In Memoriam. We record with great regret the recent death of Norman Creswell, who was a stalwart member of the society and of the Epping & Woodford branch. When WSC was MP for Woodford, Norman was one of those who regularly assisted him with constituency business. We extend our deep sympathy to Sheila.
New Year Honours. Many congratulations to the following members who have been honoured as stated:
Lawrence Geller. Chairman of the TCC board – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [CBE]; for services to The Churchill Centre and for charitable and humanitarian work internationally.
Maj Gen Patrick Marriott CBE. Ex-officio honorary member of TCC-UK as Commandant, RMA Sandhurst – Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath [CB].
Robert Bieber. TCC-UK member (Wimbledon), Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College, London; for services to the voluntary sector – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE]. (Belated entry from a year ago.)
Recent Publications. Many congratulations to the following on their recent publications:
Lady Soames, Patron TCC: A Daughter’s Tale [the story from birth till marriage in 1947]
Anne Sebba, TCC-UK member: That Woman [viz.the Duchess of Windsor]
Cita Stelzer, TCC-UK Board member: Dinner With Churchill
Churchillian of the Year Award. A major fund-raising dinner, master-minded by David Boler, was held on the evening before the start of this year’s annual conference: some 350 people attended. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, presented the Churchillian of the Year award to the representative of the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards. The International award was given to the representative of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.
28th International Churchill Conference. This year’s conference, the first to be held in the United Kingdom since 2004, took place in London on 27th-28th October 2011. Some 230 people attended, including many from Canada, the United States and other European countries. It was particularly good to have been able to welcome a number of guests – students from universities and sixth forms and officer cadets from RMA Sandhurst. It is not possible, in the limited space available, to give a description of the whole event, but a glance at some of the big names who spoke or debated on the theme of Churchill’s Special Relationship – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow will give a flavour of the high quality of the programme: Lord Hurd of Westwell (Douglas Hurd), Sir Max Hastings, Sir Martin Gilbert, David Reynolds, Piers Brendon, Lord Howard of Lympne (Michael Howard), Irwin Stelzer, Sir Robert Worcester, Robert Hardy, Sir David Manning (former ambassador in Washington), Lady Williams of Elvel (WSC’s personal secretary, 1949-55) and Hugh Lunghi (one of WSC’s Russian interpreters at meetings with Stalin in Moscow and at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam). Representatives from The Churchill Centre, the Churchill Archives Centre, Blenheim, Chartwell, the Churchill War Rooms, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and the US National Churchill Museum gave updates on their activities.
Away from the conference room, Lady Soames signed copies of her new book A Daughter’s Tale at the Churchill War Rooms and the Hon Celia Sandys was presented with the Blenheim Award. Actress Rohan McCullough gave a truly brilliant performance of part of her one-woman show My Darling Clemmie. Jim Muller and Paul Courtenay gave a foretaste of their new edition of WSC’s Great Contemporaries, which is due to be published in late March 2012; in addition to the twenty-five essays which featured in the 1938 version, this new edition will include five extra ones by WSC (H.G. Wells, Charlie Chaplin, Kitchener of Khartoum, King Edward VIII and Rudyard Kipling). TCC-UK member Niels Bjerre (Denmark) mounted an excellent static display. The programme ended with a grand dinner at which Solveig Barber gave her traditional lead in the singing of O, Canada! , The Star-Spangled Banner and God Save the Queen. The guest speaker was Rob Havers, Executive Director, US National Churchill Museum, Fulton. Formalities over, the next two days were devoted to visits to Chartwell (guided by Randolph Churchill), a walking tour of WSC’s Westminster and Whitehall led by Sir Martin Gilbert, a tour of Blenheim Palace and a visit to Havengore, the Port of London Authority launch which carried WSC’s coffin up the Thames after his State funeral in January 1965. Full marks to Allen Packwood for master-minding the whole show.
WSC Birthday Reception. This will take place at the St Stephen’s Club, 34 Queen Anne’s Gate on Tuesday 28th February (three months after the true date) from 6.30 pm till 8.30 pm. Full details have already been distributed to members: please sign up pronto. The venue is very close to St James’s Park station.
Sandhurst Debate. RMA Sandhurst holds regular debates at which officer cadets can have their say on a variety of topics. It is planned to hold a debate on a Churchill-centric theme, which TCC-UK members will be able to attend and to which they can contribute. The debate will be an early evening event and the date is likely to be Tuesday 26th June. Please make a note of this date and – if reasonably near – do your best to participate in what promises to be an enjoyable and fascinating occasion (free of charge!) Full details with the next mailing in about April/May.
WSC Sculpture. A new bronze sculpture of WSC has been commissioned by the Ministry of Defence for presentation to the Pentagon in Washington in June 2012; it will be one-and-a-half times life-size from head to waist-line. It promises to be a fine work of art and should engender much publicity. The sculptress is Vivien Mallock [whose studio, by an amazing fluke, is in my village, so I am able to watch progress on an almost daily basis – Ed.]; among her well-known products are the five figures of Royal Tank Regiment soldiers next to the Old War Office Building in Whitehall and Field Marshal Monty outside the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth. Watch this space.
Marrakesh Art. An exhibition at Leighton House, 12 Holland Park Road, Kensington, is now open till 31st March (10.00 am – 5.30 pm except Tuesdays) – Adults £5, Concessions £3. It features paintings by WSC and by a Moroccan artist, Hassan El Glaui, whom WSC befriended and encouraged. A special evening on Thursday 9th February (7.00 pm – 9.00 pm) will feature the Hon Celia Sandys speaking on the exhibition; tickets £20, including refreshments; booking essential on 0207-471-9153.
E-Mail Addresses. Members who have acquired new E-mail addresses during the past year are earnestly requested to inform the Membership Officer ([email protected]).
Membership Officer. Sadly, we have to record the resignation of Bridget Warrington, with effect from 31st January, as Membership Officer. She has stepped down to concentrate on her career in paper conservation, and I know that all members will want to join me in wishing her well and thanking her for all her hard work. She was a major contributor to the success of the recent International Churchill Conference and has laid the foundations for continued growth in 2012. Bridget has been succeeded my Mrs Noelle Caulfield, also at Churchill College. (Tel: 01223-336190; E-mail: Membership @chu.cam.ac.uk) – AP.