would work with the firm for ten years.

In June 1937, the British Government offered him the civilian post of "Manager, Stores & Workshops, Mechanical Transport, Sudan Defence Force."

Robertson became a Freemason at the Grand Lodge of Scotland on 21 December Anno Lucis 5938 [21 Dec 1938], joining the Khartoum Lodge No, 2877. A certificate of Grand Master is signed by him on 6 February 1939.

He joined the Army's Sudan Defence Force in April 1940 and was placed on the register for the Emergency Reserve. Officially enrolled on 12 June 1940 as a 2nd Lieutenant, he served in Khartoum North, in mechanical engineering. Three days later, a letter confirms this rank of "Bimbashi" in pdgin terminology and indicates that he's posted to "Mechanical Transport" as a temporary commission. A large certificate printed in English and Arabic bearing the red seal of the Governor of Sudan, completed and signed in manuscript, makes it official. He gained the rank of Captain on 5 May 1942 and was appointed at the same time as Temporary Major. From 4 November 1942 to at least end of September 1945 he was attached to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps (REME). During this period (1942-1943) his special desert experience included the "organisation and administration of a Special Mobile Desert Recovery Unit operating on Wadi Halfa - Kufra. On a document from March 1943, he is referred to as "El Kaim" short for Kaimakam, indicating that he then held a higher rank, having been promoted to Temporary Major sometime after January 21st. In his army book we learn that he was a Major on 29 April 1944.
Author Major Andrew Cameron Robertson
Date 1927-1951
Condition The lot is in very good condition

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