The Sir Winston Churchill Award 2017 was presented to The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH at a glittering award dinner held in London at 8 Northumberland Avenue, just off Trafalgar Square. Sir John, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997, was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Dame Arabella Warburton DBE.
The dinner is a celebration of the charitable work of The International Churchill Society (UK) and was attended by members of the Churchill family, the Trustees and Patrons of the Society and their guests, and by business leaders and their guests. The evening began with a Pol Roger champagne reception and was followed by dinner in the Ballroom. A particular highlight for diners was an exclusive video clip from the upcoming film Darkest Hour, which will be released in the UK early next year.
The award, a limited edition bust of Sir Winston Churchill by the sculptor Oscar Nemon, is given to a person who promotes, sustains, and exemplifies Churchillian values and recognises and honours achievement in those fields of public life and personal endeavour in which Sir Winston Churchill played a role or took an interest. It was introduced and presented by Sir Winston’s grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames, an ICS (UK) Trustee. After his acceptance speech, Sir John joined ICS (UK) Chairman Lord Marland for a fascinating question and answer session. Following the dinner ICS (UK) Executive Director, Andy Smith, told Churchill Bulletin “I am absolutely delighted with how the evening went, and I would like to express my sincere thanks to those individuals and organisations who helped make the evening such a success.”
Past recipients of the award have included: General Sir David Richards, John Simpson CBE, HRH the Prince of Wales, and most recently George Osborne. All the proceeds from this prestigious event are used to support the charitable programmes and the day-to-day running of the Society. These programmes currently include a national public speaking competition for secondary schools in partnership with the English-Speaking Union, regional public speaking competitions at Chartwell and Blenheim Palace, a global design competition in partnership with the Pentland Group, the delivery of online teaching resources into UK schools, sponsorship at the Chalke Valley History Festival and the continued development of the Society’s digital resources.
The principal speeches were filmed and will shortly be made available on winstonchurchill.org.