JOHN PECK & SON, NELSON SQUARE, BLACKFRIARS
A George V Red Morocco Leather Despatch Box with a rear brass carrying handle, the lid bearing The Royal Insignia, and stamped 'Dardanelles Commission', and 'The Rt. Hon. Sir William Pickford'. The black leather lined interior with raise sides, the Bramah Patent lock with two keys.
The box is accompanied by a letter from Sir Edward Grimwood-Mears and the commissioners, dated December 6th 1917, giving Sir William the box as a memento of his chairmanship of the Dardanelles Commission. Also included are Sir William's passport dated 20th August 1889, signed by Lord Salisbury, several photographs of him at various stages of his life and career, and other related ephemera. See images.
The Dardanelles Commission was was an official investigation into the disastrous 1915 Dardanelles Campaign, also known as The Gallipoli Campaign. The official report of the Commissioners was issued in 1919. It found major faults with the planning and execution of the Campaign. Winston Churchill, as the main insigator of the Campaign, had been widely blamed for its failure, and had been forced to resign as First Sea Lord in May 1915.
William Pickford (1 October 1848 – 7 August 1923) was appointed a judge of the High Court in 1907 and a Lord Justice of Appeal and sworn of the Privy Council in 1914. In 1916 he was chairman of the Dardanelles Commission. He was made President of the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division and raised to the peerage as Baron Sterndale, of King Sterndale in the County of Derby, in 1918. The following year he became Master of the Rolls, a post he held until his death.
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