The Place to Find All Things Churchill

Bulletin #50 – Aug 2012

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An Invitation to Visit Ottawa During 29th Annual Churchill Conference in Toronto

Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa to host two tours; the Diefenbunker Cold War Museum and the Canadian War Museum.
Canadian-War-MuseumCanadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario
After this October’s exciting 29th International Churchill Conference in Toronto, attendees are invited to an optional post-Conference visit to the Canadian Capital. As one of the very newest Churchill societies, the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa (SWCSO) will be delighted to ride the coattails of the Toronto Conference and to welcome you to Ottawa from October 14-16.

The Ottawa program includes a Monday visit to the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum, and one on Tuesday to the Canadian War Museum. Both visits will feature a tour of the Museum, lunch, and expert speakers discussing topics of interest to Churchillians.

You will all undoubtedly be aware that Churchill was a frequent visitor to North America, most frequently on American soil, but more frequently in Canada than any other country outside of his European neighbourhood. While in Canada, he visited Ottawa more times than any other city, six in all. On the first occasion, 112 years ago, he spent Christmas with our Governor General and Lady Minto in Ottawa. On his last visit, almost 54 years later, he met with the Canadian Cabinet and began his broadcast “I have had a lovely welcome from the people of Ottawa.” We wish to extend a similar welcome to those of you who will visit Ottawa after the Conference.

Read the full text of Churchill’s speech in Ottawa here. 

Among other things, we are sure that you will want to see our House of Commons, where Churchill 70 years and some months ago triumphantly, and with his adroit sardonicism, revealed his admonition to the French: “When I warned them that Britain would fight alone, whatever they did, their generals told their Prime Minister and his divided cabinet, ‘In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.’ Some chicken! Some neck!” In that same House of Commons, the Canadian Prime Minister secretly conspired with Yousuf Karsh to usher Churchill into the Speaker’s Chambers to snap the enduring iconic scowling image of the British Prime Minister (as well as the other photos that grace the cover of the current issue of Finest Hour).

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Brokaw’s “Their Finest Hour” Shown on NBC

New documentary on Winston Churchill’s leadership during the first two years of WWII shown during the Olymipcs closing weekend. 
Winston Churchill in Royal Air Force Uniform 1943
By Sohrab Ahmari

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, August 2012—The word “hero” is thrown around lightly and frequently during Olympic season. But as Tom Brokaw reminds us in “Their Finest Hour,” physical endurance and courage alone do not make heroes.

This remarkable documentary, set to air during NBC’s regular Olympic programming, chronicles the heroism of Britain in the first two years of World War II, when, as Mr. Brokaw says, “England stood alone, when England was all that was left between liberty and tyranny.” “Their Finest Hour” does not disclose any new historical facts. But by making extensive use of newly unearthed, color archival footage, plus the testimonies of British veterans, nurses and survivors, Mr. Brokaw pays tribute to Britain’s “poetry of defiance” in the face of Nazi terror.

We meet a pilot who, at age 19, helped fend off the mighty German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain—the 1940 campaign by the Third Reich to break the Royal Air Force. “I never considered defeat,” the pilot, now 93, tells Mr. Brokaw. “I don’t think any of us ever did.” A nurse recalls “the quiet courage of the men” and how that courage gave heart to the women.

Follow this link to viewers comments.

Then came the Luftwaffe’s merciless bombing of London and other cities. This was “a deliberate attempt by Hitler to terrorize London into defeat,” the historian Andrew Roberts explains. All told the Nazi bombing of London left 40,000 dead, thousands more wounded and some two million homeless. But, Mr. Roberts says, Hitler “misunderstood the nature of the British people.” St. Paul’s Cathedral remained miraculously intact, and the newspaper headlines—”Is That the Best You Can Do, Adolf?”—testified to Britain’s indomitable spirit.

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Grand Daughter Opens Churchill Lecture Series in New York (Watch)

Churchill grand daughter Celia Sandys opens the Tina Santi Flaherty Winston Churchill Lecture Series at Hunter College in New York. 

Celia Sandys opens the Tina Santi Flaharty Winston Churchill Lecture Series at the Morgan Library and Museum by discussing Churchill’s leadership style, his oratory, and his lasting impact. Sandys is Winston Churchill’s grand daughter and the author of We Shall Not Fail: The Inspiring Leadership of Winston Churchill. This hour long program was held at Hunter College as part of the lecture series, very kindly funded by Churchill Centre Benefactor Tina Santi Flarahty.

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The Case of the Two Churchills

The mystery of not one, but two Churchill busts in the White House

cameron-obama-churchill-bustDavid Cameron and Barak Obama in the White House residence.By Amy Davidson

THE NEW YORKER, 1 August 2012—On Tuesday, Dan Pfeiffer, a White House spokesman, had to apologize to Charles Krauthammer, the columnist, for what was either a point of interior decorating or international diplomacy or outright perfidy on the part of the Obama Administration. It started last Friday, when Krauthammer wrote, in a column for the Washington Post on Mitt Romney’s foreign trip, that

Obama started his presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.

Fighting words. Pfeiffer, on the White House Web site, called this a “ridiculous claim” and “patently false”: “This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.” He included, as evidence, a photograph of President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron—or at least their backs—leaning over a Churchillian head on a side table. One problem: wrong Churchill bust. As Krauthammer next wrote, that one was given to Lyndon Johnson in the sixties. The other one—they are close copies, both by Sir Jacob Epstein—was loaned to George W. Bush after 9/11. (No house, apparently, is complete without two nearly identical busts of Winston Churchill.) When Obama moved in and redecorated, he didn’t ask for an extension of the loan and, instead, sent it back to the British Embassy, where it now, in the words of an Embassy statement on the matter to Mediaite, “resides.” Krauthammer demanded an apology, saying that the only question was whether Pfeiffer had been engaged in “deliberate deception.”

Clearly, Pfeiffer was both wrong and clumsy. Perhaps he found it confusing to hear, as one regularly does on Fox News and elsewhere, that Obama had scorned Churchill, and, at the same time, to walk by his bust. How could Churchill be both exiled and glowering at everyone? But it was silly of Pfeiffer to assume that the repeated complaints about the missing bust were the result of a misapprehension. He should have paused and figured out which variety of campaign nonsense he was dealing with. As with Churchill busts, there is more than one.

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Historian Andrew Roberts to Give Churchill Lecture in New York Sep. 19, 2012

Andrew Roberts to Speak at Tina Santi Flaherty Winston Churchill Lecture Series in New York Sept. 19, 2012

Andrew_Roberts-by-nancy_ellisonRenowned historian Dr. Andrew Roberts will deliver the second Tina Santi Flaherty Winston Churchill Lecture at Roosevelt House of the City University of New York on September 19th.

Dr. Roberts has written or edited twelve books, and appears regularly on radio and television around the world. He has recently lectured at Yale, Princeton and Stanford Universities and at the US Army War College. The Holy Fox, his biography of Lord Halifax, was published in 1991, followed by Eminent Churchillians in 1994 and most recently, his widely acclaimed history of World War II “The Storm of War” in 2011.

Admission to the lecture is free and details are as follows:

Date: September 19, 2012
Time: 7:00 PM
LocationRoosevelt House, 47-49 East 65th Street (between Park and Madison)

Please follow this link for more event information and to RSVP. 

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Simon Ward, Actor, Dies Aged 70

Rada-trained star of Zulu Dawn, Young Winston and Supergirl was ‘one of the most admired actors of his generation’.

Simon Ward, who has died after a long illness. Photograph: Joel Ryan/PA

THE GUARDIAN, 22 July 2012—The actor Simon Ward, who played the title role of Winston Churchill in 1972’s Young Winston, has died after a long illness. He was 70.

The star of both stage and screen died “peacefully” on Friday, with his wife Alexandra and three daughters at his side.

Ward appeared as Sir Monty in the BBC legal drama Judge John Deed and as Bishop Gardiner in The Tudors. He also had roles on the big screen in Zulu Dawn and Young Winston.

A statement from Ward’s agents, Shepherd Management, said: “The son of a car salesman from Beckenham, Kent, Ward wanted to be an actor from an early age and joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of 13 and stayed there for eight years.

“Ward went on to train at Rada and became one of the most respected and admired actors of his generation. His big break in the theatre came in 1967 when he played the lead in Joe Orton’s play Loot which led to television and film work.

“In 1972 he played the title role of Winston Churchill in Young Winston. This role brought him international prominence and Ward starred in many high-profile films throughout the 70s and 80s.”

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Churchill’s Works to be Sold as eBooks

Sir Winston Churchill’s books are to be sold electronically for the first time later this year.

By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor

English-Speaking-PeoplesTHE TELEGRAPH, 19 June 2012—His famous book, ‘A History of the English Speaking Peoples’, will be one of forty volumes penned by the famous politician which will be available to download.

American publishers RosettaBooks have signed the global licensing deal – which will see the statesman’s work sold in digital form around the world.

As well as being successful in politics, Sir Winston was both a writer and painter – winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

Volumes of his work in ebook form will cost between £5 and £6 each and the first seven will go on sale via digital books stores on July 1.

It is thought the books will be available on all popular ereaders such as Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad.

A few of Sir Winston’s other books had been digitised before, including his history of World War II. However, they had only been available in North America.

Arthur Klebanoff , RosettaBooks’ chief executive, said that Churchill’s writing was made timeless because of its sheer quality.

He said: “There are only two American figures who have done something comparable, Teddy Roosevelt who wrote 50 books and Richard Nixon who wrote around 10.

“It’s wildly unusual to have a world leader who is also a writer, especially when they were such an important figure for 60 years.

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Admiral Lord Fisher to Churchill: OMG

Phrase discovered in a letter penned to Winston Churchill in 1917 by the British Admiral Lord Fisher.

By Emily Allen

THE DAILY MAIL, 7 August 2012—It’s one of the most common phrases of the modern technological age coined by celebrities like Paris Hilton and used by teenage girls across Britain and America.

However, it seems O.M.G. is actually very ‘last century’.

It has emerged that the British admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher first penned the acronym in a letter to Winston Churchill as far back as 1917.

Lord ‘Jacky’ Fisher, as he was known, used it in a letter to the famous wartime prime minister about some ‘utterly [upsetting]’ World War I newspaper headlines.

He wrote: ‘I hear that a new order of Knighthood is on the tapis — O.M.G (Oh! My! God!)— Shower it on the Admiralty!!’

The phrase, added to the Oxford English Dictionary last year, is the colloquial abbreviation for ‘Oh My God’, generally used in conversations to express surprise, embarrassment, excitement and disgust, according to the Urban Dictionary.

It’s normally associated with teenage girls and the phrase was thought to have originated from online chat rooms, most commonly used in online games, web chats and in text messages.

It is frequently heard on reality TV shows too, including The Only Way is Essex.

It’s a far cry from the upper-class world of Lord Fisher who was one of the most celebrated officers in the history of the Royal Navy.

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Exhibition Takes New York by Storm as Crowds are Moved to Tears by Churchill’s Speeches

More than 30,000 flock to Morgan Library in New York for a glimpse at rarely seen Churchill memorabilia, including drafts of speeches.
Churchill addressing a joint session of Congress in Washington, January 1942
THE DAILY MAIL, 5 August 2012—He was voted the greatest Briton of all time in a nationwide poll.

But it seems Winston Churchill’s extraordinary appeal is as strong across the Atlantic as it is in the country he lead to victory against the Nazis in World War II.

An exhibition entitled Churchill: The Power of Words has opened in America to astonishing success.

Tens of thousands of people have been flocking to the Morgan Library and Museum in New York for a glimpse at rare memorabilia from the great orator and writer.

The displays, including Churchill’s hand-written notes and annotations on some of his famous speeches, delivered to lift the people’s spirits during the nation’s darkest hours, and other documents have been drawing unprecedented crowds.

More than 30,000 have so far passed by the rarely seen displays – a 50 per cent increase in visitor numbers, which has shocked even the curator with its success.

Declan Kiely of the Morgan Library told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘It’s been thrilling to witness the unprecedented emotional engagement and visceral response of many visitors, some of whom emerge openly weeping after listening to Churchill’s speeches.’

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Winston Churchill: America’s Enduring Love for Winnie and His Words

An exhibition of Churchilliana in New York has reminded Americans why they took the great man to their hearts – and kept him there.

By Andrew Roberts

THE TELEGRAPH, 4 August 2012—Americans love Sir Winston Churchill. That much has been obvious since even before 1963, when President Kennedy gave him the only honorary US citizenship ever awarded to a living person. Yet, in the half-century since then, that admiration and affection hasn’t abated; he is one of the only non‑Americans to have a US warship named after him, and as many books are published about him in America as in Britain. Indeed, the only bookshop in the world dedicated solely to selling his books, articles and memorabilia is the splendid Chartwell Books on Madison Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan. As Churchill’s mother, Jennie Jerome, was born in Brooklyn, Americans understandably regard Churchill’s extraordinary life as an almost semi-detached telling of their own national story.

So when the prestigious Morgan Library and Museum in New York decided to stage an exhibition entitled Churchill: The Power of Words, which would include the cream of the America-related items in the Churchill Archives at Churchill College, Cambridge, they knew that it would be popular.

What has astounded them – and me, despite my being a special curator of the exhibition – is quite what a stir has been created in Midtown. The crowds have exceeded all expectations, with record numbers visiting the exhibition, even in the normally quiet summer months. More than 30,000 people in the first six weeks – at least 50 per cent higher than the library’s initial expectations.

The concept behind the exhibition was an original one; to show how Churchill crafted language for his political and world-historical ends. It concentrates on his intimate relationship with the English tongue, and traces the way that, from his schooldays right through to his retirement from the premiership in 1955, he developed his own sublime style of writing and speaking.

“Our aim was to present Churchill in his own words,” says Allen Packwood, the co‑curator of the exhibition and director of the Churchill Archives in Cambridge. “To let visitors hear his voice. To let them read his wartime speeches and see how they were constructed. We wanted to show the blood, toil, tears and sweat that went into his compositions. Because those words mattered. They had a profound effect on Britain, on Europe and on the United States.”

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‘Death by Chocolate’ Plot to Kill Sir Winston Churchill Uncovered

Historic letter indicates the Nazis planned to assassinate Sir Winston Churchill with a bar of exploding chocolate.

By Rosa Silverman

THE TELEGRAPH, 17 Jul 2012—A Nazi plot to kill Sir Winston Churchill with a bar of exploding chocolate during the Second World War has been revealed in historic papers.

Giving a new meaning to the dessert name “death by chocolate”, Adolf Hitler’s bomb makers coated explosive devices with a thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper.

The Germans apparently planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars – branded as Peters Chocolate – among other luxury items taken into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the conflict.

The lethal slabs of confection were packed with enough explosives to kill anyone within several metres.

But the plot was foiled by British spies who discovered the chocolate was being made and tipped off one of MI5’s most senior intelligence chiefs, Lord Victor Rothschild, before the wartime prime minister’s life could be endangered.

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UK Notice Board – August 2012

All of the latest news from The Churchill Centre UK. 

WSC0033In Memoriam. We record with regret the recent death of member Lloyd Thomas (Emsworth) at the age of 91. He was an avid collector of Churchilliana, much of which will be auctioned shortly (see below).

Auction. The auction of ‘Tom’ Thomas’s collection of Churchilliana will take place at Stride & Son, Southdown House, St John’s Street [between East Street and Market Avenue], Chichester on Friday 28th September 2012. Details will be published on Stride & Son’s website on Friday 21st September and viewing dates are Monday 24th – Friday 28th September. The WSC items will be sold at an unspecified time during a general sale which starts at 10.00 am. Contact details are and 01243-780207. Among the lots for sale are a three-piece suit, signed letters and hundreds of other items of memorabilia. As an interesting footnote ‘Tom’ Thomas named his house Savrola – not included in the auction.

Reception. Deadline for this TCC-UK event at the House of Commons on Thursday 6th September (7.30 pm – 9.30 pm) has already passed, but members who have not yet applied may still do so by making early contact with the Executive Director (details below). It is hoped that Lady Soames will attend, in time for members to wish her a Happy 90th Birthday (15th September).

29th International Churchill Conference. This year’s conference, organised by ICS (Canada), will take place in Toronto on 11th-13th October. The theme of the conference is The States and Canada – Foe to Friend; among the many speakers will be the Hon Celia Sandys, former Canadian prime minister John Turner and Finest Hour editor Richard Langworth. Full conference details and application form can be obtained from the Executive Director (details below).

Churchillian Award Dinner. This year’s event, at the Grosvenor Square Marriott Hotel, will take place on Thursday 25th October, when the recipient and keynote speaker will be BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson CBE. This is TCC-UK’s main fund-raising activity, and tickets are priced accordingly at £500 a head, but we are able to offer a special 40% discount for individual members wishing to attend. Those interested should contact the Executive Director (details below).

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Chicagoland Chapter Honors Member with Donation to New Library Project

New National Churchill Library and Center project receives local chapter and matching donations. Is your chapter next?

Library-and-CenterThe Churchill Centre’s Chicagoland Chapter recently made a contribution to the new National Churchill Library and Center fundraising effort in the name of a longstanding member of their chapter.

A donation was made personally by chapter Co-Presidents Phil and Sue Larson and matched in-kind by the local chapter.

The generous donation was made in the name of “Miss Kitty” Kathleen Fairchild, who died last month at the age of 91. She was a World War II British Navy veteran and longtime resident of Oak Park; a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. She had the distinct pleasure of hearing Winston Churchill speak in person on several occasions and she frequently attended local chapter events.

Recently in Washington, D.C., The Churchill Centre held the most successful fundraising event in its history. If you or your chapter would like to consider assisting in the fundraising endeavor for the new National Churchill Library and Center project, please contact The Churchill Centre’s Executive Director Lee Pollock at 1-312-658-6027 or [email protected]

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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.