K for Churchill’s Grandson and an MBE for his Bibliographer
Nicholas Soames, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and the eldest child of The Churchill Centre’s late Patron Lady Soames LG DBE, has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Additionally, Ron Cohen, bibliographer of the works of Churchill as well as President of the Sir Winston S. Churchill Society of Ottawa, Canada has been awarded an MBE.
The Right Honourable (Arthur) Nicholas Winston Soames, a Member of Parliament for 30 years, was sworn of the Privy Council in 2011, thus the prefix “Right” before “Honourable”, the latter prefix having been acquired when his father was made a life peer in 1978. Sir Nicholas, as he is now styled, has represented Mid Sussex since 1997. Previously he served as MP for Crawley.
Sir Nicholas was born in 1948 and was educated at St. Aubyns, Sussex, Eton College and Mons Officer Cadet School. His father Christopher Soames had a distinguished career as both an MP and diplomat. His mother Mary, the youngest child of Sir Winston Churchill, passed away just days before the announcement of the knighthood was made.
According to Finest Hour Senior Editor Paul H. Courtenay, “anyone honoured in this way is always notified in strict confidence a few weeks in advance and asked whether they are willing to accept the honour concerned; it would be nice to think that Nicholas was able to inform Mary before it was too late. This will be a nice ray of sunshine for the family given their recent bereavement.”
After leaving school, Sir Nicholas was commissioned into the 11th Hussars [PAO] and served in Germany and the United Kingdom. He was subsequently Equerry to HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT GCB. His Ministerial career included serving as Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1992-1994 and as Minister of State for the Armed Forces from 1994-1997.
Sir Nicholas is married with two sons and a daughter and lives in Sussex. He is a Trustee of both the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Amber Foundation. Additionally, he sits on the Court of the University of Sussex and is Honorary Colonel of The Kent and Sharpshooters Yeomanry. Last October he spoke on behalf of the entire Churchill family at the dedication ceremony in the United States Capitol building of the bust of his grandfather donated to the Capitol’s permanent collection by The Churchill Centre.
Ron Cohen is the author of the massive and definitive Bibliography of the Writings of Sir Winston Churchill. He also serves as president Sir Winston Churchill Society of Ottawa Canada. He was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) “for services to British history.” No less an authority than Sir Martin Gilbert effusively praised Ron’s work, calling it: “…a high point – and surely a peak – of Churchill bibliographic research… adding not only to the bibliographer’s art, but to knowledge of Winston Churchill himself.” Published in 2006, Ron’s Bibliography seeks to detail every single edition, issue, state, printing, and variant of every printed work authored by, or with a contribution from, Winston S. Churchill.
“It is truly an honour to receive this award,” says Ron. “I had the good fortune to live in London during the last six months of Sir Winston Churchill’s life. It was the outpouring of emotion and respect for him by Britain and indeed the world that inspired me to spend the last half century collecting, studying, writing and speaking about the ‘greatest Briton’. That I should merit such recognition by Her Majesty for this passion is both humbling and gratifying.”