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The History of The Second World War.
Cassell London. Six Volumes complete First Edition set -1954 1948 - Octavo, six volume set in dustjackets. A remarkable and unique set. SIGNED BY CHURCHILL IN VOLUME ONE. This set belonged to Sir Alec Randall, Britain's Ambassador to Denmark and volumes one and two are also inscribed to him, from Robert Bruce Lockhart. The half title of volume one contains the inscription : "For Alec Randall, in gratitude and friendship from R.H.Bruce Lockhart". On the title page of volume one is written in ink "Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill 1950". (Churchill usually, but not always, signed the half title rather than the title page, but in this instance the half title was already signed). The signature show no weakness and is typical of Churchill's hand at the time. Bruce Lockhart (1887-1970) was a British diplomat, journalist, secret agent and author who during the war had been Director General of the Political Warfare Executive. Alec Walter G. Randall (1892-1977) served in the Foreign Office from 1915 as an officer in the British Army and joined the Diplomatic Service in 1919, serving as Britain's Ambassador to the Vatican in the 1920's. He was knighted in 1949 and served as British Ambassador to Denmark from 1947-52. In October 1950, Churchill visited Denmark to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Copenhagen University and the Royal Order of the Elephant from King Frederick. Sir Alec entertained Winston and Clementine Churchill at the British Embassy on 11th October 1950, almost certainly the occasion when he obtained Churchill's inscription in volume one of this work, having had volumes one and two - and possibly vols 4-6 too - given to him by Bruce Lockhart. Included is a photographic print of Randall, Winston and Clementine Churchill informally sitting at a coffee table at the British Embassy in Copenhagen on 11th October 1950, from the Churchill archives at Cambridge. Sir Alec Randall died in 1977. Tom Burns wrote in an obituary "With the exception of Lord Strang and Sir Clifford Norton, Alec Randall probably had a longer experience of the Foreign Office than anyone".****** Sir Alec Randall married in 1915 Constance Amy Jones, a physician. They lived in Barnet and later Hampstead and had at least one and possibly three daughters. One daughter was Cecily Anne (1922-2007), who in 1950 married Alfred James Holladay MA, Fellow in Ancient History at Trinity College, Oxford. From 1954-64 they lived in the house that is now Blackwell's Bookshop. They did not apparently have any children, and following Alfred's death in 1989, Cecily move to Colchester to be nearer family. She died at the Crouched Friars nursing home, Colchester, on 17th July 2007. Within a year or so, these books were bought privately from a good collection at a small country house in Lancashire, whose owner had relatives in Colchester. It is believed that these volumes had passed from Sir Alec to his daughter Cecily and thence to a sister or brother in law, and finally through some other family link to the collection in Lancashire. Included here is a copy of Randall's memoirs "Vatican Assignment" (1956).
      [Bookseller: Neil Summersgill ABA,PBFA,ILAB.]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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