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Lot 58: Stunning Signed Photograph of Commanding General Ian Hamilton During the Disastrous World War I Dardanelles Campaign
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Stunning Signed Photograph by Commanding General Ian Hamilton during the Disastrous World War I Dardanelles Campaign********** HAMILTON, IAN. (1853-1947). British Army officer and commander of the World War I Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Dardanelles Campaign. SP. (“Ian Hamilton General Commanding in Chief”). 1p. Tall, narrow 4to. Dardanelles, 1915. A black-and-white photograph of the highly-decorated Hamilton standing, saluting and wearing his sword. Signed vertically in the left portion of the image. ********** Hamilton began his military education at Sandhurst in 1870, leaving soon after to fight in the Afghan War. He was wounded during the First Boer War, and during the Second Boer War his exploits were covered by Winston Churchill, then a young war correspondent. In 1900, Churchill penned an account of his campaign from Bloemfontein to Pretoria entitled Ian Hamilton’s March. The following year, Hamilton became military secretary for the War Office, and then returned to South Africa as Chief of Staff to Commander-in-Chief Lord Kitchener. Promoted to the rank of general, he fought with the Japanese during the Russo-Japanese War, the first conflict in which machine guns and other advanced artillery were used. ********** In early 1915, the Allies attempted to open the Dardanelles, the strait that connects the Aegean and Black seas. Known in the ancient world as Hellespont, the Dardanelles had long been a strategically important waterway. In April 1915, forces from Great Britain, India, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Newfoundland, converged on the Gallipoli peninsula to wrest it from Ottoman control, with Hamilton commanding the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. During the eight and a half months of intense fighting, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk rose to prominence and went on to lead the Turkish National Movement during the Turkish War of Independence, while the career of Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was damaged by the Royal Navy’s defeat. More than 70,000 Allied lives were lost. The failed Dardanelles campaign effectively ended Hamilton’s career; in retirement he became a somewhat controversial admirer of Adolph Hitler. ********** Contained within the original wrapper of the Army & Navy studio in Westminster, whose logo is printed on the cover. A history of Hamilton’s career has been penned in blue ink on the inside cover in the elegant hand of noted Brooklyn autograph collector Reverend Cornelius Greenway. For his military service in France during World War I, Greenway was awarded the Purple Heart and the Service Medal. ********** In fine condition and uncommon.