This year’s International Churchill Conference took place October 8–9 at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square. Conference co-host Katherine Carter opened the presentations with the words, “This is London calling,” as all sessions were broadcast live via the internet with more than 3,000 people watching around the world.
Friday, October 8
“Churchill and Freedom” served as the theme of the conference, which opened with a panel moderated by The Rt. Hon. Lord Boateng, who spoke with Celia Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill and author of Churchill: Wanted Dead of Alive, and Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire: The Making of Winston Churchill.
Brough Scott, author of Churchill at the Gallop, held the audience spellbound as he used both sword and pistol to demonstrate the difficult skills Churchill had to perform when charging with the 21st Lancers at Omdurman. Professor James W. Muller then discussed his thirty-year project to restore to print the full text of Churchill’s book The River War. Captain Jonathan Nice of The Queen’s Royal Hussars (pictured) presented on the operations of Churchill’s regiment in today’s world.
Dan Snow, “The History Guy,” led the discussion with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appeared via Zoom from his home in California, and described how growing up in Austria after the war before moving first to the United Kingdom and then the United States changed his impressions of Churchill, whom he greatly admires.
At the Gala Dinner that evening, Jennie Churchill presented the first Young Churchillian Leadership Award to Zac Du Boulay, co-winner of first place in last year’s Inspire “Like Churchill” speaking competition, who has now gone on to raise nearly £11,000 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he was treated as a small child. Zac and his mother Annabel (pictured above with the Hussars) were the special guests of the Churchill Society.
To watch the full video of the first-day sessions, please CLICK HERE.
Saturday, October 9
The second day of the conference began with conference co-host Catherine Grace Katz interviewing Emma Soames about the publication of the wartime diaries of Emma’s mother Mary Churchill, the youngest child of Winston and Clementine. Dr. Charlotte Jones of Pol Roger, UK then spoke about “Churchill, Champagne, and the Resistance in Epernay during the First and Second World Wars.”
Tim Riley, Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director of America’s National Churchill Museum, led a discussion with Professor David Woolner, Dr. Jonathan Eyal, and Allen Packwood OBE about the 80th anniversary of the Atlantic Charter and its historic significance. This was followed by the partial staging of scenes from a new play about Churchill staying at the White House in December 1941.
The conference concluded with Andrew Roberts delivering the inaugural Stephen and Jane Poss Distinguished Churchill Lecture on the topic “Churchill and Russia: Opportunism or Consistency?” in which Roberts explained that Churchill’s long history of involvement with British policy towards Russia was always driven by acting in what he believed to be the best interests of Britain’s national security.
To watch the full video of the second-day sessions, please CLICK HERE.
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