“Churchill and Freedom” is the theme for this year’s Churchill Conference, which will start on Friday, 8 October with a look at Winston Churchill’s own bid for personal freedom, his dramatic escape from Boer captivity in 1899. The conference will be streamed online for free and will be ticketed for those attending in person. For more details and to register, please CLICK HERE.
Reflecting on his capture during the Boer War, Churchill wrote: “How unhappy is that poor man who loses his liberty! What can the wide world give him in exchange? No degree of material comfort, no consciousness of correct behaviour, can balance the hateful degradation of imprisonment.” He resolved to escape and, on 12 December 1899 aged just 25, he jumped over his prison wall and launched himself on the international stage. This early adventure and its significance for Churchill’s career will be explored by Celia Sandys (author of Churchill: Wanted Dead or Alive) and Candice Millard (author of Hero of the Empire: The Making of Winston Churchill) in conversation with Lord Boateng (former British High Commissioner to South Africa).
Our exploration of the younger Churchill will continue with a session launching Professor James Muller’s much anticipated and definitive new edition of The River War, Churchill’s account of General Kitchener’s campaign in the Sudan in 1898, in which he participated. Former jockey, racing journalist and television presenter Brough Scott (author of Churchill at the Gallop) promises to bring alive the experience of charging at the Battle of Omdurman, while Professor Muller will discuss the book and what he has learned in its making with Dr Piers Brendon (former Keeper of the Churchill Archives Centre).
The conference will continue on Saturday, 9 October and range through many aspects of Churchill’s life and legacy. All sessions will be linked by the theme of freedom; what it meant to Churchill, what he did to defend it, and how it is threatened today. We look forward to you joining us in person or online!
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