4th Hussar, The Story of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, 1685-1958
Aldershot, Gale & Polden Ltd., 1959. First edition. Hardcover. This scarce book is a unit history of the Queen's Own 4th Hussars, particularly notable for a foreword and contributions by Winston S. Churchill. The 4th Hussars was at Aldershot in 1895 when Lieutenant Winston Churchill joined it from Sandhurst as the junior subaltern. The 4th Hussars would experience much of its most conspicuous glory during Churchill's long life and then would cease to be in the twilight of Churchill's life, just a few years after the end of Churchill's second premiership.
Not surprisingly, Churchill contributions to this book are ubiquitous and prominent. Churchill contributes a Foreword dated September 1957, with facsimile signature. There are also numerous lengthy excerpts from Churchill works, including My Early Life, The World Crisis, and The Second World War. Of bibliographic note is Churchill's address of 1 February 1943, which here appears in a version somewhat different from those published in Onwards to Victory and His Complete Speeches. Many other Churchill speech excerpts, addresses, comments, and messages also appear throughout.
A storied regiment long before Churchill's association, the 4th Hussars was with Wellington throughout the Peninsular campaign and was one of the five regiments in the infamous charge of the Light Brigade. The 4th Hussars was awarded twenty-two Battle Honours during the First World War and, during the Second World War, served both in Greece and at the battle of El Alamein before being amalgamated with the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars in 1958. The book is well-illustrated, with 14 plates (10 in color, including a frontispiece featuring Churchill), and 30 maps, many folding.
Here is a near fine first edition in the original dust jacket. The blue cloth binding is square, clean, and strikingly bright and clean with vivid spine and front cover gilt, marred only by minor corner bumps and a little wrinkling at the spine ends. The contents are notably bright and clean with no spotting or age-toning. There is a decorative bookplate affixed to the front pastedown and a single letter "C" inked on the front free endpaper. The dust jacket has done its duty protecting the lovely volume beneath and thus shows more age and wear. The jacket is unclipped with losses at the spine ends to a maximum depth of .5 inch, toning and wrinkling of the spine, and overall moderate soiling and light spotting to the jacket faces with wear at the corners. The dust jacket is protected in a removable, archival quality clear cover.
Reference: Cohen B163, Woods B58/1. Item #003142