An autograph letter of condolence signed by 'Birdwood of Anzac' to the widow of Charalambos John Simopoulos (1874-1942), Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1934 until his death. BIRDWOOD OF ANZAC, Sir William BIRDWOOD.
An autograph letter of condolence signed by 'Birdwood of Anzac' to the widow of Charalambos John Simopoulos (1874-1942), Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1934 until his death

An autograph letter of condolence signed by 'Birdwood of Anzac' to the widow of Charalambos John Simopoulos (1874-1942), Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1934 until his death

The letter (octavo, two pages on one leaf, dated '26 Oct. [1942], Coates, Cirencester, Glos.', on embossed House of Lords writing paper), is warm and effusive in its praise for Simopoulos and its expressions of sympathy for his widow. Apart from a single crease across the centre for posting, it is in fine condition.

In November 1914 Sir William Birdwood (1865-1951) was appointed commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and was in command of the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915. A month later, following the death of the divisional commander General William Bridges on 18 May 1915, 'Birdwood temporarily took command of the Australian Imperial Force, but was not formally appointed until 14 September 1916. He had suggested the move and, while admitting his ambition, it must be conceded that, from the standpoint of fairness and military efficiency, this decision was crucial to the future of the AIF which in 1915 had expanded to two divisions and included troops under New Zealand command' ('Australian Dictionary of Biography'). Later, on the Western Front, he commanded the Australian Corps, before assuming command of the entire British Fifth Army in May 1918. Birdwood devotes considerable space to the Gallipoli campaign in his 1941 memoir ('Khaki & Gown', pages 238-297); it was the most significant phase in a long and distinguished career. He acknowledged this on his elevation to the peerage in 1938, when he took the title 'Birdwood of Anzac'.

Item #114871

Price: $250.00