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,  (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 very lightly marked, with a trifling blemish to a few letters of the title on the spine of the first volume; endpapers a little foxed and offset; edges a little foxed, with occasional light foxing to the text; foxing notwithstanding, about as fine a complete matched set you are likely to find.
And it doesn't stop there: EACH VOLUME IS INSCRIBED, SIGNED AND DATED BY THE AUTHOR. The first two volumes are inscribed on the half-title thus: 'A. Graham Butler. Canberra Nov 18th 1942'. The third volume is inscribed on the front flyleaf: 'A. Graham Butler. Austn War Memorial. Canberra ACT. Oct 6th 1943'. 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; and until we sold a very indifferent set with Butler family provenance a year ago, we had not seen nor even 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. None of these tackle the pagination, let alone the plate count, and we fully understand why this is so. We thought we had got it right in the Braga Catalogue, but alas no. The above details are a great improvement, but we stand to be corrected (and more power to you!). 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 to the text in the second edition.