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ASPINALL-OGLANDER (Brig. C.F., CB, CMG, DSO) Military Operations: Gallipoli. 1st Eds., complete in 2 text Vols. + 2 Vols. of maps/appendices: xvii+380pp., 20 photos., 19 sketch maps; xiv+517pp., 19 photos., 4 sketch maps; viii+77pp., 5 fldg. maps & vii+85pp., 6 fldg. maps. Heinemann. 1929/1932.  #61079
[HLMainPic] Major Archibald F. Becke's set with his bookplate & neat ink ownership inscription in all four volumes, Vol. I text additionally signed by the author "C.F. Aspinall-Oglander" on title page & Vol. II text warmly inscribed "In memory of our happy association during seven years at Audit House - amongst the happiest years of my life. C.F. Aspinall-Oglander. 25 April 1932." Audit House was the home of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence and there - alongside Edmonds toiling on the Western Front - Aspinall-Oglander & his team worked on the Gallipoli volumes, Cyril Falls on Macedonia, & others including Major Becke who compiled the maps & sketches for Western Front, Gallipoli, Egypt & Palestine & Macedonia volumes, as well as compiling the monumentally meticulous Orders of Battle, 1914-1918, published in six volumes. Becke was a highly regarded historian who, apart from his work on the Official Histories wrote 'Napoleon & Waterloo' (1914), 'The Royal Artillery at Le Cateau' (1919) & other works, as well as contributing to professional journals. He had been commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1893, served in Sierra Leone 1898-99 & South Africa in 1900, from where he was invalided with a damaged lung resulting from enteric fever. Edmonds recalled (in his memoirs, published by Tom Donovan in 2013) him as "a most valuable coadjudicator; he compiled the maps, checking my narrative in the process..." Quite apart from the self-evident historical interest of this set belonging to a long-serving official historian, it is unique in that Becke augmented it considerably. Volume I (Text) benefits from 19 extra photo. illustrations neatly mounted & captioned in ink on 15 card interleaves (plus additional interleaf adjacent to Contents which lists these) : 7 being photographic reproductions & 12 being real photos. of various coastal scenes, geographical features &c. Volume II (Text) benefits from 24 extra photo. illustrations neatly mounted & captioned in ink on 20 card interleaves (plus additional interleaf adjacent to Contents which lists these) : 3 being photographic reproductions & 21 being real photos. of various coastal scenes, geographical features &c. All the photographs are crisp & clear with some interesting captions. Also tipped-in is a 3pp. ms. list in Becke's hand of "Some Gallipoli Place Names & Their Meanings" & of considerable interest two hand written letters to Becke from Harry Pirie-Gordon, on The Times notepaper: (i) On the publication of the second volume, a single-page note: "I like your maps - bleak austerity has given way to an almost Assyrian opulence in the matter of mountains which now loom so formidable as to be likely to scare even members of the Alpine Club, & remind me how I used to sweat going up them. Please suggest to the proper quarter that in the next edition CHUNK BAIR and SARI BAIR might be mentioned in the index... Best salaams Harry Pirie-Gordon. Atabeg (ret.) (ii) A 3pp. note regarding draft chapters of the Palestine OH (Vol. II): "May I acknowledge to you receipt of the Palestine Chapters and Maps? The latter, to a cursory glance seem to have so far abated the austerity of their predecessors as to be in peril of being considered almost profligate - I suppose it is now too late to make a change, but I always think it a pity to use the French spelling for Turkish names. The poor Frog's mouth is so arranged that the J of the more omnivorous Turk and Briton cannot be given the correctly robust sound unless to be prefixed with a D... [and so forth: Becke has written against this passage: "This only applied to the text. Not to the maps. A.F.B." - thereby distancing himself from the supposed infelicity]. HP-G rambles on in a similarly delightful fashion fro two more pages, including some amusing anecdotal recollections of Palestine, & concludes: "Do you ever leave Audit House long enough to go to a Club for lunch? If so you might like to take advantage of the new rules about entertaining at the Athenaeum after Easter.... Best salaams, Harry Pirie-Gordon." Note: There are parallels with T.E. Lawrence in the life & career of Pirie-Gordon (1883-1969): he studied Crusader Castles in Syria in 1908 (& TEL used his maps in his own visit the following year), took part in ostensibly historical but to a degree military intelligence related surveys in the Middle East & was a foreign correspondent for The Times. In WW1 he was initially commissioned in the RNVR, did intelligence work at Gallipoli & worked in the Arab Bureau (a section of the Intelligence Dept. at Cairo, established in 1916 officially to co-ordinate British policy but in fact to act in support of the Arab Revolt, at which TEL also worked); later given an Army commission he became editor of the Palestine News & was one of the compilers of the standard work on the Palestine campaign, "The Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force." Most likely the most interesting set of this excellent & widely acclaimed history (of which Falls states "No serious student of the War can avoid reading this book... he will find this no imposition, for the book is easily & attractively written.") to be offered on the market now or in the future. Orig. red cloth, gilt, sps. a little sunned & self-evidently read, the text volumes a little 'bulked out' by the addition of tipped-in material, but still entirely sound & firm, presented in a modern purpose-made slipcase with gilt titles, accompanied by a small file of newsclippings re Gallipoli retained by Becke & including reviews of the Official History. See illustration on our website.   £5000

     




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