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The Desert Campaigns.
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(MCBEY, James, illus.) MASSEY, William Thomas.

The Desert Campaigns.

Published: London: Constable and Company Limited, 1918

Stock code: 110306

Price: £50

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First edition of this account of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Sinai, covering the period up to the expulsion of the Turks after the Battle of Rafa in January 1917, and notably illustrated by war artist James McBey. “After several rejections, in 1916 McBey was commissioned as a second lieutenant, and while attached to the army printing and stationery office in Boulogne and Rouen made drawings of the battlefields. However, the following year he was appointed official war artist to the Egyptian expeditionary force, and he remained in the Near East until 1919 … Issued as three sets of etchings between 1919 and 1921, McBey’s war subjects were greeted with great acclaim” (ODNB). Massey was official correspondent of the London newspapers with the EEF, “one of the most attractive writers of the whole band … a keen and intelligent observer” (Falls). He also wrote How Jerusalem Was Won (1919) and Allenby’s Final Triumph (1920).

Octavo. Original red-brown cloth, titles to spine and front board in black, frame and caravan vignette to front board in blind, Frontispiece and 23 plates after McBey. Contemporary bookseller’s ticket (Victoria Bookstores, Alexandria, Cairo Khartoum) to front free endpaper. Extremities lightly bumped, a little pale marking to front board, free endpapers tanned, sigs. F7-8 clumsily opened not affecting text. A very good copy.

Bibliography: Falls pp. 57-8; Kalfatovic p. 375.

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