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, 1930, 1940 and 1943.
Octavo, three volumes, xxvi, 873,  (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 a tipped-in errata slip, 4 diagrams, 8 graphs, 16 maps (including 2 double-page maps) and 128 plates; xvi, 1010,  (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 p
Dark blue cloth showing signs of use (rubbed, marked and lightly worn, with some loss of colour to portion of the spine of the third volume); edges of the text blocks foxed and a little stained (with minor impact on the leading margins of the last 40 leaves of the second volume, and most of the first 50 leaves of the third volume); light surface nibbling to a small section of the last 30 leaves of the first volume; endpapers offset and foxed, with foxing to the first and last few leaves (and minimal light scattered foxing elsewhere) in all three volumes; overall a decent set.
The front flyleaf of each volume is signed and inscribed in ink 'A. Graham Butler. Written at Staghurst this 21st day of May 1944'. Staghurst, near Kilcoy in Queensland, was a pastoral property in the Butler family; the ownership signature 'E.N. Butler' is written in the first volume. Ethel Nora Butler, nee Murray-Prior, was the wife of William Royston (Roy) Butler, the younger brother of Arthur Graham Butler. She was a younger half-sister of the novelist Rosa Praed. These volumes are the medical companion to the twelve-volume 'Official History of Australia in the War, 1914-1918'. All three volumes are scarce; the third volume must be deemed rare; we have not seen nor heard of any signed volumes before. 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.