Harold Sidney Abrahamson (c 1892 - 1962)

In 1946, Nesta Mary Maxwell Wood (née Morgan-Owen) married for a second time [Windsor 1946, 3rd qt]. I understand that most, if not all, of her family knew nothing of this until after her death and that her sister, Gwen, refused to allow her married name of Abrahamson to appear on her gravestone, possibly an example of anti-Semitism (I am reliably informed that Gwen's intolerance in religious matters extended to stipulating that no one who was Roman Catholic or who had married a Roman Catholic was to benefit under her will). Gwen might have thought more kindly of Harold had she known him. Though much of his early life is still shrouded in mystery, evidence suggests that, as an adult, he shared many similarities of character with Nesta's father, Timothy Morgan-Owen, though their contrasting views and political allegiances might have prompted lively discussion. Harold's varied career saw him working for the Government, living in and involving himself in commerce in the Far East and authorship. He was never one to shirk from confrontation, was passionate about certain issues and had the distinction of being honoured by the Queen of the Netherlands for his work in WWII.

His entry of marriage on the General Register states that his name was Harold Sidney Abrahamson or Ashton and it transpires that H.S. Ashton was a pseudonym Harold used as an author. He wrote pamphlets on social issues, on matters relating to oversees and on quinine, including "Housing: Facts and Considerations for Liberals and Others" (1922), "Unemployment: a contribution to the discussion" (1922), "Chapters in the Recent History of Quinine" (1924) and "Clamour for Colonies" (1936). His books include "The Netherlands at War" (1941), "The Jew at Bay" (1934), an attempt to summarise the Jews (see below), "The Painter of Leiden" (1935), a novel based on the life of the Dutch painter, Rembrandt, (with the dedication "To P., who loves The Hague"), all written under his nom de plume. The Times Literary Supplement was not greatly impressed; one positive comment was followed by the view that this particular work was "marred by a tendency to cheap writing".

The following account of Harold's life shows that he had commercial and residential associations with the Dutch East Indies and, for a while, Harold's background was confused by the fact that there was an Edward Ellis Abrahamson who had planting and trading interests in the Dutch East Indies and who had a son Harold [b Lewisham 1893, 2nd qt]. However, in 1924 this Harold Abrahamson changed his name by Deed Poll to Harold Ellis Morey (both he and his brother, Albert, adopted the surname Morey, that of their maternal grandmother) so his life thereafter cannot be confused with that of Harold Sidney Abrahamson.

Piecing together an account of Harold's past suggests Harold Sidney Abrahamson himself may have used a different name at one time. (Incidentally, the name Abrahamson has many variations in records, including Abrahamsan, Abramson and Bramson.) Various similarities strongly suggest he was the Harold Samuel Abrahamson who had been an accountant and office manager in the Far East before making a successful application in 1917 to join the Chinese Labour Corps in France, where he did serve for a while as a 2nd Lieutenant (he was made a temporary 2nd Lt in July 1917). He was attached to the Chinese Labour Corps when he relinquished his commission in 1919 [London Gazette, 23 May 1919]. Harold Sidney, known to be an expert on quinine, was working for the Government during the war (see later information) and the following note about him, written in 1918, refers to his having the rank of Lieutenant, further circumstantial evidence that Harold Stanley and Harold Samuel were the same man. The 1918 note said that Harold Stanley Abrahamson was to report to the London District Labour Centre but he was "not to be called up for two or three months. He is a recognised authority on Quinine, a subject which is giving cause for great anxiety at the present moment. Important negotiations are taking place with the Dutch Authorities and with the Manufacturers' Association. Mr. McLachan, who was to conduct these, is incapacitated through ill health and considerable use will have to be made of Lieutenant Abrahamson's services." I have found no references to "Harold Samuel Abrahamson" other than his war record in WWI.

Both Harolds state that their father was a merchant and a single digit transcription error may explain why Harold Samuel's birth, given in 1917 as 30th October 1882, in London (there is no record of such a birth on the General Register), differed from that of Harold Sidney who, according to his marriage certificate and age at death, was born in 1892. The only possible birth on the General Register is that of "Solomon Samuel Abrahamson" [Whitechapel 1892, 4th qt] It would appear that this was a different person. The 1901 census shows an eight year old Solomon Abrahamson living at 40 Beauchamp Place, in South Kensington, London, with his father, Samuel (37, a tailor, born in Holland), his mother Hannah (33, born in London), his sister Flora (6, born in London), a Dutch servant and a Belgian lodger. Samuel Salomon Abrahamson (b 13 Dec 1863 in Utrecht) had married Hannah Vleeschdrager in 1892 [Mile End 1892, 1st qt].

According to his 1917 application, Harold Samuel Abrahamson was a widower, living at 99 Ebury Street, Grosvenor Place, London, which was a boarding house: He had been educated at St Mark's College (I believe this was the teacher training college of that name in Chelsea) and privately: He had suffered from Malaria, had been involved in the formation of the Singapore Civil Guard, in which he had served: He had borne arms in the Singapore Mutiny of 1915: He had previously worked for the Department of Information, House of Lords, writing articles and translating in connection with Dutch affairs. In 1919 his demobilisation papers stated that his permanent address was 'The New Oxford and Cambridge Club', 68 Pall Mall, London; membership is restricted to Oxbridge graduates and undergraduates yet there no mention of this in his 1917 application. These papers also repeated that he was a temporary lieutenant and a widower. They also showed that, at that time, he was working in the War Office, in London.

Harold Samuel Abrahamson's enlistment application stated that he had been secretary of Garner Quelch and Co Ltd in Singapore, where he had been for the past four years and that he had returned to England only a month previously. Garner Quelch and Co was a wine and spirit merchants, established in Singapore in 1911. It was floated as a limited liability company in 1913 when its owner, by Mr C E Garner left the Far East. The Straits Times of 21 July 1914 reported that the wife of "Mr Abrahamson of Garner Quelch and Co" had died from Typhoid, leaving him with a daughter to look after. The following August that same newspaper reported that "Mr H Abrahamson of Garner Quelch and Co" was involved in a fight with a Chinese man who was found guilty of attacking Harold as he left his office; Harold was acquitted of any charges.

Nesta's husband was known to have been an expert on quinine but that does not preclude his working for Garner Quelch and Co. In 1911, they advertised their Vermouth made from tonic, aromatic herbs grown on the firm's farms in the Alps, quinine and old muscatel wine and claimed to be "the largest Manufacturers in the World" of Italian vermouth; perhaps Harold was involved in their quinine supply.

Harold Sidney Abrahamson was an avid pamphleteer but, often as "H S Abrahamson", he was also an enthusiastic writer of letters to newspapers, most often to The Times on a diverse range of subjects. In September 1916, "H Abrahamson" wrote from Singapore to the editor of the Straits Times about an uprising in Sumatra. He was critical of England and of the Netherlands for ignoring the resources available in that country; only the Germans seemed prepared to establish trade links. He pointed out the poverty of the natives and the threat from the "Sarikat Islam" movement and he cited comments he had made in that paper three years previously about the likelihood these factors would lead to unrest in the Dutch East Indies. The letter showed a similar style to those "H S Abrahamson" would later write to The Times, at least some of which identified the writer as Harold Sidney Abrahamson. Many of Harold's letters to The Times during WWII sought to ensure that the plight of the Dutch people was not forgotten; he used occasions such as the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina to prompt such reminders.

It is clear that the Harold Sidney Abrahamson, whom Nesta was to marry, was the man whose life was summarised, in May 1935, in a note relating to the Royal Commission on the Private Manufacture of and Trading in Arms.

The attached Memorandum on the nitrogen trade has been submitted by Mr. H S Abrahamson, who described himself as an Economist. He says he is the author (under the nom de plume H S Ashton) of many publications; that he was attached to the Department of Commerce in Java (Dutch East Indies) before the war; was in charge, during the war, of the Quinine Supply Department under the War Office; was the writer of propaganda articles for the Ministry of Information; was closely associated with Mr Asquith's (unofficial, post-war) Committee on Housing; and has twice been an unsuccessful Liberal candidate for Parliament.

Harold was Managing Director of the Association of Quinine Manufacturers in Allied Countries, when he became a major negotiator on behalf of the British Government in the formation of the 1918 agreement with the Java consortium of cinchona suppliers; cinchona bark, required to produce quinine, was, indeed, in short supply.

The following extract from 'Antimicrobial Drugs: Chronicle of a twentieth century medical triumph' by David Greenwood (2008)] concerns H.S. Abrahamson and quinine:

By the time of the First World War ... supplies of quinine were inadequate and the Dutch had a virtual monopoly of the [cinchona] bark. Vast quantities of the drug were being consumed throughout the world, a situation exacerbated in the last year of the war by the mistaken belief that it might be of use in the developing influenza epidemic. It was only on 3 September 1918, 10 weeks before the armistice was signed, that the British authorities - led by H.S. Abrahamson, managing director of the Association of Quinine Manufacturers in Allied Countries - succeeded in concluding a 'War Agreement' with the Kina Bureau, a consortium of plantation owners in Java. This belatedly guaranteed the Allies sole rights to the Dutch supplies for the duration of the war. Once the war was over, the agreement lapsed and world quinine prices leapt.

At the company meeting of the Anglo-Dutch Plantations of Java Ltd., the following was reported [The Times (London), Saturday, 1 Nov 1919; pg. 18]:

You will be interested to hear that we have joined a British Chamber of commerce for the Netherlands East Indies which has just been inaugurated largely owing to the initiative of Mr. H.S. Abrahamson, who also had so much to do with the quinine contract.

In 1919, a Parliamentary Profiteering Committee looked into the issue of quinine supply and price and Harold came in for considerable criticism. During questioning he claimed to have known the Netherlands East Indies for the previous fifteen years (i.e. since 1904) and to have lived in Java for seven years. The British Government must have known of Harold's conflict of interests in conducting the negotiations but seem to have turned a blind eye. A fellow researcher, who has provided me with much of this material, wrote: "Everything hangs on whether the Dutch had tipped him off that they were going to put up the price of quinine. He insists that they didn't tell him but his detractors pointed out that his office was next door to that of the Dutch and they were 'exceedingly friendly'. A large profit was made as a result of the price increase but no-one has said directly that he benefitted personally. They were complaints about the high salary he was getting but the British Quinine Corporation didn't last long." He did, later, concede that the Corporation, of which he was then managing director, did make a profit from the price rise in quinine but that this profit was an extremely small one. (Chapters in the Recent History of Quinine (1924), p 47)

In 1920 the issue was raised in Parliament. Mr. Glanville, MP wondered whether all the relevant papers had been made available to the Parliamentary Profiteering Committee and asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether he had any statement to make as to the quinine transaction conducted by his Department with the British Quinine Corporation; he was reassured on the first point and referred to the Committee's report on the second. Mr Glanville then asked, perhaps tongue in cheek in the light of the Committee's report, "whether Mr. Abrahamson rendered valuable services to the associated Governments during the War in connection with obtaining quinine supplies at a time when they were urgently needed for tropical campaigns; and whether His Majesty's Government has awarded Mr. Abrahamson any recognition for those services which were rendered by him in the capacity of a second lieutenant?" This elicited the reply: "Mr. Abrahamson was attached to the Contracts Branch of the War Office from September, 1917, to April, 1918, and rendered good service in connection with the supply of quinine for the Army. Whilst so employed, he held the rank and drew the pay of a second lieutenant. His services were of considerable value to the Army, but, as was the case with many other officers, no special recognition was awarded him."

Meanwhile, The Times (London), 21 Jan 1921; pg. 4 reported an on-going court case between H.S. Abrahamson and Bassano Ltd. over access to a corridor in the premises they both occupied at 38 Dover Street, London.

Harold Abrahamson was the H.S. Abrahamson who stood for election as a Liberal M.P. in Stafford (Cannock) in 1922. This is one of several sites that carry a photograph of the Liberal candidate, H.S. Abrahamson, with the caption: "A 'Fighter' as Liberal candidate for Cannock. Mr H S Abrahamson, the Liberal candidate for the Cannock division. He was in the firing line with the Shropshire Regiment during the war and later held an important position in the Ministry of Information. 13 November 1922." Harold maintained he did remarkably well for a Liberal candidate in a mining area, despite the Labour candidate accusing him of "profiteering" from the quinine issue.

In 1923 Harold wrote a letter to The Times extolling the virtues of the "Magna Charta of the cinchona industry" which "is still in force". In 1925 the Bureau tot Bevordering van het Kinine-gebruik in the Netherlands published articles claiming that quinine, as well as effectively helping to combat malaria, was effective treatment for pneumonia, haemorrhoids, lumbago, cancer, and syphilis. In May 1928 an article in the New York Times stated: "It is owing to the excellent scientific and business management of the Java cinchona production, says the gazette [the Gazette de Hollande], that Java is now almost the only region where cinchona is cultivated and also that the price of the raw material is so low". The New York Times article when on to say that the cinchona agreement was flawed but at every revision such flaws were remedied and "such an agreement is the only means of preventing cinchona planters abandoning cinchona planting owing to the great uncertainty inherent in the culture (this happened, for example, in Ceylon) and turning their attention to the cultivation of other crops (tea)."

In 1924 Harold published another of his pamphlets, Chapters in the Recent History of Quinine. It explains how Dr Lovink, on being appointed Director of Agriculture and Commerce in Java, decided that it was necessary to form the Association of Cinchona Planters in Java to look into the economics of cinchona production, as growers lacked commercial acumen and many were poverty-stricken. Harold was appointed to take charge of a semi-official bureau which was attached to the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Their research concluded that there was a massive problem of over-production at that time but during the war, when demand far outweighed supply, there were concerns that Dutch supplies could fall into the hands of the Germans. Harold had been recalled from France in 1917 to set about safeguarding Allied supplies of bark. He was so shocked by the administrative chaos he found that he was not prepared to take on full responsibility for it but was prepared to act in an advisory capacity. An agreement was reached by which for ten years the British quinine manufacturers, Howards & Sons, Ltd, had sole rights to the production of the group of companies known as the "British planters". Unfortunately, supplies were still inadequate and the Dutch realised, as the largest producers of cinchona bark, they held a position of strength. At Harold's suggestion, a centralised body was formed, The Association of Quinine Manufacturers in Allied Countries. Harold was scathing about the so-called experts who had been making decisions and were proffering advice; he was going to negotiate with Dutch suppliers, face to face, to obtain a monopoly on their supplies for the duration of the war and in this aim he maintained he had the support of all the significant British parties concerned. "My colleagues on the sub-committee were good enough to practically let me have things my own way"; Harold had the advantage of speaking Dutch and first hand knowledge of the industry. Post-war, there was a danger that the Dutch, who up to now had concentrated on bark production, wanted to take over quinine manufacture. The British Government the war agreement to lapse and a new ten-year agreement to be negotiated with the Dutch. A new agreement, involving Harold, was duly negotiated but British quinine producers had massively over-estimated their needs and could not take up the contracted quantities of quinine. Despite a glut, the price of quinine soared and there was a slump; Harold was blamed for everything that went wrong. When Harold stood in the 1922 General Election his Labour opponent produced a leaflet implying that Harold, as MD of the Corporation, had profiteered from this business; Harold admitted he had made a profit but claimed it was a very small one.

In the early 1920s there was a major debate concerning whether or not to build a huge British naval station at Singapore and comments by H.S. Abrahamson were quoted in the newspapers of the Far East. He put his view in a well-reasoned but strongly-worded letter [The Times (London), 26 Jul 1923; pg. 8], the tenor of which can be gleaned from the following extract:

I venture to opine in the first place that but few Englishmen resident in Malaya or the Netherlands East Indies are opposed to the establishment of the proposed base at Singapore. To the foregoing may be added the statement that those who are on the spot are surely able to determine what measure of protection essential British interests in Eastern waters require. The balderdash which has been written and expressed verbally both inside the House of Commons and outside - friends of mine have lent themselves to this weak form of attack - respecting the climate of Singapore may well be dismissed with a single word. British regiments survive there and Singapore is not classed for the "purposes of leave an unhealthy climate".
In the above letter, he mentions the views of his 'fellow Liberals' which reinforces that he was the H.S. Abrahamson who stood as a Liberal candidate in 1922.

A Board of Trade file about the reorganisation of the Consular Service in 1930 showed that Harold took a great interest in proposals that had been made and pestered the Board with many letters and suggestions, some on the headed paper of the Chemical, Drug and Allied Trades Review (a weekly magazine that existed because a page from it is included in the file but curiously no library in the country appears to have it on file). Comments indicate that this was the Harold Abrahamson who stood for Parliament in 1922.

Harold may well have been the Harold Sidney Abrahamson of Norland Court, Gloucester Place, editor of a Chemical Technical Paper and "lately carrying on business at 83-91, Great Titchfield Street, London," who in 1931 was presented with a bankruptcy petition by a widow, Linda Grace Gillies, of Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park. [London Gazette, 27 Mar 1931]

Thus Harold seems to have been someone who did not shrink from controversy or from a battle. Interestingly, whilst his party affiliation might have clashed with that of his right-wing father-in-law, Timothy Morgan-Owen, they appear to have had much in common; like Timothy, H.S. Abrahamson was an avid letter-writer to the newspapers (in his case, mainly to The Times) either to express his strongly held views or to correct inaccurate historical references.

His 1933 book "The Jew at Bay" was viewed as anti-Semitic by some eminent, academic Jews who described Harold as "hiding, rather pusillanimously, behind the pseudonym H.S. Ashton". These academics were very critical of some of the immense and belittling generalisations Harold made in this book. (see this site and search in the left window for "Ashton"). Incidentally he was in Dover in 1933, when he wrote the preface to this book.

On August 1934, Harold Sidney Abrahamson, author, and Mrs. Nesta Mary Abrahamson of 75 Handside Gardens, Welwyn Garden, Herts, were due to sail 1st class aboard Theseus bound for Port Said, Straits, Manila and Japan, but they did not embark. This record suggests they may have been living together as man and wife some time before their marriage.

Harold was always willing to offer his expertise to Parliamentary Committees but, in this regard, he was at one time described by a top civil servant as "a very glib individual who is quite evidently out to make a good job for himself." Nevertheless, he appears to have continued to be viewed as an expert on Quinine. Having been involved in supplies of it during WWI, in 1939 he again had meetings with Howards & Sons, Ltd, the British Quinine manufacturers, concerning the procurement of its supply. Harold offered to go, immediately, to Amsterdam to acquire all the Dutch stocks for Britain. He claimed to have been asked to prepare a paper on Quinine supplies for a Cabinet Committee. In May 1939 Harold was seeking a post with the Board of Trade and he wrote to the War Office from 57, Westminster Mansions, SW1, with a resumné of his activities to date. By 1940 he was described as being a civil servant; in fact he was an 'unestablished' civil servant; 'established' positions in the civil service are those for which there is a permanent, ongoing requirement. As a civil servant Harold would have had to comply with regulations such as not being involved in political activity, which must have impinged on his letter-writing to the press.

This site describes in Dutch the more major role Harold was to play during WWII in trying to prompt the Dutch Government in exile in London to do more to help the Jews in the occupied Netherlands. He had worked in Holland, spoke the language and early in 1941 had written the draft of 'The Netherlands at War', its aim being to alert people to the situation in the occupied Netherlands, in particular to the threat to its Jewish population; he, almost certainly, had relatives living there. He asked the Dutch Prime Minister to write a preface but Gerbrandy refused on the pretext that there were errors in the draft; there were some minor errors, largely due to the fact that Harold was resident in England and did not have access to all the records, but this could not detract from the essential message. Harold pointed out how Jews were gradually becoming marginalised in Holland and removed from positions of responsibility. Gerbrandy, possibly for political reasons, seemed at that time content to brush the issue under the carpet; he claimed Harold was overstating the problem, for example in reporting that many prominent Jews were committing suicide. However, Gerbrandy did suggest that Harold discuss the matter with Dr. Castle, a historian and Gerbrandy's secretary, and later in 1941 an amended book by 'H.S. Ashton' was published by George Routledge & Sons with a forward by Prof. P.S. Gerbrandy (there is a copy in the Amsterdam University Library and Harold's draft and related correspondence are held in the state archives). In the interim, precious months had been wasted.

A report of 22 October 1943 states:

The last Jews remaining in Amsterdam, including the members of the Jewish Council, which was the central Jewish body in occupied Holland has been deported by the Gestapo from the Westerbork concentration camp to an unknown destination, Premier Peter Gerbrandy of the Netherlands Government-in-Exile, announced today.

The expulsion of the last of the 65,000 Amsterdam Jews took place on September 29, the head of the Netherlands cabinet said in a broadcast. He emphasized that much as the Dutch nation suffers under German occupation, the Jews in Holland have suffered more.

"Although there are hardly any Jews left on Dutch soil, the Jewish section of our people will resume one day its place in the Netherlands," he continued. "The curtain descended upon the Jewish drama when the last 5,000 of the still remaining Amsterdam Jews were forced three weeks ago to follow the path of their brethren to slavery escorted by torturers."

"I am moved by the tragic fact that Jewish leaders were forced to help organize the expulsion of their brethren," Premier Gerbrandy said. "The Jewish Council accepted the offer to assist Jews in their misfortune and it performed its task with love and devotion. But the oppressor used and misused even this Council. When victims for deportation were no longer available, the members of the Council suffered the same fate of all the Jews of Holland."

The percentage of Jews from the Netherlands murdered by the Germans and their associates in World War II was higher than in any other Western European country. There were approximately 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands at the outbreak of the war and less than 25% of them survived the Holocaust.

By a Royal Decree of 13 February 1947 Harold Sidney Abrahamson was made a Chevalier in the Order of Orange-Nassau "by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands in recognition of services to Netherlands' interests during the war" [London Gazette, 30 Jan 1948]. In 1951 the king granted Harold "unrestricted permission to wear the decoration of Commander of the Orange Nassau conferred upon him by Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands in recognition of services rendered during the war" [London Gazette, 13 July 1951].

Following the collaboration with the Dutch Premier, Prof. P.S. Gerbrandy, mentioned above, they again collaborated on a book, Indonesia, in 1950.

Harold was made redundant from the civil service, about which he complained bitterly. He entered into a prolonged exchange of letters on the matter, in which he claimed he had been offered and had accepted a Trade Attachné post in Ankara, on the basis of which he had sold his house. The job had never materialised and Harold was then forced to live in rented accommodation; this was in Selborne Road in Hove.

Nesta was eighty-two when she died [Hove 1960, 1st qt]. Probate records state that Nesta Mary Abrahamson (or Woods) of 36 Selborne Road, Hove, died on 11 February 1960 at 19 Albany Villas, Hove, and probate was granted to her husband, Harold, a civil servant.

Harold, of 30 Selborne Road, died in Brighton General Hospital, on 3 January 1962 [Brighton 1962, 1st qt] and Administration was granted to Nesta's nephew, John Gethin Morgan-Owen. The General Register states that Harold was 69 when he died which suggests he was born in 1892. (The General Register has no corresponding record of the birth of Harold Sidney Abrahamson or Ashton which, together with other information, suggests he was originally born in the Netherlands or in one of its territories.)

In his The Jew at Bay, Harold wrote that "it does, in truth, seem that the Jews lack that glorious spirit which will urge the majority of mankind to stand up in defence of their dignity and fight back"; he meant that a Jew is reluctant to resort to physical retaliation but "he gains his end by pacific propaganda". Perhaps tongue in cheek, since it was accompanied by a humorous cartoon, he cited the oft-quoted remark that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton and added:

Had the Jews' Free School supplied its contingent, there would have been parlays with the enemy, a fuselage of verbiage .... excessive gesticulation , long drawn out negotiations with bargaining, and finally a money settlement with a discount for cash, whereby honour would have been satisfied but no blood spilled.
It was comments such as this which led to claims that his work was anti-Semitic. He, himself, appears to have adhered to the above stereotype. There can be no denying that he never shrank from conflict and he seems to have been more than happy to resort to a battle of words and ideas, involving lengthy correspondence, evidence gathering and, of course, pamphleteering.

These are just a few of the letters from H.S. Abrahamson published in The Times (click on one to view):

Rubber Planting (30 May 1923)
Future of Liberalism (25 Aug 1923)
Colonial Raw Materials (6 Dec 1935)
British Ownership of Colonies - Movement of Raw Materials (28 Jan 1936)
Colonial Government (27 Jun 1938)
Export Trade (28 Dec 1938)
Trade with Italy - No Question of a Loan (29 Mar 1939)
A Sovereign in Exile - Queen Wilhelmina's Birthday - Symbol to the Dutch (31 Aug 1940)
A Dutch Date Today (17 Sept 1940)
Dutch Endurance (10 May 1941)
The Germans (5 Jan 1945)
Serving the Nation (31 Mar 1960)

These are just some of the records in the National Archives concerning H. S Abrahamson's work as a civil servant:

James Anthony & Co. Ltd. was a company formed (1926) to run the Sadarehe plantation which had been bought, through the agency of H. S. Abrahamson, to produce cinchona bark [NB source of quinine].[London Metropolitan Archives, For records of the plantation see R1979] [The Sadarehe plantation was successful until it was seized by the Japanese in 1943.]

1935 Evidence from H.S. Abrahamson [National Archives, Kew, T 181/49]

22 July-17 Sep 1940 Reports of interviews with H. S. Abrahamson (civil servant) and others concerning quinine [London Metropolitan Archives, ACC/1037/657/5a-1]

ABRAHAMSON, H.S. and Carol Johnson. It includes a paper on the Anglo-Netherlands Institute (12) [London University, University College London (UCL) Manuscripts Room London, Parliamentary correspondence 1954 GAITSKELL/C117]

1961 "Complaint by Mr H S Abrahamson: redundancy from Board of Trade; correspondence between President and Mr Peter Thorneycroft, MP" [National Archives, Kew, BT 296/72]<

Harold Sidney Abrahamson is a complex character but worthy of remembrance. Perhaps Gwen Morgan-Owen was unaware of his achievements.

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