New Book About The State Funeral of Sir Winston S. Churchill
Available Exclusively on Amazon
Churchill’s Final Farwell by Rodney Croft is the first book written solely about Churchill’s state funeral in January 1965. Croft, the Dean of Clinical Studies at St. George’s University School of Medicine, is a retired vascular surgeon based in London. His own memories of the events surrounding Churchill’s funeral fifty years ago next year inspired him to begin meticulous archival research in order to catalog the details and planning that went into the operation given the code name Hope Not. The result is a step-by-step account of events from the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall through to the final committal at St. Martin’s churchyard in Bladon.
Croft begins by describing Churchill’s decision to be buried not at Chartwell, as he originally intended, but at Bladon where his parents were laid to rest near their ancestral home of Blenheim Palace. This necessitated planning complex railway travel from London following the funeral service. But Croft covers everything: the lying-in-state, the procession of the funeral carriage to St. Paul’s, the order of service, the transport of the coffin up the Thames from Tower Pier and the final railway journey from Waterloo Station. The intricate logistics involving seven thousand military personnel and thousands more members of the Metropolitan Police are also documented.
Extracts from the book will be published in Finest Hour number 166 due out at the end of January 2015 to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Churchill’s funeral. Meanwhile, the book is available exclusively online in electronic format from Amazon. Those without Amazon’s Kindle reader can still purchase the book for download via the free Kindle Reading app, available for smart phones, tablets and computers.
To learn more about Winston Churchill, please visit www.winstonchurchill.org.