Turner Donovan Military Books - The world’s finest selection of rare and out-of-print books on British military history from 1800 to 1945
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The First World War The First World War, Personal memoirs of soldiers of all nations on all fronts, anthologies, literature and fiction, history and analysis   723 Books
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From Dug-out & Billet: An Officer's Letters to His Mother. 1st Ed., [iii]+190pp. Hurst & Blackett. 1916  #59928
[HLMainPic] Anonymous letters (signed "Chota") supposedly of a regular major, product of Wellington & Sandhurst, whose death is reported in a WO telegram, there also being condolence letters from his colonel & servant, but quite possibly a work of fiction. Atmosppheric of the period & rather scarce. Orig. grey cloth, gilt, little rubbed, VG. See illustration on our website.   £35
The Times Documentary History of the War. Complete in 11 vols. (see note below), each in excess of 500pp., so around 5700pp. in all. The Times Pubg. Co. Ltd., Printing House Square. 1917-1920.  #57471
[HLMainPic] Collected documents "concerning the war in all its aspects, so arranged as to record the events of the great struggle... & the circumstances which led up to them, It consists of documents issued officially or recognised by the various belligerents, such as diplomatic correspondence, proclamations, ultimatums, military orders, reports, despatches, messages from monarchs to their peoples, etc., together with public statements by reposnsible Ministers & Correspondence in the Press of an authoritative character; the whole collated, classified, indexed, & where necessary cross-referenced & annotated." A most valuable compilation consisting of: Vol. I, Diplomatic, Part 1; Vol. II, Diplomatic, Part 2; Vol. III, Naval, Part 1; Vol. IV, Naval, Part 2; Vol. V, Military, Part 1; Vol. VI, Overseas, Part 1; Vol. VII, Naval, Part 3; Vol. VIII, Military, Part 2; Vol. IX, Diplomatic, Part 3; Vol. X, Overseas, Part 2; Vol. XI, Naval, Part 4. Good complete set, VG ex-reference lib., with minor markings, bound in orig. wheat cloth with leather sp. labels, little rubbed & worn, overall VG & scarce. See illustration on our website.   £225
A Subaltern's Share in the War: Home Letters of the late George Weston Devenish, Lieut. R.A., Attached R.F.C. Intro. & Notes by Mrs. Horace Porter. 1st Ed., xviii+178pp., portrait frontis., 4 plates. Constable. 1917  #60338
[HLMainPic] Regular officer RFA (commissioned 1913 after Charterhouse & Woolwich), letters & diary from France Aug.-30 Oct. 1914. He joined 6th Bty., 40th Bde. RFA on the Aisne & was wounded near his OP at Fauquissart, on the Indian Corps front, 28.10.14; in France again June 1915-Apr. 1916 (around 'Plugstreet' &c.) when trans. to RFC as Artillery Observer for four months in France, then pilot training & KiA flying as a pilot in 35 Squadron: shot down in flames, on 6th June 1917, and is commemorated on the Arras (Flying Services) Memorial.. Contains lengthy extracts from entertaining & informative letters describing his active service experiences in Flanders & later over the Western Front. Orig. paper covd. boards, sp. sl. rubbed, sl chipped but comparatively VG (more often found very chipped/torn due to the nature of this binding). See illustration on our website.   £225
Dardanelles Commission. First Report [Together with:] Supplement to First Report. Report. 1st Ed., [ii]+60pp & 3pp., foolscap. HMSO. 1917  #61140
[HLMainPic] Presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. First report of the Special Commission appointed "for the purpose of inquiring into the origin, inception, & conduct of operations of war in the Dardanelles & Gallipoli, including the supply of drafts, reinforcements, ammunition & equipment to the troops & Fleet, provision for the sick & wounded" &c. Contains Narrative of Events with much detail on the aforementioned subjects; also Co-operation with the French, Appointment of Sir Ian Hamilton, Conclusions, &c. Important official investigation & therefore valuable source material. Was issued without wraps., this copy bound in blue cloth, with gilt title to sp., by Harrod's for Colonel John Gretton MP, with original receipt loosely inserted & armorial bookplate for John Gretton of Stapleford (i.e., 1st Baron Greeton, 1867-1947, PC, Colonel TA, MP for Derbyshire South 1895-1906, Rutland 1907-18, &c.). VG & rare. See illustration on our website.   £500
[Dardanelles Commission] The Final Report of the Dardanelles Commission (Part II: Conduct of Operations, &c.). With Appendix of Documents & Maps. 1st Ed., 186pp., foolscap, 2 lge. fldg. maps (Detailed Map of the Gallipoli Peninsula & Outline Map of Turkish Empire). HMSO. 1919  #61141
[HLMainPic] Presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. Second & last volume of the findings of the Parliamentary Commission charged with investigating the reasons for the disasters of the campaign, drawing on the evidence of numerous participants, mainly of senior rank, & including a full & detailed account of operations from the iniital landing to the evacuation, medical supplies, food, water, postal arrangements, the Zion Mule Corps, &c. The first part dealt with the inception & 'Higher Organization' of the campaign. Important source. Modern blue binder's cloth, gilt to sp., orig. blue printed paper wraps. bound-in, these with some archival repair to extremities, overall VG & rare. See illustration on our website.   £450
Essays, Poems, Letters by Bernard Pitt, M.A. (Assistant Master Cooper's Company's School), Lieut., Border Regiment, Attached Trench Mortar Battery, Killed in Action, April 30th, 1916. 1st Ed., ix+202pp., 217x144mm, portrait frontis. Francis Edwards. 1917  #60360
[HLMainPic] Bernard Pitt was born in 1881 and was an assistant master at the Cooper's Company's School. He was Killed in Action by the explosion of a German mine between Souchez and Givenchy at 7 p.m. on 30th April 1916. His body was never found and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He was thirty-four. Includes 50pp. interesting and atmospheric letters from France & Flanders between December 1915 and April 1916, serving with 47th Trench Mortar Battery, notable for rare account of trench mortar work in the front line (Pitt describes the phenomenon, known well to infantrymen, of mortar men turning up in their trench, loosing off a few rounds then clearing out before the inevitable retaliation). The letters are followed by poems (including one war poem) and various prose pieces on the nature of poetry, comedy, and so forth. Superb superior copy, bound in full green morocco, gilt to sp. with raised bans, sp. just a little tanned o/w VG throughout. See illustration on our website.   £225
Letters and Papers of Algernon Hyde Villiers, with a Memorial. With a Memoir by Harry Graham. vii+200pp., portrait frontis. SPCK. 1919  #60361
[HLMainPic] Algernon Villiers, a deeply religious and spiritual man as evidenced by the memoir & the contents of his letters (although they do not exclude military details and an account of his active service experience) was the youngest son of the Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Hyde Villiers, PC, GCMG, GCVO (sometime British Minister and Ambassador at Brussels), & Lady Villiers; he married Beatrix Villiers (later The Hon. Mrs. Walter Gibbs), of Stanstead Lodge, Stanstead Abbots, Herts., in 1912. He was Ed. at Wellington College and Magdalen College, Oxford then entered a stockbroker's office. He enlisted in 1914 & went to Egypt as a trooper in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry before returning fro a commission in the Lothian & Borders Horse early in 1915. Villiers later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps, went to France in July 1917 & was Killed in Action in France on 23rd November 1917 at Bourlon Wood with the 121st Company. He is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial (although originally buried in the cemetery at Anneux). The memoir is followed by letters from Egypt and the UK, 1914-17, then around 100 pages of letters from the Western Front followed by some zealously Christian "Papers read to Machine-Gun Pupils." Orig. pale blue cloth, gilt to front and spine, little rubbed & worn, trace of old label to front, near VG. See illustration on our website.   £120
The Poems of Robert W. Sterling. Born 19th November, 1893. Glasgow Academy & Sedbergh. Scholar of Pembroke College, Oxford. Lieutenant, Royal Scots Fusiliers. Killed in Action, S. George's Day, 1915. 1st Ed., xvi+68pp., portrait frontis., facsimile of his bookplate. Oxford Univ. Press. 1916  #59199
Memoir & poems, several written whilst on active service in 1915. He was Killed in Action with the 1st Bn. of his regiment on 23/4/15 & is buried in Dickebusch New Military Cemetery. Orig. blue cloth, gilt, VG. See illustration on our website.   £35
A Wreath of Memories. 1st Ed., v+107pp., portrait frontis., 7 plates. Humphreys. 1917  #60366
[HLMainPic] Hon. George Joachim Goschen was born in 1893, son of George Joachim, 2nd Viscount Goschen, & Evelyn, his wife, of Seacox Heath, Hawkhurst, Kent. Ed. at Eton and Christ Church College, Oxford. In September 1914 he was commissioned in the 1/5th Bn. East Kent Regiment (Territorial Force) & sailed with the regiment for India soon after. At the end of 1915 it was transferred to the Mesopotamia, proceeding up the Tigris, and on 7th Jan. 1916 Lieutenant Goschen was wounded during the Battle of Sheikh Saad, Died of Wounds on the 19th inst. & buried in Amara War Cemetery. He was twenty-two and was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches. Includes biographical notes, wartime letters from India and the journey from Bombay to Mesopotamia, a few from the Tigris front followed by letters of condolence from officers and men of his regiment &c. Orig. blue cloth, gilt, VG with family inscription. See illustration on our website.   £225
A Short History of the Services & Experiences of the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers in The Great War. 1st Ed., 44pp., map. [Dublin, 1919].  #61130
[HLMainPic] Service battalion raised in 1914, landed at Suvla Bay in August 1915, went on to Salonika &c. Concise accounts of campaign service plus rolls of officers. Rare, but a worn copy lacking title page, all other prelims., & photo., but text complete & map present. Orig. blue cloth, stained. See illustraion on our website.   £35

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