Grant Funds Research on Churchill in Cuba
The Churchill Centre recently provided a received grant to Prof. Hal Klepak to support his ground breaking research on Winston Churchill’s visit to Cuba in 1895. Prof. Klepak’s aim is to, “highlight the degree to which this greatly understudied adventure shows at a very early age the kind of man Churchill already was and even more was later to become”. He hopes to publish a book on this subject to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston’s death in 2015. Prof. Klepak believes his work will prorperly address one of the few remaining periods of Churchill’s life that has not been exhaustively covered.
Prof. Klepak’s extensive research has included trips to four countries on two continents. He initially visited the British National Archives in Kew, Greater London and the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge. He conducted the majority of his research at the Cuban National Archives in Havana and in other areas of the country where Churchill spent time in 1895. At the beginning of December, 2013, Prof. Klepak visited the Spanish Army Archives in Madrid and traveled to Segovia, where the personnel records of Spanish officers Churchill worked with are held. Prof. Klepak continued his research with two additional trips to Havana and Europe in February, 2014.
Funding for the Centre’s grant was generously provided by the Oxford Exchange, a popular and critically acclaimed retail shop, bookstore, restaurant and event space in Tampa, FL (www.oxfordexchange.com).
Prof. Klepak lists several reasons for the significanc of this subject in Churchill’s life including the following:
1. His first distant trip abroad
2. His first unabashed use of political and family connections in order to get permission to do something highly out of the ordinary
3. His first great adventure
4. His first military operation
5. His coming of age on his 21st birthday while in the field
6. His baptism of fire
7. His first show of personal courage
8. His first ‘dicey’ diplomatic situation
9. His first serious publication
10.His first job as a war correspondent
Prof. Klepak is Professor Emeritus of History and Strategy at the Royal Military College of Canada. He earned his BA Honours in International Relations from McGill University and his MA and PhD in History from the University of London. He has served as Strategic Analyst at both National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa and with NATO Headquarters in Brussels, initially specializing in the Middle East but then moving on to a greater concentration on Latin America.