Papers relating to H.V. Berry's time in Germany with the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission, and later as the Regional Commissioner Hansestadt Hamburg of the Control Commission for Germany, his time with the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain, and papers of the XYZ Club.
Sir Vaughan Berry was born in India on 28 March 1891, the son of a Madras banker. Having spent part of his childhood in Bath, he attended the City of London School, and in 1909 won a Daily Mail Scholarship which allowed him to live for a year in Germany and almost as long in Paris. He gained a First Class Honours degree in Modern Languages at Caius College, Cambridge, and on graduation obtained a commission in the Army Service Corps. He later spent two years in France in the Somerset Light Infantry and was wounded in 1918.
From 1919 to 1925 he was on the staff of the Inter-Allied Rhineland High Commission, and in 1924 played a key role in the resolution of the separatist crisis in the Palatinate. From 1925 to 1945 he was a member of the Union Discount Company of London Ltd., and Chairman of the Southern Region Manpower Board from 1941 to 1945. In 1932 he founded the XYZ Club, a group intended 'to discuss financial problems from a socialist point of view' and which included Hugh Gaitskill, Douglas Jay and other leading labour party figures among its membership. The Club formulated much of the financial policy which was later adopted by the first post-war Labour government.
At the end of the Second World War, he went to Hamburg to take charge of the civil administration, and during 1946 became Regional Commissioner Hansestadt Hamburg of the Control Commission for Germany (British Element), a post he held until 1949. He was outstandingly successful in guiding the post-war reconstruction of Hamburg, and won heartfelt praise from German administrators and politicians with whom he dealt. The University of Hamburg, in which he took great interest, made him an Honorary Senator. He was knighted in 1949 in recognition of his achievements. On returning to England, he served from1950 to 1953 as a full-time member of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain.
Sir Vaughan Berry married first, in 1921, Dorothy Loveday (d. 1959) daughter of Charles Baldwin of Bath. They had two sons both of whom died during the war years. He married secondly, in 1960, Mrs Joan Ogilvie Kirke, daughter of Percy Lachlan of Wadhurst, Sussex. Sir Vaughan Berry lived in later years at Dutch House, College Road, Bath, and died in Bath on 27 February 1979. An obituary in Die Welt remembered him warmly as the man who had led Hamburg 'safely through the ravages of the post-war period'.