William Birdwood [1865-1951] British army officer Commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli and then C-in-C of the Fifth Army on the Western Front. Typed letter, two pages, signed on notepaper headed Headquarters, Fifth Army, B.E.F France to 'Mr. Windeatt' dated 13th October 1918. 'I think I need hardly say what a great honour I shall consider it to be admitted as a Freeman of the Borough of Totnes, following in the footsteps of so many of my forbears. .... I shall look forward to visiting Totnes when the war is over. Things are going so excellently at the present, that at times we almost dare to hope that this may come before very long. However, one cannot under any circumstances count on trusting the German, until he is absolutely on his knees. I think he is very nearly there, but to the last he will look for any uncovered spots in our armour, so we must keep hard at him until he has entirely submitted - so the end may not yet be quite in view...I was..very interested to know that Wills was a Totnes man, and I am sure that many of our Australians will like to know this..... [The references is to William John Wills (1834-1861) who was second in command of the Burke and Wills expedition beginning in 1860, the first to cross Australian from south to north. Both Burke and Wills died on the expedition. After the war Birdwood became baronet of Gallipoli and Totnes. Good condition. Small hole top left hand corner, mild grubbiness.
Author Filed Marshall William Birdwood