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There are many rich connections between Winston Churchill and Scotland, and yet surprisingly these have received little attention from scholars. This issue of Finest Hour gives exclusive attention to a few of Scotland’s associations with Churchill and hopes to inspire researchers and writers into further study.

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The contents of this issue include a substantial foreword by the Rt Hon Gordon Brown; an essay about "Why Have the Scots Forsaken Churchill?"; a look at the leading myths associated with Churchill and Scotland; a study by Piers Brendon of Churchill's friendship with Lord Rosebery; a look by David Stafford at one of Churchill's final major speeches while serving as MP for Dundee; a survey by Robin Brodhurst of Churchill's many naval connections with Scotland; the story behind the honorary degree presented to Churchill by the University of Aberdeen; and a glimpse at how the stirrings of nationalism affected Churchill's last years as prime minister in what became known as the Scottish Pillar Box War.

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Gordon Brown

"So much has been written about every aspect of Winston Churchill's life that it is surprising that one important area —his relationship to Scotland — has commanded so little attention."

- The Rt Hon Gordon Brown

Upon receiving the Freedom of the City and Royal Burgh of Edinburgh.

winston churchill October 1942

I have myself some ties with Scotland which are to me of great significance—ties precious and lasting. First of all, I decided to be born on St. Andrew's Day—and it was to Scotland I went to find my wife. I commanded a Scottish battalion of the famous 21st Regiment for five months in the line in France in the last war. I sat for 15 years as the representative of 'Bonnie Dundee,' and I might be sitting for it still if the matter had rested entirely with me.

Oct. 15, 1942 - Premier in Edinburgh: The Prime Minister recently paid a visit to Edinburgh, where he inspected units of the Civil Defence Services, and afterwards received the freedom and the Burgess Ticket of the City. Photo shows Mr Churchill inspecting women Auxiliary nurses, in Edinburgh. ©

"Scotland, and its Royal Naval ports and bases, were close to the heart of Churchill, and he visited them as often as he could."

— Robin Brodhurst, author of Churchill’s Anchor: Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound

Robin Brodhurst
Alastair Stewart

"There is more to Scotland and Churchill than people know. Churchill happily borrowed from Charles Murray when he told his 1942 Edinburgh audience: 'Auld Scotland counts for something still.'"

— Alastair Stewart, freelance writer and public affairs consultant

Incomparably the finest on the east coast of Britain.
—Winston Churchill on Cromarty Harbour

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"Churchill's final two years as MP for Dundee marked an important step in his political rehabilitation."

— David Stafford, author of Oblivion or Glory: 1921 and the Making of Winston Churchill

© Jeanne Cannizzo

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Randolph Churchill

"The Churchill family is delighted that efforts are being made to bring together my great-grandfather's relationship with Scotland. He not only had great-admiration for Scotland but considered many Scots among his friends.

Whatever the political debates of today, they have no bearing on an objective view of history. My great-grandfather had a plethora of connections to Scotland, her politicians, her institutions and her people. He was quite correct when he said he owed Scotland his wife, his constituency and his regiment.

The International Churchill Society is rightly trying to draw attention to this, and we all encourage anyone with diaries, or photos or information, perhaps sitting in attics, to share these to expand the research further."

Randolph Churchill, Great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill

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Churchill and Scotland

An Appeal for Information

The International Churchill Society (ICS) is also launching an appeal for more information about Churchill’s many associations with Scotland to enable further study about how the famous wartime Prime Minister and the Scottish people affected one another.

The ICS is launching a fresh appeal for new stories, facts, photos, and diaries about Churchill’s time in Scotland to expand the field of study further. The team is looking to publish a book in the coming year.

Read the full press release here.

6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, (approx) May 1916.  ©

The three men seated in the middle left to right are:
Archibald Sinclair (in peaked cap), second-in-command
Winston Churchill (in Glengarry bonnet), commanding officer
Andrew Dewar Gibb (also in Glengarry bonnet), adjutant

Caird Hall, Dundee Scotland.  ©

The Caird Hall is Dundee’s main Concert and Event venue, located in the heart of the City. The building is Grade A listed. King George V and Queen Mary laid the foundation stone of the building in 1914.

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.