Signed Leatherbound Presentation First Edition from Winston Churchill to His Wartime Private Secretary John Peck


First English Edition

By: Winston S. Churchill

Cassell and Co. [London]

Biblio: (Cohen A214.1.a) (Woods A107a)

8vo (338 pages, with frontispiece and five internal photographs)

Hardcover [Navy blue leather]

Item Number: 211420

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Collector's Guide

The Dawn of Liberation was the fifth volume of Churchill’s collected World War II speeches (covering 22 February-31 December 1944). The last great events of the war are included: D-Day and the invasion of France, the Soviet advances in the East, the future of Poland (grim) and Greece (hopeful), and the V2 rocket bombs halted finally by the Allied armies rolling into Europe. Churchill’s speeches were collected and published yearly throughout the war in the U.K. and the U.S.


This First English edition was rebound at Winston Churchill’s direction in full-navy blue morocco for presentation to John Peck, his only Private Secretary to serve without interruption for the duration of Churchill’s wartime Prime Ministership, May 1940 to July 1945.

The book is signed in ink on the second front free endpaper: “Winston S. Churchill.” It was acquired at auction from Peck’s estate and is in very good condition, trimmed slightly for binding.

Laid-in is John Peck’s wartime Identity Card, stamped: “22 June 43.”

Sir JOHN HOWARD PECK (1913-1995) joined the Civil Service in 1936. Appointed Assistant Private Secretary to Winston Churchill when Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty in 1939, Peck followed him to No. 10 Downing Street as one of four Private Secretaries. Following Churchill’s defeat in the 1945 General Election, Peck served Clement Attlee briefly, then transferred to the Foreign Office in 1946. He later held a number of positions within the Civil Service before his final appointment as British Ambassador to Dublin 1970-1973.