Letter in the Attic

Personal papers of Gordon Harris (1924-1999)

About this contribution:


A collection of papers and photos relating to GH as a young man, including:

1. Application by Gordon Harris to be registered as a conscientious objector at the start of World War II

2. Letter from GH to himself on his 21st birthday, dated July 1945

3. Hand-produced magazine produced by GH for the Silver Jubilee

4. Three programmes of the 'International Problems Discussion Group', which GH organised. These date from 1945-46. Also one programme of the Peace Pledge Union, which met at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton East Sussex, in 1942-43, at which GH is listed as a speaker.

5. Hove High School exercise book which contains a spoof fashion book with drawings by GH, which illustrate ladies' fashion during rationing, featuring clothes made out of seaweed and towels (no date, presumably from late 1930s-early 1940s - Gordon was aged 16 in 1940.)

Biographical information

GH was born in London in 1924 and lived in Hove for most of his life; from the 1930s to the 1950s in Lawrence Road, from the 1950s to the 1960s in Brunswick Terrace and Adelaide Crescent, and from the 1970s to the 1990s in Hartington Villas.

During the War, GH was a Conscientious Objector and as such had to do hospital or land Work. In 1943 he worked on a farm behind Mile Oak and as a Porter at the Children's Hospital on Dyke Road, Brighton. In 1944 he worked as a Porter at the Surgical Nursing Home, Brunswick Road, Hove and at Aldrington Nurseries, Rutland Gardens, Hove, where they grew tomatoes and lettuces.

After the Second World War, he worked as an Accounts Clerk and as an Assistant Bursar. From 1947 GH worked as an Audit Clerk for Edmonds and Co in offices above NatWest in the Pavillion Buildings in Brighton. In addition to this, from 1952, GH wrote a column on local musical life for the Brighton and Hove Herald with reviews of performances and notes on upcoming events.

In 1959 GH became an Accounts Clerk at Holes and Davigdor Hygienic Dairies in Davigdor Road, Hove, which later became Unigate. In the 1960s GH worked as Assistant Bursar at Roedean Girl's School. In the 1980s he worked as Accounts Book Keeper for the Alliance and Leicester Social Club based at the Alliance and Leicester headquarters, Hove Park.

GH's interests included books, politics, travel and music (he played the cello). In 1946 he joined Hove Musical Club, which had an orchestra and a choir . The club met weekly in a room in Hove Town Hall. GH also formed, and was Conductor of, the

Hove String Orchestra which practised weekly at St John's Church Hall, Palmeira Square.

GH died in Hove in 1999.

Name of creator(s)

Harris, Gordon

Dates covered by the material


Extent and form of the material

Scans of 1 application, 1 Tribunal Report, 1 letter and envelope, excerpt from scrapbook, 5 photos, school exercise book, 4 programmes for discussion groups, 39 scans in total.

Access conditions



Digital copies of all the papers to be donated to the East Sussex Record Office. Originals of the letter, application and tribunal report (LIA/10/4, LIA/10/5 and LIA/10/6) also deposited at East Sussex Record Office.


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