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Archive Collection description: GIL


Colonel Giles (Frank Lucas Netlam) Collection: The Albanian Frontier Commission (1921-1928)

An online catalogue for this collection is available. Please type GIL into the search field to find the catalogue.

Colonel Frank Lucas Netlam Giles, DSO 1916 OBE 1925 was born on 25 June 1879, the son of the Hon. Frank Giles ICS. He was educated at Marlborough and at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. In 1916 he married Elgiva, daughter of Captain Ackland-Allen JP. Giles fought in the South African War, was part of the Cameroons Expeditionary Force between 1914 and 1917, and was made Lieutenant-Colonel while serving in France in 1917. He was promoted to Colonel on 30 May 1925 and served as military attaché to Belgrade, Athens and Prague from 1925 to 1929. Colonel Giles served on the Yugoslav-Bulgarian International Frontier Commission between 1920 and 1922 and the Yugoslav-Albanian International Frontier Commission (Albanian Frontier Commission) between 1922 and 1925.

Reference: 'Who Was Who Volume III 1929-1940' (London 1941)

The Albanian Frontier Commission was re-established after a decision made on 9 November 1921 by the Conference of Ambassadors (British Empire, France, Italy and Japan). The Commission was intended to continue the work of the 1913-1914 International North and North-West Albanian Frontier Commission. It was constituted in Paris on 18 January 1922 and consisted of its President Brigadier General Enrico Tellini (Italy), Colonel Giles (Britain) and Lieutenant-Colonel Emmanuel Perret (France). Colonel Giles was succeeded on the Albanian Frontier Commission in 1925 by Lieutenant-Colonel A B Clough. The Commission mapped the border and erected boundary stones and the collection includes the maps and some of the reports it published detailing the boundaries.

Reference GIL/1/3/2 'Rapport général sur la marche des travaux et note sur le foncionnement technique de la Commission' ('General report on the work and a note on the technical functioning of the Commission')


The papers chiefly cover Colonel Giles's service on the Albanian Frontier Commission, but the collection also contains papers from his time on the Yugoslav-Bulgarian International Boundary Commission and as a military attaché to Belgrade, Athens and Prague. The papers are primarily in English, with a smaller amount of French and other languages. The collection is arranged in 12 series as follows:

  • GIL/1 Reports relating to the Albanian Frontier Commission and the Serbo-Bulgarian Boundary Commission

  • GIL/2 Laissez-passers issued to Colonel Giles between 1922-1924 for travel in Europe

  • GIL/3 Diaries written by Colonel Giles between 1922-1924, and some pages from 1925

  • GIL/4 Personal papers of Colonel Giles, relating to his time as Commissioner

  • GIL/5 Maps including series of 11 showing the course of the frontier between the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croates and Slovenes and Albania published by the Commission International de Délimitation 1922-1925 (Albanian Frontier Commission)

  • GIL/6 Road reports written by Colonel Giles in Yugoslavia and Albania 1922-1927 and Greece 1926

  • GIL/7 Folder entitled 'Doiran War Memorial 1928' regarding preparations for unveiling of the Salonika Army War Memorial at Lake Doiran 25 Sept 1926 (now Macedonia) including unveiling ceremony instructions

  • GIL/8 Articles describing lectures given by Colonel Giles

  • GIL/9 Glass lantern slides showing commissioners travelling around the frontier region

  • GIL/10-12 Framed and mounted photographs of the Frontier Commissions and certificates

(Language) Albanian, Bulgarian, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Serbo-Croat

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

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This page last modified Friday 11 September 2009.


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