University Archives


Winston Churchill Champions Lord Wilson for Grand President of the South African War Veteran's Association

Single page typed letter signed on letterhead of "28 Hyde Park Gate, London". Dated "June 23, 1960", and signed by Winston Churchill "Winston S. Churchill" in strong vibrant ink. 7.5" x 9.5". Near fine with expected folds and a small punch hole to upper left corner. 

Churchill invites Lord Wilson to assume the role of Grand President of the South African War Veteran's Association "in succession to the late Field-Marshal Lord Ironside …" and confirming his belief "…that this would be a most suitable appointment, and will give great pleasure to the Members of the Association …"

The recipient, Henry Maitland Wilson (1881-1964), in addition to his active services during the Second Boer War (where Churchill worked as a correspondent for the Morning Post), saw action on the Western Front during the First World War and during the Second World War during which time he rose to the role of Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean in 1944.

The post of Grand President of the Association was held by a member of distinguished soldiers with South African War service. First, Sir Josceline Wodehouse (a Zulu War Veteran), Ian Hamilton, Field Marshal Earl Wavell, Field Marshal Lord Ironside and Lord Wilson of Libya. Patrons included the Earl of Athlone (with Jan Smuts as Vice-Patron), Winston Churchill and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. National SAWVA Headquarters was established within the London Branch in 1956 when existing branches were grouped together into six regions based on the then Army Commands.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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