After Winston Churchill became prime minister on 10 May 1940, several of the British porcelain manufacturers sought to honor him by making commemorative toby jugs. Some were cheaply produced and bear a questionable likeness, while others were finely made and capture Churchill’s facial features very nicely.
The toby pictured here, made by Wilton Pottery of Cobridge, England, is one of the best in both quality and resemblance to the Great Man. More so, the underside includes the Churchill quotation, “We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end.” This is an excerpt from his speech delivered before the House of Commons on 4 June 1940, less than a month after he took office.
The jug attributes the quote to “The Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill, M.P. Prime Minister 1940.” Wilton could not have known at the time that history would judge that speech as one of Churchill’s greatest; it is now commonly referred to as the “Beaches” speech since it includes the oft quoted “We shall fight on the beaches.…”
This jug stands six inches tall and appears on the market a few times per year. If you have the opportunity to obtain one, please do. It is one of the better made wartime toby jugs of Prime Minister Churchill and one you will certainly enjoy owning.
Brian Krapf’s forthcoming book We Want Winston!—A Treasury of Memorabilia will be published in 2022.
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