The Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services in the War of 1914-1918. Volume 1 [to] Volume 3. Colonel Arthur Graham BUTLER.
The Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services in the War of 1914-1918. Volume 1 [to] Volume 3

The Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services in the War of 1914-1918. Volume 1 [to] Volume 3

Melbourne (Volume 1) and Canberra, Australian War Memorial, 1938 (second edition)/ 1930, 1940 and 1943.

Octavo, three volumes, xxvi, 873, [1] (publisher's advertisement for the Bean and Butler sets) pages with 4 diagrams, 10 graphs, 8 maps and a full-page illustration (page 586), plus 4 diagrams, 8 graphs, 16 maps (including 2 double-page maps) and 128 plates; xvi, 1010, [1] (tipped-in publisher's advertisement for the Bean and Butler sets, verso blank) pages with 37 diagrams, 12 graphs, 11 maps and a full-page illustration of 'Conventional Signs' (page 959), plus 2 maps and 91 plates; and xx, 1103 pages plus 35 plates numbered with letters, and 10 diagrams (all strong medical images), and 34 numbered plates (one with 5 small portraits) of more general but relevant interest.

Dark blue cloth lightly rubbed at the extremities and very lightly flecked; all top edges lightly foxed; small inkspot to the leading edge of the first volume; spine of the second volume lightly sunned; spine of the third volume sunned and a little mottled, with minimal conservation to the front inner hinge; one word ('Processed') written neatly in ink on the rear free endpaper of each volume; overall, an excellent set.

The medical companion to the twelve-volume 'Official History of Australia in the War, 1914-1918'; all volumes are scarce (and the third volume must be deemed rare). Arthur Graham Butler (1872-1949) 'was appointed regimental medical officer of the 9th Battalion which sailed for Egypt in September.... Butler was in one of the first boats ashore at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 ... He was the only medical officer to win the Distinguished Service Order at Anzac, where he remained until October ... In 1923, "against his wish, but from a sense of public duty", he agreed to write the official history of the Australian Army Medical Services in the war; the task was to occupy the next twenty years of his life. He gave up his practice' and lived in relative poverty. He wrote all three volumes 'except part of the first.... His literary work displays the qualities that he showed on the battlefield: courage, compassion and meticulousness. He sought to isolate and analyse important problems as a guide to future policy and management. His arguments are trenchant, his scholarship exact and penetrating. His wide-ranging, critical statistical appendices are especially valuable and shocking in their implications. His three volumes are among the most distinguished war history texts of the English-speaking nations' ('Australian Dictionary of Biography'). Dornbusch 254; Fielding and O'Neill, page 209; Trigellis-Smith 313-315 and 737-739. None of these tackle the pagination, let alone the plate count, and we fully understand why this is so. For the record, the title pages of the three volumes of the history give the following information, for what it's worth: 'With 228 illustrations, maps, and graphs' (Volume 1); 'With 212 illustrations, maps, and graphs' (Volume 2); and 'With 85 illustrations, graphs, and diagrams' (Volume 3). Last, and probably least, we suggest that the only difference between the first and second editions of Volume 1 is that the errata slip on page xi in the former is no longer required, as the eight corrections have been made in the second edition. [3 items].

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