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War & Escape – 20th Century

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  • The Badge of the Artists Rifles (Special Air Service)

    The Badge of the Artists Rifles (Special Air Service)

    The Artists Rifles was formed in 1860. The idea of the Artists occurred to Edward Sterling, an art student and ward of Thomas Carlyle, who convened a meeting of fellow students in the life class of Carey’s School of Art, Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury – from this the Corps of Artists was formed consisting of painters, sculptors, engravers, musicians, architects and actors. The badge was designed by Wyon, the Queen’s medallist –consisting of two heads: Mars – God of War and Minerva – Goddess of Wisdom. The badge carries the motto “Cum Marte Minerva” also the title of the regimental march. A regimental rhyme of note is “Mars, he was the God of war, and didn’t stop at trifles, Minerva was a bloody whore. So hence The Artists’ Rifles”.

    Light weight pressed metal 9cm by 6cm. strong deep relief.

    The Artists have an outstanding war record; the Victoria Cross being awarded on eight occasions. Whilst disbanded in 1945 they were reformed in 1947 as the 21st Special Air service Regiment (Artists Rifles).

    Notable members of The Artists included Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, Noel Coward, Frank Dobson, Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes OBE, Frederic Leighton, William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Barnes Wallis


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  • An Anzac Muster [Tales of Gallipoli] – William Baylebridge – Collected Works Vol II

    An Anzac Muster [Tales of Gallipoli] – William Baylebridge – Collected Works Vol II

    This is Volume II of the Collected Works of William Baylebridge (Memorial Edition) published in 1962. The Memorial publications were released at different times hence they are often found in separate volumes. This volume stands alone.

    The Anzac Muster was first printed privately in an edition of only 100 copies. It is regarded as an outstanding contribution to Australian literature. This publicly available volume represents the very next printing and contains the authors revisions which were made in 1932. These revisions never made the printing press and Baylebridge died in 1942.

    Published by Angus and Robertson, octavo, 226, with colour portrait frontispiece and a facsimile of the authors hand written amendments at the rear. A very good copy in a like dust jacket a trifle marked.

    Tales from Gallipoli from by Baylebridge – revised and revisited.


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  • The Japanese Occupation of Rabaul – This Crowd Beats Us All – Bishop Leo Scharmach M.S.C.

    The Japanese Occupation of Rabaul – This Crowd Beats Us All – Bishop Leo Scharmach M.S.C.

    A very scarce account of the Japanese occupation of New Britain in WWII.

    Polish born Leo Scharmach was a hero and undoubtedly saved many lives I New Britain and the civilian prisoner of war camp later established at Ramale. He held his own against the invading Japanese using humour, irony and strength of character … convincing the Japanese the local mission was still a German Mission and at one time that he was a envoy of Adolf Hitler. He did fight for the Germans during WWI, receiving an Iron Cross which he displayed to Japanese officers to good effect.

    This octavo book was published by The Catholic Press, Sydney in 1960. 296 pages, illustrated from photographs and drawings. A bit marked in the ends mainly from old tape residue holding the now chipped and torn dust jacket … but a jacket of real rarity.

    Very readable and informative

    WWII and the Japanese in New Britain … the account of forgotten hero Bishop Leo Scharmach.


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  • Voyaging – Captain James William Holmes –  Edited by Nora Coghlan

    Voyaging – Captain James William Holmes – Edited by Nora Coghlan

    Subtitled … “Fifty years on the seven seas in sail”. With pen pictures and paintings by Captain James William Holmes, Member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. With a forward by John Masefield.

    A fine copy of the second impression published 1966 by Hutchinson of London.

    Octavo, 207 pages with illustrations throughout mainly from the subjects magnificent artwork.

    Masefield describes Holmes as one of the most famous sea captains of the late Victorian era and salivates over the then thrill of the sailing ships if full rig. The editor, Holmes’s daughter twice sailed around the world with her father. Much about sailing to Australian and New Zealand.

    Captain Holmes from a special breed ..


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  • Original Press Photograph –  Australian Graves – Battle of Buna-Gona – 1942/43

    Original Press Photograph – Australian Graves – Battle of Buna-Gona – 1942/43

    An large original photograph 23cm by 19cm of a New Guinea Burial Ground, crosses mark the graves of Australians who fell in the fighting for Gona, New Guinea.

    The Battle of Buna-Gona was fought from 16th November 1942 to 22 January 1943 and was part of the New Guinea campaign during WWII. It followed the conclusion of the Kokoda Track campaign. Fought by Australian and US forces against the Japanese beachheads at Buna, Sanananda and Gona.

    The photograph has the usual press library marks and notations on the rear and is date stamped Jan 11 1943, putting it as having been produced during the campaign actual.

    An important and moving New Guinea campaign photograph


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  • The Collected Poems of Sidney Keyes – With Unpublished typescript Poem “Ode to Hitler”

    The Collected Poems of Sidney Keyes – With Unpublished typescript Poem “Ode to Hitler”

    Published posthumously by Routledge, London a fourth impression, 1951. Small octavo, xxiv, 123 pages, original binding, very good condition. The typescript poem “Ode to Hitler’ is dated June 1941 (whilst he was till at Oxford – see below). There is a manuscript note on the endpapers “including unpublished poem”; also a note from Anthony Smith, Headmaster of Dartford Grammar School, which Keyes attended “Dear Professor Porter, I am returning three items we borrowed from you …”. This is October, 1987 and there had been a special Keyes Conference held at the school that year … it is possible that the unique poem was one of the borrowed items, and that this book was Porter’s Professor Porter is likely the Theologian who was at Oriel college, Oxford for 13 years from 1949.

    The typescript poem contains an overtyped correction “Lonely” in the third last line – shown in the image. The manuscript date “June 1941” is surely in Sidney Keyes’ hand, by comparison with the facsimile of a hand written poem included in “Collected Poems”

    This is a special story. Sidney Keyes (1922-1943) was raised by his maternal grandparent, his mother died shortly after his birth. He began writing poetry at a very young age, influenced by Wordsworth, Rilke and Jung. He won a scholarship to Queen’s College, Oxford. At University he wrote two books “The Cruel Solstice” and “The Iron Laurel” for which he was later awarded the Hawthornden Prize. He was very active at Oxford editing the Cherwell Magazine and forming a dramatic society. Leaving Oxford in 1942 he joined the army and sadly died in active service in Tunisia in April 1943.

    All up there are 110 poems of which half relate to the War. All of his poems written during active service were lost.

    “Ode to Hitler” is a seven verse poem the first six comprising seven lines, the last six. It is a serious matter, whilst being clear in meaning. We do not want to publish all here … but here are the final lines.

    “You tapeworm of the mind, you will forgive
    My wanderings, stung by a sudden fury;
    Not even speaking for my country, only
    A mouthing sharp-tongued poet for the lonely
    And awkward speaking. But you will never thrive
    While we, the sour and cunning, stay alive.”

    A special writer and poet who gave his life too young and, a potentially important unpublished work.



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