Presented is a signed letter from Winston Churchill to Commodore Gordon Allen. Written on his personal letterhead, Churchill addresses the letter in his own handwriting, “My dear Allen.” On his custom large-print typewriter, Churchill wrote the letter on February 15, 1956, during his retirement. At the very bottom of the letter is Churchill’s characteristic signature in blue ink. The letter is set into a beautiful full leather presentation booklet and paired with his portrait.
Commodore Gordon Allen served in the British Navy during WWII and assisted Churchill in writing the naval portions of his famous six-volume memoir, The Second World War. In this letter, the former Prime Minister and revered statesman thanks Allen for noting an error in the memoir and agrees with his suggested change. Churchill then requests that Allen notifies “Cassells,” meaning the publisher Cassells & Company Limited, of the error before signing at the bottom.
The passage corrected by Allen mentions “islands of Lampedusa and Linosa” capitulating to the British Navy. The topic in question relates to the Allied Operation Corkscrew and the surrender of other nearby islands after the successful conclusion to the North African Campaign. Operation Corkscrew refers to the British attempt to capture the Italian island of Pantelleria, a highly defended area. Thanks to heavy air bombing tactics, the island surrendered, shortly followed by the islands of Lampione, Lampedusa, and Linosa. These victories cleared the way for the Allied capture of Sicily. Important enough to earn a spot in the historic memoirs, the capture of these islands and the correct retelling of such events remained significant enough to Winston Churchill to warrant a correction with the publisher.
Overall very good condition. Churchill’s handwritten address and signature are clearly written in dark blue ink. The top right corner of the letter has a hole punch and small stains from where a paperclip previously sat. Otherwise, the letter has no notable damage. The photo portrait of Churchill is newly printed. Both elements are set into a beautifully made presentation booklet bound in full morocco leather and decorated with gilt embossing. Both elements are hand-wrapped in blue fabric. A matching custom made blue cloth slipcase for the booklet with an inlaid photo of Churchill protects the booklet and its contents.
Dimensions of booklet and slipcase: 12 ¾” H x 10 ¾” W x 1” D
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