[General Sir Kenneth Anderson, commander of British First Army during Operation Torch.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Kenneth Anderson'), discussing Kenya, the 'severe crisis' in Britain, conscription. With ANS from recipient Brigadier H. H. Dempsey

General Sir Kenneth Anderson [General Sir Kenneth Arthur Noel Anderson, KCB, MC] (1891-1959), commander of British First Army during Operation Torch [Brigadier Harry Hamilton Dempsey CBE (1895-1973)]
Publication details: 
Dun Eaglais, Kippen, Stirlingshire [Scotland]. 14 February 1947. Dempsey's note dated 10 August 1960.
SKU: 20974

Dempsey's obituary in The Times, explains how 'In April, 1945, he was appointed Brigadier I/C Administration, East Africa Command', holding the position into the following year, and retiring in December 1947 on account of ill health. For a full account of Dempsey's military career, see his entry in Catholic Who's Who, vol.35 (1952). In an eight-line Autograph Note Signed at the end of Anderson's letter, Dempsey states that Anderson 'had been my personal & immediate superior as G.O.C. in C., East Africa Command, when I was his Brigadier I/C Administration. He became Governor of Gibraltar and has been dead some time now, having himself got a coronary thrombosis.' The present item is an Air Mail letter. 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium on blue paper. Addressed to 'Brigadier M. C. [sic] Demspey CBE | No 87 General Hospital | Nairobi | Kenya Colony'. (Anderson has confused Dempsey with the more illustrious General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey (1896-1969).)Anderson begins by condoling with Dempsey on 'a return of your thrombosis': 'it is no use going on kicking against the pricks, and you must I fear face the need for a quiet life'. He next describes the weather in Scotland ('our 21st day of hard frost & snow'). A report on his wife's trip to the metropolis turns into an attack on the postwar Labour government: 'Kathleen is in London trying to buy clothes by candle & torch light and shivering in her hotel. I fear this country is in for a very severe crisis, made worse by the theories & idealisms of the Govt, which fiddles while Rome does not burn.' After more domestic news he reports: 'I saw Brown and also Fisher while in London at the end of last month. The War Office continues hopeful about all their grand schemes for Kenya: but it will be a miracle if they get 1/10th of the present estimated cost. And, on the same lines, I dont see how the country can carry a large Army and 18 months conscription. We are so hard pressed economically that I think it is fanstastic to try & carry such a Burden.'