MC:F57/MS2 Papers relating to Thomas Boase (President 1947-68)
Thomas Sherrer Ross Boase (1898–1974) served as a Lieutenant with the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry from 1917–1919 and was an Exhibitioner at Magdalen from 1919–1921. He studied history and received a second class BA in 1921 and an MA in 1925. After serving in WWII as a civil servant, Boase was elected President of Magdalen College in 1947. Boase retained this position until 1968. He died in 1974. Photographs relating to Boase’s installation as Vice-Chancellor can be found in MC:F57/P1/1–5. Boase’s own papers can be found in MC:PR35.
MC:F57/MS2/1 22 April 1974
The obituary of “Thomas Sherrer Ross Boase 1898–1974” written by Adams. Adams’ initials “A.W.A” and the date “22 April 1974” appear at the end of the document.
Six chapters of the autobiography of Thomas Boase and a chapter he wrote on religion and the Church. The attached letter, dated “21st January 1975”, explains that the chapters were given to Adams by a friend who typed at least the latter part of the work. The work itself is undated but its content indicates it was certainly written after Boase retired as President of Magdalen in 1968. The letter explains that the first four chapters had been seen by various people during Boase’s life to determine their suitability for publication but that the last two and the chapter on religion had only just been typed. The author of the letter asks whether Magdalen might consider printing or typing the work for private circulation.
The chapters of Boase’s autobiography address sections of his life as follows:
— The first chapter covers 1898–1916 and the interests and events of Boase’s childhood;
— the second chapter covers 1917–1926 and Boase’s experiences in France during WWI and return to Oxford at its conclusion;
— the third chapter covers 1926–39 and Boase’s life between the two World Wars and his work for the Courtauld Institute;
— chapter four addresses “The Middle East” and Boase’s experience of WWII in England and Cairo and his work with the British Council in the Middle East;
— chapter five covers 1946–1968 and Boase’s return from the War and position as President at Magdalen;
— chapter six addresses “Old age” and Boase’s work and travel during his retirement;
— chapter seven addresses Boase’s religious experience and beliefs and his thoughts on the place of the Church.
Boase regularly refers to elements of contemporary culture, especially theatre productions he attended.
Return here to the introduction to this catalogue.