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Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill


Winston Churchill as historian

The British statesman Winston Churchill was a prolific writer throughout his life, and many of his works were historical. His better-known works as a historian include: Marlborough: His Life and Times, The World Crisis (a five-volume history of World War I), The Second World War (six-volumes), and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (four-volumes). Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for "his mastery of historical and biographical description".


Winston Churchill - History

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Contents

Although legally the daughter of Sir Henry Hozier and Lady Blanche Hozier (a daughter of David Ogilvy, 10th Earl of Airlie), her paternity is a subject of much debate, as Lady Blanche was well known for infidelity. After Sir Henry found Lady Blanche with a lover in 1891, she managed to avert her husband's suit for divorce because of his own infidelities, and thereafter the couple separated. Lady Blanche maintained that Clementine's biological father was Capt. William George "Bay" Middleton, a noted horseman Mary Soames, Clementine's youngest child, believed this. [1] However, Clementine's biographer, Joan Hardwick, has surmised (due in part to Sir Henry Hozier's reputed sterility) that all Lady Blanche's "Hozier" children were actually fathered by her sister's husband, Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale (1837–1916), better known as a grandfather of the famous Mitford sisters of the 1920s. Whatever her true paternity, Clementine is recorded as being the daughter of Lady Blanche and Sir Henry.

In the summer of 1899, when Clementine was 14, her mother moved the family to Dieppe, a coastal community in the north of France. There the family spent an idyllic summer, bathing, canoeing, picnicking, and blackberrying. [2] While in Dieppe, the family became well acquainted with ‘La Colonie’, or the other English inhabitants living by the sea. This group consisted of military men, writers and painters, such as Aubrey Beardsley and Walter Sickert. The latter came to be a great friend of the family. According to Clementine's daughter, Mary Soames, Clementine was deeply struck by Sickert and thought he was the most handsome and compelling man she had ever seen. [2] The Hoziers' happy life in France ended when Kitty, the eldest daughter, was struck with typhoid fever. Blanche Hozier sent Clementine and her sister Nellie to Scotland so she could devote her time completely to Kitty. Kitty died on 5 March 1900.

Clementine was educated first at home, then briefly at the Edinburgh school run by Karl Fröbel, the nephew of the German educationist, Friedrich Fröbel, and his wife Johanna [2] and later at Berkhamsted School for Girls (now Berkhamsted School) and at the Sorbonne in Paris. She was twice secretly engaged to Sir Sidney Peel, who had fallen in love with her when she was 18. [3]

Clementine first met Winston in 1904 at a ball in Crewe House, home of the Earl and Countess of Crewe. [4] In March 1908, they met again when seated side by side at a dinner party hosted by Lady St Helier, a distant relative of Clementine's. [5] On their first brief encounter, Winston had recognised Clementine's beauty and distinction now, after an evening spent in her company, he realised she was a girl of lively intelligence and great character. [6] After five months of meeting each other at social events, as well as frequent correspondence, Winston proposed to Clementine during a house party at Blenheim Palace on 11 August 1908, in a small summer house known as the Temple of Diana. [7] [8]

On 12 September 1908, Winston and Clementine were married in St. Margaret's, Westminster, they honeymooned in Baveno, Venice, and Veveří Castle in Moravia [9] [10] before settling into a London home at 33 Eccleston Square. [11] [9] They had five children: Diana (1909–1963) Randolph (1911–1968) Sarah (1914–1982) Marigold (1918–1921) and Mary (1922–2014). Only Mary, the youngest, shared their parents' longevity with the others all dying before reaching the age of 70: Marigold died at the age of two, and the other three (Diana, Sarah, and Randolph) all died in their 50s and 60s. The Churchills' marriage was close and affectionate despite the stresses of public life. [12]

During the First World War, Clementine Churchill organised canteens for munitions workers on behalf of YMCA in the North East Metropolitan Area of London, for which she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1918. [13]

In the 1930s, Clementine travelled without Winston aboard Lord Moyne's yacht, the Rosaura, to exotic islands: Borneo, Celebes, the Moluccas, New Caledonia, and the New Hebrides. During this trip, many believe that she had an affair with Terence Philip, a wealthy art dealer seven years her junior. However, no conclusive evidence of this has been produced: indeed, Philip was believed by many to have been homosexual. She brought back from this trip a Bali dove. When it died, she buried it in the garden at Chartwell beneath a sundial. On the sundial's base, she had inscribed:

HERE LIES THE BALI DOVE
It does not do to wander
Too far from sober men.
But there’s an island yonder,
I think of it again. [14]

As the wife of a politician who often took controversial stands, Clementine was used to being snubbed and treated rudely by the wives of other politicians. However, she could take only so much. Once, traveling with Lord Moyne and his guests, the party was listening to a BBC broadcast in which the speaker, a vehemently pro-appeasement politician, criticised Winston by name. Vera, Lady Broughton, a guest of Moyne, said "hear, hear" at the criticism of Churchill. Clementine waited for her host to offer a conciliatory word but, when none came, she stormed back to her cabin, wrote a note to Moyne, and packed her bags. Lady Broughton came and begged Clementine to stay, but she would accept no apologies for the insult to her husband. She went ashore and sailed for home the next morning. [15]

During the Second World War, she was chairperson of the Red Cross Aid to Russia Fund, the president of the Young Women's Christian Association War Time Appeal and the chairwoman of Maternity Hospital for the Wives of Officers, Fulmer Chase. While touring Russia near the end of the war, she was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour. [16]

In 1946, she was appointed a dame grand cross of the Order of the British Empire, [17] becoming Dame Clementine Churchill GBE .

After more than 56 years of marriage, Clementine was widowed on 24 January 1965 when Winston died at the age of 90.

Following Sir Winston's death, on 17 May 1965 she was created a life peer as Baroness Spencer-Churchill, of Chartwell in the County of Kent. [18] She sat as a cross-bencher, but her growing deafness precluded her taking a regular part in parliamentary life.

In her final few years, inflation and rising expenses left Lady Spencer-Churchill in financial difficulties and in early 1977 she sold at auction five paintings by her late husband. [19] After her death, it was discovered that she had destroyed the Graham Sutherland portrait of her husband because Sir Winston had disliked it.

Lady Spencer-Churchill died at her London home, at 7 Princes Gate, Knightsbridge, of a heart attack on 12 December 1977. She was 92 years old and had outlived her husband by almost 13 years, as well as three of her five children.

She is buried with her husband and children (with the exception of Marigold who is interred in Kensal Green Cemetery in London) at St Martin's Church, Bladon, near Woodstock in Oxfordshire.

The Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow, Middlesex, is named after her.

A plaque on the Berkhamsted house where the young Clementine Hozier had lived during her education at Berkhamsted Girls' School was unveiled in 1979 by her youngest daughter, Baroness Soames. [20] A blue plaque also commemorates her residence there. [21]


Winston Churchill dies

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, dies in London at the age of 90.

Born at Blenheim Palace in 1874, Churchill joined the British Fourth Hussars upon his father’s death in 1895. During the next five years, he enjoyed an illustrious military career, serving in India, the Sudan, and South Africa, and distinguishing himself several times in battle. In 1899, he resigned his commission to concentrate on his literary and political career and in 1900 was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP from Oldham. In 1904, he joined the Liberals, serving in a number of important posts before being appointed Britain’s first lord of the admiralty in 1911, where he worked to bring the British navy to a readiness for the war that he foresaw.

In 1915, in the second year of World War I, Churchill was held responsible for the disastrous Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns, and he was excluded from the war coalition government. He resigned and volunteered to command an infantry battalion in France. However, in 1917, he returned to politics as a cabinet member in the Liberal government of Lloyd George. From 1919 to 1921, he was secretary of state for war and in 1924 returned to the Conservative Party, where two years later he played a leading role in the defeat of the General Strike of 1926. Out of office from 1929 to 1939, Churchill issued unheeded warnings of the threat of Nazi and Japanese aggression.

After the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Churchill was called back to his post as first lord of the admiralty and eight months later replaced the ineffectual Neville Chamberlain as prime minister of a new coalition government. In the first year of his administration, Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany, but Churchill promised his country and the world that the British people would “never surrender.” He rallied the British people to a resolute resistance and expertly orchestrated Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin into an alliance that crushed the Axis.

In July 1945, 10 weeks after Germany’s defeat, his Conservative government suffered a defeat against Clement Attlee’s Labour Party, and Churchill resigned as prime minister. He became leader of the opposition and in 1951 was again elected prime minister. Two years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his six-volume historical study of World War II and for his political speeches he was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1955, he retired as prime minister but remained in Parliament until 1964, the year before his death.


9 things you (probably) didn’t know about Winston Churchill

He is considered one of the defining figures of the 20th century, remembered for his inspirational speeches and for leading Britain to victory in the Second World War. But you might be surprised to learn that Winston Churchill had a patchy academic record, almost married a woman other than Clementine, and was one of the first adopters of the 'onesie'.

This competition is now closed

Published: May 10, 2019 at 10:30 am

In his book, How to Think Like Churchill, Daniel Smith charts the defining moments in the politician’s life, and reveals the key principles, philosophies and decisions that made him the wartime leader we remember him as. Here, writing for History Extra, Smith reveals nine lesser-known facts about Winston Churchill…

In the half century since he died, there can be no contemporary British figure whose story has been so scrutinized as Churchill’s. Of course he has his critics, and sometimes with good reason. He could be stubborn and impetuous, driven by ego, and sometimes unsympathetic to the plight of others (especially if they were not British, English-speaking or from a ‘Christian civilization’).

The morality of a few of his actions – such as giving permission for the blanket bombing of German cities – continues to divide opinion sharply. But few credibly argue that he was anything other than a giant figure of his age and one who, for all his faults, delivered what the British nation needed at its most acute time of crisis. How to Think Like Churchill looks at the personality traits, ideas, beliefs and some of the other key influences that informed his actions at the various stages of his life, and helped define his worldview. There emerges a figure who is nothing if not complex, combining extraordinary strengths and attributes with humbling weaknesses. For a man who had so many distinct phases to his life, it is hard to pin down exactly who the real Churchill was.

His childhood did little to suggest his future greatness

Winston’s childhood did little to suggest he would come anywhere near to matching the achievements of his illustrious predecessors, such as the Duke of Marlborough. He was prone to ill health, had various speech impediments (including a lisp and a stammer), and had an academic record that could at best be described as patchy. A letter from the assistant master at Harrow sent to Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph, in July 1888, for instance, detailed several of his faults, including forgetfulness, carelessness and a lack of punctuality.

He began his schooling at St George’s in Ascot aged eight, and his various physical frailties made him an obvious target for bullies. It was, perhaps, this experience that made him so determined to stand up to apparently mighty foes in later life.

On the podcast: Anthony McCarten, witer of the new historical blockbuster Darkest Hour, considers whether Winston Churchill came close to seeking peace with Hitler in 1940

Churchill was a voracious reader

Churchill was a voracious reader known for his ability to process vast quantities of text and to quickly grasp its key points. For a man who is quoted in the English language perhaps more than anybody, with the exception of Shakespeare, it is interesting to note that Churchill was a great fan of quotation collections too. They were, he found, a short cut to unending pools of knowledge.

In My Early Life (1930) he notes: “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations… The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts.”

He was accident-prone

He was accident-prone, suffering several nasty falls and, in 1931, was involved in an almost deadly accident with a car on a New York street. Sometimes it seemed like fate had something unhealthy in mind for Churchill, but he was never cowed. Indeed, his many close shaves only seemed to further encourage him to tempt destiny and put himself in the way of yet more danger.

In South Africa: London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900), Churchill provided arguably the most vivid insight into his attitude to risk: “You must put your head into the lion’s mouth if the performance is to be a success.”

Churchill invented several words

Like his hero, Shakespeare, Churchill was known to invent a word or two. For instance, he is credited with inventing the word ‘summit’ in 1950. He is also said to have helped ‘quisling’ come into popular usage as a synonym for a traitor (Vidkun Quisling having been the fascist military officer who became minister-president of German-occupied Norway in 1942).

He was considered for a Nobel Prize several times before he eventually received one

The Nobel Prize awarding committee had considered Churchill for the literature award several times before he eventually received it in 1953. A report for the committee produced in the 1940s deemed him a significant historian but not one, perhaps, whose work was so important or sparklingly literary that it warranted the grandest of all prizes.

So, after years of his name being mooted, he was finally given the great accolade. The official citation proclaimed that the prize had been awarded for “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”.

His first love was not his wife Clementine

Clementine Churchill was undoubtedly ‘the one’, but as strong and enduring as their relationship was, Clementine was not Churchill’s first love. That honour fell to society beauty Pamela Plowden. Then came Violet Asquith, daughter of prime minister Herbert Asquith, with whom Clemmie somewhat overlapped. Churchill later revealed that he and Violet were not far short of engaged, and he may well have ended up with her if Clementine had refused his marriage proposal. Violet was distraught to find herself, as she saw it, jilted, and she refused to go to Winston’s wedding.

Churchill created some 500 artworks

In 1915 Churchill began his painting career, going on to produce some 500 works during his lifetime. He made countless attractive, idealized landscapes, many of which were later reproduced on greetings cards. Pablo Picasso even noted that “If that man were a painter by profession he’d have no trouble in earning a good living.”

In 1947 Churchill had two works accepted by the Royal Academy, which he had submitted under the pseudonym David Winter. By the time he died, Churchill had exhibited no less than 50 of his works at the Academy.

Churchill’s other hobbies included landscaping and, somewhat unexpectedly, bricklaying. He discussed this particular passion in Volume I of The Second World War: “I lived mainly at Chartwell, where I had much to amuse me. I built with my own hands a large part of two cottages and extensive kitchen-garden walls, and made all kinds of rockeries and waterworks and a large swimming pool which was filtered to limpidity and could be heated to supplement our fickle sunshine.”

Churchill loved to smoke and drink

Churchill truly did love the good life, and would brook little compromise when it came to eating, drinking and smoking. When required to travel by aeroplane during the Second World War, he even had his oxygen mask adapted so that he might be able to smoke through it.

He had a formidable appetite from a young age, once receiving a thrashing at school for stealing sugar from a pantry. In the year before he died, Clemmie insisted he go on a diet. His response was to invest in a pair of scales that recorded his weight as lighter than the ones they&rsquod previously employed.

He was an early adopter of the ‘onesie’

Churchill was one of the first adopters of the ‘onesie’. Known as the ‘siren suit’, so called because of its suitability in the event of an air raid, it was essentially an all-in-one outfit designed with both comfort and practicality in mind.

The suits made from a variety of materials, including wool and canvas, but Churchill took things a step further: he commissioned the tailors Turnbull & Asser to make him a selection of differently coloured velvet versions (examples of which may be seen today at his family home at Blenheim Palace).

Daniel Smith’s How to Think Like Churchill, published by Michael O’Mara Books Ltd, is on sale now.


“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill

We must always look forward, but we have to understand our history in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. I have seen too many instances where people continue to pursue wrong courses of action because they do not take the time to think critically about what has happened in the past.

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Wrong attrition. Churchill was QUOTING George Santayana

Don’t you mean attribution?

Actually, Sir Winston Churchill was not exactly quoting George Santayana. In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Churchill slightly changed the quote when he said (paraphrased), “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” and George Santayana-1905 said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana-1905).

He was not quoting Santayana he was paraphrasing him.

And it’s attribution, not attrition.

It was probably said by dozens who predate Santayana in some form or another. Yet it bears repeating as this Summer of 2017 has so many who need another chance to hear and heed it before they destroy American history with severe maniacal liberalism Removing monuments is to remove bookmarks of time just like removing bookmarks from a larger book that grows each day! You lose your place in the book, then you lose the book and the mind withers into the valley of pretense where there is no escape to truth !

There speaks someone who cleary DID NOT study ANY history!

Your conversation has all the hallmarks of a person with a grasp on words and little understanding of the thousands of years it took to get to a civil discussion. Changing the minds and attitudes of those who ruled over the first millions of people on the planet by brute force, then the first billion were changed slowly were likely only different in the sharpness of their blades of their swords and spears.

Add a billion at a time with refinement of laws and one gets to the 1900s where political parties do the enslavement. Even in your UK, brutality wreaked havoc on civilian Colonial American from church burnings with the congregations inside, but they were overall a Christian nation. That is where my family came from inside the brutal royalty of those earlier times.

The middle east has never been a truly civil place in all of history and the UK was one of the principles in drawing the lines of nations out of tribes to give us the middle east mess we have now. Israel deserves a place that was their homeland as a nation and a religion!

The totality of one’s work should not summarily be condemned by one act. Our President Andrew Jackson, initiated the “Trail of Tears”, yet did many things that shaped a better country. Abraham Lincoln had reporters arrested for Fake News while conducting a war that one general would not fight. Woodrow Wilson, fired black for his government and watched the outrageous “Birth of a Nation” with his cabinet and had women arrested for protesting in from of the White House! They only wanted the right to vote! Summary lynchings of blacks still went on under Wilson with law enforcement mostly just taking notes for the records. Many of them knew who the murderers were!

You are not wrong, but you are taking one side entirely! Not one of us is perfect and none of us want our worst deed engraved on our headstone, so I would save the hostility for those who are gassing civilians assassinating people in their places of worship solely because of the clash of their two “peaceful” religions mutilating the genitalia of children and marrying them off to abusers who would carry out beatings or honor killings (that still happens in the UK, right? especially in Shariah communities) for the sin of smiling at or talking to another man! People are starving and militias hold back aid so tribes can die out.

The monuments were the property of those who erected them, but they should not be torn down by lawless bands who have been incited to riot. “Good people on both sides” was correct as it was “History” vs survivors of those who “enslaved” and unlikely had not felt the lash of whips or chains in a dank building. I believe that antifa, neo-nazis, skinheads and KKK were never intended to be considered “good people”. Only those who supported the party promoting the confrontation, put the instigators among the “good and bad” and that is just pathetic!

Not sure if you are addressing me by your ambiguous statement, but I can assure you that my family tree and history records place two branches of my family in Plymouth Colony in 1620 and 1635 respectively, although the last date could be 1633 to 1637. IF you were referring to someone else, thank you! I have volumes of records as well as being a student of history. Last year I visited the graves of family that participated in King Phillips war, the French & Indian, American Revolution, Civil War on both sides, Spanish American, WWI, WWII, Korea and myself in Vietnam. My family has a town in MS named after one family member. My family was there to witness “The Trail of Tears! I have been immersed in US & World History since childhood. My Great grandfather was too young to see Davy Crockett pass through his neighboring Texas town along the Red River on his way to the Alamo. I am reading “A Slave’s Cause by Professor Manisha Sinha and have attended lectures about the subjects around the history of civil rights. You might benefit if you are not a denier, like so many, who over reaches in proclaiming the Stars and Bars as solely a symbol of suppression. Most of the Confederate Soldiers were merely defending their homeland as the theme of nationalism under one flag had faded in the 46 years since the last of the British troops was forced to withdraw from our shores!

When a “monument” glorifies the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, the waging of war against other, Sovereign Nations, and the siding with genocidal regimes, they MUST be removed and it behoves the People of a Nation to decry the acts of savagery that tainted their ancestors in their Greedfest of Colonialism and Imperialism!


#6 He united and inspired Britain with his able leadership during World War II

Upon becoming Prime Minister, Churchill formed a coalition cabinet of leaders from the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties. He made sure it represented all groups and was able to take swift decisions. Though he dominated Parliament, he never took it for granted and ensured that it was free from domestic political conflicts. Churchill rubbished talks of surrender and rejected Germany’s proposal for a peace treaty. Instead he gave his electrifying “This was their finest hour” speech in which he asked Britain to prepare for the Battle of Britain, urged its people to “brace ourselves to our duties” and prepared the British for a long war. He gave stirring speeches in Parliament and on the radio to unite the nation and make it stand as one. Under the able leadership of Churchill, Britain handed Germany its first major defeat in World War II in the Battle of Britain in 1940.


Contents

Churchill, who excelled in the study of history as a child and whose mother was American, had a firm belief in a so-called "special relationship" between the people of Britain and its Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.) united under the Crown, and the people of the United States who had broken with the Crown and gone their own way. His book thus dealt with the resulting two divisions of the "English speaking peoples".

At the independent suggestions of British publisher Newman Flower [2] and American editor Max Perkins, [3] Churchill began the history during the 1930s, during the period that his official biographer Martin Gilbert termed the "wilderness years" when he was not in government. Work was interrupted in 1939 when the Second World War broke out and Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and became Prime Minister a year later. After the war ended in 1945, Churchill was busy, first writing his history of that conflict and then as Prime Minister again between 1951 and 1955, so it was not until the mid 1950s, when Churchill was in his early eighties, that he was able to finish his work .

One-third of the last volume was devoted to the military minutiae of the American Civil War. Social history, the agricultural revolution, and the industrial revolution hardly get a mention. [4] Political opponent Clement Attlee suggested the work should have been titled "Things in history that interested me." [5]

Despite these criticisms, the books were bestsellers and reviewed favourably on both sides of the Atlantic. In The Daily Telegraph, J.H. Plumb wrote: "This history will endure not only because Sir Winston has written it, but also because of its own inherent virtues — its narrative power, its fine judgment of war and politics, of soldiers and statesmen, and even more because it reflects a tradition of what Englishmen in the hey-day of their empire thought and felt about their country's past." [6] [4]

  • The Birth of Britain
  • The New World
  • The Age of Revolution
  • The Great Democracies

Related works Edit

The BBC produced a series of twenty-six fifty-minute plays loosely based around Churchill's work and entitled Churchill's People which were broadcast in 1974 and 1975. However, the quality of the productions was judged to be poor and the series received low ratings.

A sequel to Churchill's work, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, by Andrew Roberts, was published in 2006. [7]


Contents

Voted as the greatest Briton in a BBC poll in 2002, Sir Winston Churchill is remembered for leading his country (with the Allies) to victory as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. In June 1953, during his second term as Prime Minister, he had a severe stroke at a dinner party at Downing Street. Unknown to his guests, he collapsed and was left partially paralysed. The family kept the incident secret. [11] Among the few who were informed of the news was Queen Elizabeth II, who had occupied the throne for just a year. She instructed The 16th Duke of Norfolk, who, as Earl Marshal, was in charge of state funerals, to make preparations in the event of Churchill's death that should be "on a scale befitting his position in history". [12] A meticulous and confidential plan titled Operation Hope Not was prepared. [13] Churchill survived the next 12 years, during which necessary modifications were frequently made. The final documents, titled State Funeral of the Late Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, K.G., O.M., C.H., were issued on 26 January 1965, two days after Churchill's death. The documents dictated the entire course of the funeral down to the minutest detail. [14]

Churchill died in the morning of Sunday 24 January 1965 in his home at 28 Hyde Park Gate, London, exactly 70 years after the death of his father. His physician Lord Moran announced the death at 8:35am. Since 1949, he had suffered eight strokes. The last was 15 January 1965, from which he never recovered. After the stroke, he was mostly in a coma his last words were to his son-in-law Christopher Soames: "I'm so bored with it all." [15] [16] The BBC announced the death at 9:00 am. [17] [18] [19] The Queen immediately sent a letter of condolence to Lady Churchill, saying:

The whole world is the poorer by the loss of his many-sided genius while the survival of this country and the sister nations of the Commonwealth, in the face of the greatest danger that has ever threatened them, will be a perpetual memorial to his leadership, his vision and indomitable courage. [20]

The next day members of the House of Commons paid tribute. [21] [22]

J. H. Kenyon Ltd, of Paddington, London, the funeral directors to the Royal Household since 1928, were tasked with preparing Churchill's remains for the funeral. Desmond Henley, the company's chief embalmer, went to Churchill's Hyde Park Gate home to oversee the process. [23] Churchill's body was embalmed in the same room where he had died. When the process was completed, the remains were dressed in his silk pyjamas and dressing robe and placed back into his bed. Churchill would lie in repose in private at his home until 9:00 pm Tuesday evening when Kenyon's staff transported his remains to Westminster Hall for public viewing. [24]

Lying in state Edit

The funeral started on Tuesday 26 January 1965. By 8:30 pm police and security personnel had taken up their positions in what The Daily Telegraph reported as "the most extensive security operation of this sort ever undertaken in England." [10] At 9:15 pm Churchill's body was transported from his London home to Westminster Hall for the lying in state. It was led by Cameron Cobbold, 1st Baron Cobbold, the Lord Chamberlain in the company of family members. [22] He was placed on a catafalque before Lady Churchill and the Earl Marshall. At 9:00 pm the first watch was mounted in the hall by the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards. In the subsequent days the Royal Navy and five regiments of foot guards also took turns. [25]

The lying-in-state lasted from Wednesday 27 January to 06:00 am on 30 January, [26] during which Westminster Hall was kept open for 23 hours daily. An hour was reserved for cleaning. The queue was most times more than one mile long, and the waiting time was about three hours [22] 321,360 people came to pay their respects. [9] [27]

Order of service Edit

The funeral service on Saturday 30 January began with the chiming of Big Ben at 9:45am. The clock was muted for the rest of the day. Ninety cannon salutes were fired at Hyde Park to mark the ninety years of Churchill's life. [7] [28] The coffin was placed on a gun carriage and draped with the Union Flag upon which was the insignia of the Order of the Garter on top of a black cushion. It was carried from the hall by a bearer party of eight guards from the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards. The procession started upon a drum beat by the Royal Navy and was then led by the Royal Air Force and the Foot guards. Following the gun carriage was Lady Churchill in the Queen's town coach and her son Randolph Churchill on foot [29] followed by family members and Churchill's private secretary, Anthony Montague Browne. [22] The march processed through Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, the Strand, Fleet Street, and up Ludgate Hill. A marching band consisted of three officers and 96 soldiers of the Scots Guards 2nd Battalion. Banners of the Danish resistance movements were lowered in respect at the Cenotaph. [29] Altogether 2,500 soldiers and civilians took part in the procession, while four half-companies of soldiers lined the streets. [25] Four majors of the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars were assigned to carry Churchill's medals, orders and decorations. [7]

After an hour, the service was held at St Paul's Cathedral. 3,500 people attended, including the Queen, who did not normally attend funerals of commoners. Protocol also dictated that the Queen be the last to arrive at an event, but on this occasion she put royal etiquette aside, arriving before Churchill's coffin was in the church. [30] There were 12 pallbearers in the cathedral, including Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies, and the former British Prime Ministers Clement Attlee, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan. [29] Aged 82, Attlee was frail with ill-health but insisted he be the pallbearer as Churchill had asked him to do the honour. [31] He stumbled on the steps to the entrance of the cathedral, the coffin was almost dropped, and only saved by two soldiers, "pushers", from the back. [32]

With officials from more than 112 countries attending, it was the largest gathering of dignitaries in history until the 1980 funeral of Josip Broz Tito and the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II. Guests included the French President Charles de Gaulle, the Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Smith, the former US president Dwight D. Eisenhower, many other past and present heads of state and government, and members of multiple royal families. Sir Robert Menzies, then the longest-serving Commonwealth Prime Minister, who had known Churchill well in wartime, paid tribute to his colleague as part of the funeral broadcast, as did President Eisenhower. [7] Churchill's favourite hymns were sung, including "Fight the Good Fight", "He Who Would Valiant Be" and "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord." [22]

At the thanksgiving, Menzies recited a eulogy:

In the whole of recorded history this [the Second World War] was, I believe, the one occasion when one man, with one soaring imagination, with one fire burning in him, and with one unrivalled capacity for conveying it to others, won a crucial victory not only for the Forces (for there were many heroes in those days) but for the spirit of human freedom. And so, on this day, we thank him, and we thank God for him." [33]


Watch the video: Όταν ο γλέζος..έσωσε τον τσώρτσιλ (December 2021).

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