June 20, 2015

Finest Hour 100, Autumn 1998

Page 13

By Richard M. Langworth


In the beginning there was little more than a newsletter, and for six years during its early life there was nothing at all. Yet the enterprise we brought into the world had a strong kick to it, a purpose in life that somehow kept it going, even though that purpose was not apparent for many years. Like a child it grew into adolescence, then into adulthood. Starting with a narrow focus, it quickly expanded to inquire into Winston Churchill’s life, thought, word, deed, books, politics, paintings and family. Through the Churchill prism it viewed a more formidable world than any we had known since 1945, considering the changing scene of history as he might have. Early on, his daughter warned us never to speculate on how he might react to this or that modern situation, and after being warned we never did. Yet it was impossible to avoid historical parallels: “Study history, study history,” Churchill famously exclaimed: “In history lie all the secrets to statecraft.”

Finest Hour‘s first publisher, the Winston S. Churchill Study Unit, became the International Churchill Society in 1970; the Societies subdivided into separate American, British and Canadian organizations in 1989, and ICS/USA became The Churchill Center in 1997. But despite vast changes in our goals and projects, Finest Hour remained as clear a representative as we could make it of what has become an international focus of interest in Churchill’s life and times, the only publication devoted entirely to him. From the beginning we had only one rule: “It must be Churchill-related.” On Churchill we were of course positive but not, one hopes, too uncritical. Indeed the whole enterprise from the outset was based on securing new information and bringing it to the light of day. On the following pages we recall some of the highlights of our journal, where it has been, where it is going, through its voyage of discovery over the years.

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THIS BULLETIN WILL BE IN ENGLISH

“We were considered such dunces that we could only learn English … Thus I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence, which is a noble thing.”
-WSC, QUOTED IN FH 1, MAY-JUNE 1968

IN MEMORIAM: RANDOLPH CHURCHILL

Handsome, brilliant, well tailored, witty, he left Oxford amid confident predictions that he would one day become prime minister. He gained a seat in 1940, lost it in 1945, and was never reelected. It is startling to consider how the family motto, “Faithful But Unfortunate,” applies to him, now through his inability to finish what must become one of the world’s finest biographies. Despite his misfortunes he will be long remembered. Britain can once again be proud she had a family called Churchill, from which to draw infinite resources of talent, patriotism and indomitable spirit.
– RICHARD LANGWORTH, FH 2, JUL-AUG1968

PRAGUE SPRING 1938-1968

“Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness …And do not suppose this is the end. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless, by a supreme recovery or moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom, as in the olden time.”
– WSC, QUOTED IN FH 3, SEP-OCT 1968
RE SOVIET INVASION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA

CHURCHILL AS ARTIST

He surely acted like an artist. Sir Gerald Kelly of the Royal Academy recalled that when Churchill came to view an exhibit he would head straight for his own paintings to see if they were hung to his satisfaction, and then leave without so much as glancing at the other paintings. And this is the way of all great artists.
– EVELYN ZIRKIND, FH 4, NOV-DEC 1968

CUSTOM COVERS

I have a number of First Day Covers that were made up on plain envelopes. Several friends who are handy with a paint brush hand-painted cachets for me, and these are very attractive. Does it make much difference whether the design is applied before or after the postmark? This method has the added advantage of allowing you to select only undamaged FDCs for the final artwork.
-RICHARD STEVENSON, FH 5, JAN-FEB 1969

PERSONAL GLIMPSE

In 1944 my ship prepared for the invasion of the south of France. A fleet assembled in Naples —ships of all descriptions flying the Stars and Stripes or the White Ensign. An Admiral’s barge was speeding around the harbour. When it saw our White Ensign it cruised alongside. A chubby little man in the bow took off his hat and held up his fingers in the Vsign. The English boys said, “Crickey, it’s Churchill!”
-J. ARTHUR HALL, FH 6, MAR-APR 1969

FIRST YEAR

From a base of a half-dozen members we have worked our way up to over thirty. The most important goal for our second year is the publication of a professional Churchill Handbook.
– BEVERLY FOWLER, FH 7, MAY-JUNE 1969

FIRST “C-R” COLLECTION

I started collecting stamps which showed persons, places, events and interests related to his life. [Such stamps later became known to ICS as ChurchillRelated, or “C-Rs” for short. – Ed.]
– W. GLEN BROWNE, FH 8, JUL-AUG 1969

MAN OF THE CENTURY

“It is fun to be in the same decade with you,” Franklin Roosevelt wrote to him in the early 1940s, thereby committing a magnificent understatement, For it was, more accurately, an inspiration and an adventure to live in the same century with Winston Churchill. No other career dominates that century as does his.
– H. A. GRUNWALD, FH 9, SEP-OCT 1969

WINSTON AS PHILATELIST

Churchill was an enthusiastic stamp collector during his childhood. A letter to his father written in 1885 mentions his stamp book. He later asked his father, who was traveling in India, to get him some stamps. He mentions stamps again in an 1886 letter from his Brighton school, and in 1891 from Harrow. His brother Jack, in an early 1891 letter, mentions stamps brought back by their father from Africa.
– W. GLEN BROWNE, FH 10, NOV-DEC 1969

TWICE PROMISED LAND?

In the Balfour Declaration of 1917 the British government expressed a desire to see a Jewish homeland established in a small part of Palestine. But, at the same time, Lawrence of Arabia was telling the Arabs that if they’d fight the Turks and Germans, Britain would secure Palestine for them. Thus Palestine became the twice promised land.
– WINSTON S. CHURCHILL, MP
FH 11 JAN-FEB1970

THE DAL NEWFIELD ISSUE

Dalton Newfield’s many contributions to this issue exhibit theliterary and historical talents that will make him a superb editor. Dal is our 41st member, giving us a net gain of five this year.
-FH 12, MAR-APR 1970

“WINSTON CHURCHILL AND THE ROYAL NAVY”

No appreciation of Winston Churchill can be complete without acknowledging his long association with the Royal Navy. Even after he became Prime Minister he behaved, in the view of many, as though he were still First Lord. Vice Admiral Sir Peter Gretton, writing from the point of view of an experienced and accomplished navy man, presents much that will be of great interest to students of Sir Winston.
-MICHAEL RICHARDS, FH 13, MAY-JUNE 1970

RANDOLPH AND JENNIE

On 12 August 1873, Lord Randolph met the beautiful and vivacious Jennie Jerome from New York. She was 19, he 24. Even in these days it would have been a whirlwind courtship. They would soon marry. Leonard Jerome was delighted. The Duke of Marlborough was anything but…
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 14, JUL-AUG 1970

UNKNOWN SKETCH OF WSC FOUND

It was while visiting a friendly tribe that the scene on the cover was sketched by Major E.A.P. Hobday, R.A. It depicts the officers of the Malakand Expedition.
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 15, SEP-OCT 1970

COOKE ON IKE, WSC

The complete interview of Alistair Cooke with Eisenhower, much of which was cut from the television documentary, plus maps and pictures of WSC and DDE, is the content of Gen. Eisenhower on the Military Churchill. Marshall’s quote on why the Allies did not take Berlin before the Russians is included. Cooke writes an introduction in which he relates personal recollections of Ike and Churchill. Eisenhower exhibits his familiar hesitancies, convolutions and deviations from the subject.
-W. GLEN BROWNE, FH 16, NOV-DEC 1970

NEW ATLANTIS LIVES

Most label producers tell you lies while they pick your pocket. Not so Leicester Hemingway, brother of Ernest, “President of New Atlantis,” whose domain consists of a raft anchored to a submerged bank off Loans Point, Jamaica. Les established his “nation” in 1964, adopted a flag and began to issue “locals,” including a handsome Churchill “stamp.” New Atlantis refuses to employ sharpies to market its stamps, sells only at face value and has never issued a CTO or FDC!
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 17, JAN-FEB 1971

FEUDING WITH BUCKLEY

Richard Langworth has won by default his argument with Wm. F. Buckley, Jr., who wrote in National Review that Churchill was “a peace-time catastrophe.” RML bridled at this nonsense and sent WFB a masterly rebuttal. Buckley allowed one of his editors, Linda Bridges, to reply weakly once, then retired licking his wounds. [Miss Bridges, who took severe exception to Dai’s report, is still entrenched at National Review, where she is in charge of everything that matters. RML]
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 18, MAR-APR 1971

THE CHANDOR PAINTING

President Roosevelt had wanted a painting of the Big Three at Yalta. On good advice, he chose Douglas Chandor as the artist. Sketches were completed and Chandor soon had an excellent likeness of FDR. Mr. Churchill was next on the list, when he came to Florida in 1946. FDR had died but Truman had recommissioned the work. While Stalin would send pictures galore, he would not sit for Chandor, who was equally adamant—he would not paint from photographs. The larger canvas was never executed.
-ALICE PIES, FH 19, MAY-JUNE 1971

A MYSTERIOUS MUSHINESS

“America,” Churchill mused, puffing his cigar. “A great and powerful country, like a strong horse, pulling the rest of the world up behind it, towards peace and prosperity. But will America stay the course?” I answered the question with a confident “Yes.” I would now answer the question with an almost equally unequivocal “No”….There is a curious new flaccidity, a mysterious mushiness, about American life and thought that may be endurable.
-STEWART ALSOP, FH 20, JUL-AUG 1971

THE ORDER OF “ETC.”

Probably the rarest Order in the world is The Order of Etc., proudly held by our new Hon. Member Lord Mountbatten. The typical introduction will begin: “Knight of the Garter, Privy Councillor; Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath; Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of India; Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Indian Empire; Knight Grand Cross of the Victorian Order; Companion of the Distinguished Service Order; Etc., Etc., Etc., Etc. ” This Order he proudly shares with Sir Winston.
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 21, SEP-OCT1971

QUESTIONABLE INFERENCES

Nowhere in his writings on those gripping times does Churchill comment on the wisdom of English gun laws, which kept rifle ownership and interest primarily a privilege of the landed and monied few … It is quite possible that as a member of Britain’s privileged classes, Churchill had no real concept of how impractical gun ownership had become for the average Briton.
-AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, FH 22, NOV-DEC 1971

BOOK BARGAINS

Dawson’s Book Shop of Los Angeles offers the following special prices to ICS members only: The World Crisis, first British edition complete, $250; Marlborough, near fine firsts, $150; same set fine in dustwrappers, $250; My Early Life first edition inscribed “To Stanley James Webb from Winston S. Churchill” VG, $165; The Second World War, fine in dust jackets $30; Secret Session Speeches, ditto, $5.
– PHILIP TOWNSHEND SOMERVILLE,
FH 23, JAN-MAR 1972

FIRST MEETING

The omens were not good for the first formal meeting ever, planned by UK Representative Jack Symonds in the Board Room of the British Philatelic Society on May 6th. Most worrying: it was Cup Final Day. With some surprise we learned that Jack had decided the Board Room would not be large enough, and had moved the meeting to the Charing Cross Hotel. Before the meeting was over, every member in England save one had come.
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 24, APR-JUN 1972

FULTON, 25 YEARS ON

We compliment our Hon. Member, Winston S. Churchill, MP, for his address, “Twenty-Five Years After Fulton: A New Balance.”
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 25, JUL-SEP 1972

SUTHERLAND’S PORTRAIT

The Graham Sutherland portrait, given on his 80th birthday by Parliament, showed WSC as a withered but formidable old toad. It is in Lady Churchill’s attic [and was later destroyed -Ed.] Finest Hour congratulates our Hon. Member for her discrimination.
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 26, OCT-DEC 1972

LORD MORAN’S CHURCHILL

Churchill’s doctor’s diary was never intended for publication. One year after his death it was. This apart, it deserves the appellation “masterpiece,” because through it we will obtain a deeper understanding of Churchill’s life and thought.
-PETER J. MC IVER, FH 27, JAN-MAR 1973

ROOSEVELTS OF HYDE PARK

Elliott Roosevelt says of Consuelo Vanderbilt: “…her mother forced her daughter into marriage with the disagreeable Duke of Marlborough, Winston Churchill’s grandfather.” Mr. Roosevelt’s accuracy has not improved. WSC’s grandfather died in 1883 at the age of 61, leaving a widow. Consuelo was six years old at the time.
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 28, APR-JUL 1973

THE YEAR WSC WAS BORN

Gladstone announces his retirement (but does not in fact do so)….Disraeli’s Tories begin negotiations for purchase of Suez Canal shares….The King of Fiji cedes the islands to Britain….Disraeli reduces income tax from 4d to 3d in the pound….silver spoons are 7/4 per ounce, coal 21 / per ton, a frock coat 21 /. It was raining the day WSC was born, a weekend of hurricanes, high seas and shipping disasters. Vivid lightning was seen by sailors.
-JOHN FROST, FH 29, AUG-DEC 1973

WSC AS JOHN SMITH?

Mr. Churchill doubtless has a grievance against the general public which has always been inclined to underestimate his real and considerable abilities, but for this his own personality is much to blame. He would certainly have gone further if he had been born plain John Smith. His whole life has been overshadowed by the fact that he is a Marlborough manque.
– ELMER DAVIS (1923), FH 30, JAN-SEP 1974

LOSING HIS HEAD OVER STAMPS

The impecunious Prince Seyif al-Islam Abdullah, Yemeni representative to the UN, took the 1948 Yemen stamps commemorating admission to the UN to New York, where he fell into the hands of S.H.&L. Stolow Co., and the sets were marketed. But back in Yemen a dim view of the affair was taken, possibly because, according to Minkus, it is Abdullah and not the ruling Imam whose picture appears on three values. Abdullah later led a revolt against the Imam and got his head chopped off, which should make the embarrassed editors of the ICS Handbook feel a bit better, we hope.
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 31, OCT-DEC 1974

END OF THE BEGINNING: 1975

I accepted reelection only on the promise and hope that a new editor would be forthcoming. I could not see how any working person could do both jobs well. Three proffered editors did not materialize. My point was, I believe sincerely, more than proved. We must begin now to consider how ICS can be perpetuated. Think—NOW!
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 32, JAN-MAR 1975

COMEBACK

Issue 32 was posted 61/2 years ago, carrying sombre warnings about its imminent demise which were, alas, as good as its word. Finest Hour ironically vanished at the height of the Centenary boom, and the International Churchill Society with it. But through those years Dalton Newfield kept the treasury intact. “Why not revive it?” he said. Why not indeed?
-RICHARD LANGWORTH, FH 33, AUTUMN 1981

“PAUSALAND”

Winter 1956: The Churchills were at Emery Reves’ villa “La Pausa,” which Sir Winston affectionately nicknamed “Pausaland. ” A typical day included working in bed in the morning, painting all afternoon, and playing cards with friends in the evening.
-DALTON NEWFIELD, FH 34, WINTER 1981-82

LANTERN MAGIC

I watched him paint [reproducing the scene from a Magic Lantern image] for a little while and then said, with respect of course, “Looks a bit like cheating.” He looked over the top of his spectacles at me and said quite solemnly, “If the finished product looks like a work of art, then it is a work of art, no matter how it has been achieved.”
-RONALD GOLDING, FH 35, SPRING 1982

DALTON NEWFIELD R.I.P.

If ever a man deserved citizenship of both America and Britain it was Dal. I shall miss his prolific letter writing and his easy yet profound conversation; but above all I shall miss the warmth and sincerity of his friendship. What an immense loss we have all suffered.
-H. ASHLEY REDBURN, FH 36, SUMMER 1982

TESTIMONIAL

Sir Winston stands unrivaled as the preeminent statesman of our century. The English-speaking peoples whom he loved, and all who cherish freedom, owe a lasting debt to this gifted man, who played such a vital role in leading the free world from the “gathering storm” to its “finest hour.”
-RONALD REAGAN, FH 37, AUTUMN 1982

SAVROLA

The fact that he allowed Savrola to remain out of print from 1915 until 1956 suggests how he regarded it. Still, Savrola deserves to be reprinted again, so many coming events cast in its pages their shadows before. Not all the artificiality of Ruritanian romance can deprive this book of authentic vitality when it is read with the knowledge of what one day its author would become.
-SIR COMPTON MACKENZIE,
QUOTED IN FH 38, WINTER 1982-83

WINGS OF EAGLES

Man has parted company with his faithful friend the horse, and has sailed into the azure on the wings of eagles—eagles being represented by the infernal, ah, I mean internal – combustion engine, ah, engine…[laughter]…
-WSC, QUOTED IN FH 39, SPRING 1983

CHURCHILL’S ENGLAND

We must not dwell in the past. But we may all visit it from time to time….And perhaps you may feel as I do, that we return to our present with braver hearts, and a clearer vision.
-LADY SOAMES, FH 40, SUMMER 1983

CHURCHILL CLAIRVOYANT

I think it was in 1953.1 went up to his bedroom one morning as he was shaving. He said, “Today is the 24th of January. It’s the day my father died. It’s the day I shall die, too.”
-SIR JOHN COLVILLE, FH 41, AUTUMN 1983

GILBERT’S “CHURCHILLIAD”

Finest Hour 1939-1941 succeeds in conveying the frightening bleakness of the spring of 1940…. Precisely because of its painstaking elaboration of detail, Gilbert’s book is the only account that can show the mechanics of inspiration at work….It goes on for 1275 pages. It is a Churchilliad, and Gilbert is its bard.
– SIMON SCHAMA, FH 42, WINTER 1983-84

UPPER CLASS TWANG

Churchill speaks with the Edwardian upper-class twang which to the average man’s ear sounds like cockney. [He] mispronounced “Nazi” and “Gestapo” as long as the common people continued to do so.
-GEORGE ORWELL, FH 43, SPRING 1984

CANADA

What would Wolfe’s emotion have been, had it been granted to him to see a nation of ten millions, separated from the mighty neighbour by a frontier of 3000 miles, along which no armed sentinel and no single war vessel could be found…?
-WSC, QUOTED IN FH 44, SUMMER 1984

LEARNING MATH

We were arrived in an Alicein-Wonderland World, at the portals of which stood, “A Quadratic Equation. ” This with a strange grimace pointed the way to the Theory of Indices, which again handed on the intruder to the full rigours of the Binomial Theorem. Further dim chambers lighted by sullen, sulphurous fires were reputed to contain a dragon called the Differential Calculus.
-WSC, MY EARLY LIFE, FH 45, AUTUMN 1984

GAITSKELL IN BAD ODOUR

When Ministers of the Crown [advocate fewer baths to save fuel and power] the Prime Minister and his friends have no need to wonder why they are getting increasingly into bad odour. I have even asked myself whether you, Mr. Speaker, would admit the word ‘lousy’ as a Parliamentary expression in referring to the Administration, provided, of course, it was not intended in a contemptuous sense but purely as one of factual narration.”
-WSC, QUOTED IN FH 46, WINTER 1984-85

WASHINGTON REVERIE

My thoughts turn to three earlier occasions when a British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was honoured to address both Houses of Congress….His vision of a union of mind and purpose between the English-Speaking Peoples was to form the mainspring of the West. No one of my generation can forget that America has been the principal architect of a peace in Europe which has lasted 40 years.
-LADY THATCHER, FH 47, SPRING 1985

THE PALADIN: A NOVEL?

The story is fantastic. An 11year-old boy is recruited into the British Secret Service by WSC. He warns of Belgium’s plan to surrender in time to save the Army at Dunkirk; finds secret U-boat pens in Eire and blows their cover; sabotages a friendly Dutch submarine after it reports the Japanese battle fleet enroute to Pearl Harbor and murders the cypher clerk who’s read the sub’s message—his girlfriend. By which time he is a good deal older, sadder and bloodier. But war is a dirty business.
-R. LANGWORTH, FH 48, SUMMER 1985

BIBLIOMANIA

There is a mystique to collecting Churchill not attached to most book collecting. Perhaps it is the personality of the man, the impressiveness of his political credentials, the many decades he occupied center stage. Perhaps it is nostalgia. It matters not. I know that tomorrow I will begin to look for more volumes.
-WALLACE JOHNSON, FH 49, AUTUMN 1985

INSPIRATION

Hitler said of Churchill, “This is a gentleman who appears to live on the moon.” Well, we live in an age that has looked at our world from the moon, and it is a very special and very inspiring perspective. You can see the earth whole. I think Churchill saw the earth whole and the world that way, with an understanding that encompassed past and future, light and dark, right and wrong.
-CASPAR W. WEINBERGER,
FH 50, WINTER 1985-86

WINSTON … CLEMMIE

No account of Winston Churchill as a family man can exclude his beloved Clementine, whose abiding beauty, distinct personality, steadfast love and—last but not least—good housekeeping, made the constant background to her husband’s tumultuous career. Many years after they married he wrote to her, “My greatest good fortune in a life of brilliant experience has been to find you and to lead my life with you.” What a tribute. And for 57 years they lived together, through a period as tumultuous and changing as surely any in our history. And for nearly all their lives they were in the eye of the storms which have rocked our civilisation.
-LADY SOAMES, FH 51, SPRING 1996

ON LOYALTY

I hate the expression, “warts and all.” When one thinks of what Mr. Churchill did, what he actually achieved, he alone, for his country and for the world, then I think he deserves our loyalty and not our criticism nor our assessments nor our judgments. Let us remember him and be grateful.
-ELIZABETH NEL, FH 52, SUMMER 1986

CHURCHILL AND THE BALTIC

My grandfather sailed into Riga in the intoxicating spring of the Latvian Republic…He remembered the confidence and hope, the exuberance and patriotism, the burgeoning realization that after 700 years Latvians were masters of their land. They could not know that their freedom would be measured by less than a generation.
-RICHARD LANGWORTH, FH 53, AUTUMN 1986

OUT OF THE WOODS

Research points inexorably to the fact that much of Woods’ information on The Story of the Malakand Field Force is either incomplete or incorrect. For example…the errata slip does not necessarily appear where Woods says it does… there are unrecorded variants, some of great significance…
-RONALD I. COHEN, FH 54, WINTER 1986-87

PRESIDENTIAL POKER

President Truman said, “Men, Mr. Churchill has lost $850. Now, remember, he is our guest. We certainly are not treating him well.” So Charlie Ross, the President’s press secretary, said, “Boss, you can’t have it both ways. Which do you want us to do, play poker or carry this fellow?”
-CLARK CLIFFORD, FH 55, SPRING 1987

SHATTERING MYTHS

There is so much falsehood mixed up with the truth. [WSC] was not neglected by his parents any more than he was a dunce at school. These were myths he invented himself.
-PEREGRINE CHURCHILL, FH 56, SUMMER 1987

THE COMPANION VOLUMES

We have all of this extraordinary writing because Churchill’s career, or much of it, antedated the political and bureaucratic use of the telephone. Politicians in his time persuaded one another by letter and memorandum. Churchill’s telephone transcripts would not have been nearly so good.
-JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH,
FH 57, AUTUMN 1987

THANKS, WENDY!

Wendy Reves has completely funded the editorial costs of the ten final Companion (Document) Volumes of the official biography…. Just as Johnson had his Boswell, Sir Winston had his Emery Reves—but also Wendy.
-MICHAEL RICHARDS, FH 58, WINTER 1987-88

AUSTRALIA’S APPRECIATION

Let the clever critics come on; let them explain Winston’s “errors” and, by implication, show how much wiser they would have been.
-SIR ROBERT MENZIES,
QUOTED IN FH 59. SPRING 1988

HE WAS ALWAYS SO FUNNY!

The great man—who could at any time be impatient, kind, irritable, crushing, generous, inspiring, difficult, alarming, amusing, unpredictable, considerate, impossible to please, charming, demanding, inconsiderate, quick to anger and quick to forgive—was unforgettable….To me, who was privileged to be a member of his personal staff during war days, even more diverting were the occasions when he was unconsciously funny, without knowing it at all.
-ELIZABETH NEL, FH 61, 4TH QTR. 1988

EXCEPTIONAL LENGTH

The phenomenon of Winston Churchill would have been impossible, whatever his other qualities, without the exceptional length of his public life and experience….It was because he irrepressibly returned ever and again to the battlefront that he enjoyed that enormous span of public life which made him at the end of it an incarnation of the British people.
-ENOCH POWELL, FH 62,1ST QTR. 1989

LADEN WITH HONOUR…

Churchill’s Chief Honours in order of precedence are Knight of the Garter (KG), 1953; Privy Councillor (PC), 1907; Order of Merit (OM), 1946; Companion of Honour (CH), 1922; and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), 1941. The CH, founded by George V in 1917, is restricted to sixty-five members, for special service of national importance. The OM, founded 1902 by Edward VII, is a gift of the Sovereign, limited to twenty-four members.
-L. L. THOMAS, FH 63, 2ND QTR. 1989

SUMMING UP

Churchill was indeed a noble spirit, sustained in his long life by a faith in the capacity of man to live in peace, to seek prosperity, and to ward off threats and dangers by his own exertions. His love of country, his sense of fair play, his hopes for the human race, were matched by formidable powers of work and thought, vision and foresight. His path had often been dogged by controversy, disappointment and abuse, but these had never deflected him from his sense of duty and his faith in the British people.
-MARTIN GILBERT, FH 64, 3RD QTR. 1989

LAST WORDS

If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another, and science will do for them all that they wish and more than they can dream….Withhold no sacrifice. Grudge no toil. Seek no sordid gain. Fear no foe. All will be well.
-WSC, QUOTED IN FH 65, 4TH QTR. 1989

BARE KNUCKLE APOLOGY

A friend was seated next to Lady Churchill and across from WSC, who kept making his hand walk up and down before her, two fingers bent at the knuckles. Her dinner partner asked, “Why is Sir Winston looking at you so wistfully, and whatever is he doing with those two knuckles “That’s simple,” Lady Churchill replied. “We quarreled before we left home, and he is indicating it’s his fault and he’s on his knees to me in abject apology.” -MRS. ALLEN EDMUNDS, FH 66,1ST QTR. 1990

REORGANIZATION ICS

has blossomed into four separate Societies in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Finest Hour and the Proceedings remain joint publications, financed proportionally. All other aspects, including local and national meetings, are left to the individual Societies.
-ANNOUNCEMENT, FH 67, 2ND QTR. 1990

REMEMBRANCE

On 19 September 1965, forty members of the Churchill family attended the Battle of Britain Service in Westminster Abbey. The Queen unveiled a Churchill stone in the middle of the aisle, immediately west of the Unknown Warrior’s stone. On the wall just above it is the commemorative plaque to President Roosevelt. The Churchill stone is inscribed:
REMEMBER WINSTON CHURCHILL: IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE WISHES OF
THE QUEEN AND PARLIAMENT THE
DEAN AND CHAPTER PLACED THIS
STONE ON THE TWENTY FIFTH
ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN.
Earlier in the day a Spitfire and Hurricane flew over the Churchill grave at Bladon.
-JOHN PLUMPTON, FH 68, 3RD QTR. 1990

SEVEN LESSONS OF SPEECHMAKING

1: Know, respect and love the English Language. 2: See and hear good speakers in action, and study the texts of their speeches. 3: Endure your handicaps if they can’t be cured and turn them to your advantage. 4: Read good books to broaden your mind and stimulate your thinking. 5: Use rhetorical devices to help your listeners understand and remember what you say, and to stir their feelings. 6: Put forth your best efforts to prepare your speeches and seize every possible opportunity to practice them. 7: Let your feelings and personality show.
-THOMAS MONTALBO, FH 69,4TH QTR. 1990

THE CASE AGAINST GOING TO WAR IN 1939

What Chamberlain wanted was a contented Germany within a stable Europe….Conservatives will admire the epic precariousness of Churchill’s achievement. But they should also agree that the war had consequences as damaging as the bombing of British cities and the fall of Singapore.
-MAURICE COWLING, FH 70,1ST QTR. 1991

LEE REMICK

There is no other American actress so well suited to play the mother of Winston Churchill…. Playing opposite this clear-eyed Yankee girl with the appealing style and femininity that graces every one of her roles just brings out the best in a man.
-GREGORY PECK, FH 71, 2ND QTR. 1991 PIC
TURED WITH MERRY ALBERIGI, RICHARD
LANGWORTH AND LEE REMICK AT LEE’S
BLENHEIM AWARD DINNER, 4 MAY 1991

SUPPOSE YOU HAD TO TELL HIM WHAT’S HAPPENED?

Dear Sir Winston: We’ve won. In a “Great Climacteric,” Soviet Bolshevism has collapsed from within. You were right all along. You did not “accomplish much, only to accomplish little in the end.” Your work was not squandered. Your deeds and words define our past, and illuminate our future.
-RICHARD LANGWORTH, FH 72, 3RD QTR. 1991

CHURCHILL FOR TODAY

As I open file after file of Churchill’s archive, I am continually surprised by the truth of his assertions, the modernity of his thought, the originality of his mind, the constructiveness of his proposals, his humanity and, most remarkable of all, his foresight. In every sphere of human endeavour, Churchill foresaw the dangers and potential for evil. Many of those dangers are our dangers today. Some writers portray him as a figure of the past, an anachronism, a grotesque. In doing so, it is they who are the losers, for he was a man of quality: a good guide for the generations now reaching adulthood.
-MARTIN GILBERT, FH 73, 4TH QTR. 1991

HISTORY REPEATS

When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story….Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong—these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.
-WSC in 1935, QUOTED IN FH 74,1ST QTR. 1992

THE GATHERING STORM

England has always kept Winston Churchill because behind him they see the towers and parks of the great houses which were in the nerve centres of the old order… But he has a fine record as a maker of democratic England. He consuited socialist Beatrice Webb on staffing the labour exchanges he set up. He wanted to abolish poverty; and other inequalities. We sigh in astonishment at the fools who year in, year out, kept out of power the man to whom we British owe our lives.
-DAME REBECCA WEST, FH 75, 2ND QTR. 1992

PICNIC AT HYDE PARK

The Prime Minister and his daughter were at Hyde Park. We had picnic lunches both days and tried to give them as many American things to eat as we could think of. The Prime Minister learned to eat corn on the cob quite proficiently before he left. Miss Mary Churchill is young and lovely-looking and full of life.
-ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, FH 76, 3RD QTR. 1992

ASPECTS OF THE CHARGE

A cavalry charge is very like ordinary life. So long as you are all right, firmly in your saddle, your horse in hand, and well armed, lots of enemies will give you a wide berth. But as soon as you have lost a stirrup, have dropped your weapon, are wounded, or your horse is wounded, then is the moment when from all quarters enemies rush upon you.
-WSC, MY EARLY LIFE, FH 77, 4TH QTR. 1992

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

In August 1944, Churchill sent a message to the Italian people which contained, in seven questions, a compact summary of his own philosophy: “Is there the right to free expression of opinion and of opposition and criticism of the Government of the day? Have the people the right to turn out a Government of which they disapprove? Are there courts of justice free from violence by the Executive and from threats of mob violence, and free of all association with particular political parties? Will these courts administer open and well-established laws associated with the broad principles of decency and justice? Will there be fair play for poor as well as for rich, for private persons as well as Government officials? Will the rights of the individual, subject to his duties to the State, be maintained and asserted and exalted? Is the ordinary peasant or workman free from fear that some grim police organisation under the control of a single party, like the Gestapo, will tap him on the shoulder and pack him off without fair or open trial to bondage or ill-treatment?”

Nearly half a century has now passed, and Churchill’s sense not only of the importance, but also of the fragility, of individual liberty remains a central theme of domestic and international life.
-MARTIN GILBERT, FH 78,1ST QTR. 1993

RANDOLPH, 9 APRIL 1963

Jack spoke first. Randolph stepped forward to respond: “Mr. President.” His voice was strong. He spoke on, with almost the voice of Winston Churchill, but while others could imitate Sir Winston, Randolph’s voice was finer. He sent his words across the afternoon, that most brilliant, loving son. His head was the head of his son beside him—Randolph and Winston—those two names that would for ever succeed each other as long as Churchills had sons. And Randolph speaking for his father. Always for his father.
-JACQUELINE ONASSIS, FH 79, 2ND QTR. 1993

ALREADY LEGEND

By adding his name to our rolls we mean to honor him, but his acceptance honors us far more. For no statement or proclamation can enrich his name—the name Sir Winston Churchill is already legend.
-JOHN F. KENNEDY, FH 80, 3RD QTR. 1993

TEETOTALLER’S BURDEN

I drew the line at port—port at lunch! “What? No port? Then you must have some brandy.” (I can’t bear brandy.) “What? No brandy? Then you must have some liqueur with your coffee. Have some Cointreau: it’s very soothing.” I had some Cointreau: it was very soothing. Slightly sozzled, I tottered upstairs after him…,
-A. L. ROWSE, FH 81, 4TH QTR. 1994

ON CHAMPAGNE

A single glass of Champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced, the imagination is agreeably stirred, the wits become more nimble. A bottle produces a contrary effect.
-WSC, “WIT & WISDOM,” FH 82,1ST QTR. 1994

MARRIED LIFE

When Winston died, sympathy was automatically expressed for the widow, but little was said about his married life because it was too happy to be heard of.

His epitaph might be: One who never turned his back but marched breast forward; Never doubted clouds would break; Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph; Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, Sleep to wake.
-LADY DIANA COOPER FH 83, 2ND QTR. 1994

NEXT GENERATION

It’s a shame how little the average teenager knows about men and women of history who showed great wisdom, discernment and character. It frustrates me that the only things I can discuss with my peers is MTV and who’s going with whom. Has it always been this way for people like me?
-JENNIFER JAMAR, FH 84, 3RD QTR. 1994

THE FALLEN FOE

There was nothing duke et decorum about the Dervish dead; nothing of the dignity of unconquerable manhood; all was filthy corruption. Yet these were as brave men as ever walked the earth.
-WSC, THE RIVER WAR, FH 85, WINTER 1994-95

FIRST THINGS FIRST

In 1929, told by his New York lecture agent, Louis Albers, that his life was threatened, Churchill replied: “Please fetch me a bottle of Champagne.” Albers: “I had better go first and make plans against these plots.” WSC: “First things first. Get the Champagne.”
-“WIT & WISDOM,” FH 86, SPRING 1995

O TO BE IN LATVIA…

Tal Dumpis, Maxim Vickers, Douglas Russell and Richard Langworth arrived at the Estonian border after a ten-day, 410-mile bicycle tour of the Latvian coast sponsored by ICS/USA in remembrance of Latvians for whom World War II did not end in 1945. They experienced 40° F. temperatures, rain, hail and 30 mph headwinds. But they presented a Latvian edition of The Dream to President Ulmanis, who called them “heroes,” which wasn’t bad, considering.
-INTL. DATELINES, FH 87, SUMMER 1995

CHURCHILL ON DEMOCRACY

No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy the worst form of Government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time; but there is the broad feeling in our country that the people should rule, and that public opinion, expressed by all constitutional means, should shape, guide and control the actions of Ministers who are their servants and not their masters.
-WSC IN 1947, FH 88, AUTUMN 1995

NATURE GOES ON

I said it was too late in the season for butterflies to emerge. He replied, “A pity, for goodness knows where we shall all be this time next year….The Russians, you know. They are being very troublesome.” An inspiration came to me, and I replied, “But nature goes on, sir.” He nodded and remarked, “True, very true….Very well then, carry on with your plans.”
-HUGH NEWMAN, FH 89, WINTER 1995-96

NEW THREATS FOR OLD

In short, the world remains a very dangerous place [while] we have lapsed into an alarming complacency. We have run down our defence and relaxed our guard. And to comfort ourselves that we were doing the right thing, we have increasingly placed our trust in international institutions to safeguard our future. But international bodies cannot perform well unless we refrain from Utopian aims, give them practical tasks, and provide them with the means and backing to carry them out.
-LADY THATCHER, FH 90, SPRING 1996

RT. HON. GENTLEMEN

On Stanley Baldwin: “In [1920] the Lord President was wiser than he is now; he used frequently to take my advice.” (1935)

On Sir Oswald Moseley: “I can well understand the Hon. Member speaking for practice, which he badly needs.” (1930)

On William Graham (Labour MP): “He spoke without a note, and almost without a point.” (1931)

On Ramsay MacDonald: “He has more than any man the gift of compressing the largest number of words into the smallest amount of thought.” (1933)
-WSC, QUOTED IN FH 91, SUMMER 1996

READING MANCHESTER

Manchester’s evocation of the Victorian era and Churchill’s growth process within it took me in my imagination to a place I had only really visited previously, when my grandfather (who, like Churchill, was born in the 1870s) reminisced as an old man about his youth. Having read and studied a bit about psychological types I found it interesting that Manchester believed Churchill to be an “extroverted intuitive”—an infrequent type.
-MERRILL MALKERSON, FH 92, AUTUMN 1996

“UNIVERSITY OF MY LIFE”

Churchill always regretted that he did not have a university education, but he was extremely well-read. That process began while he was in India, a period which he called “the university of my life.” His reading was prodigious. In the intense Indian heat he devoured Gibbon’s eight-volume Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and twelve volumes of Macaulay. He consumed Schopenhauer, Malthus, Darwin, Aristotle (On Politics), Henry Fawcett’s Political Economy, William Lecky’s European Morals and Rise and Influence of Rationalism, Pascal’s Provincial Letters, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Liang’s Modern Science and Modern Thought, Rochefort’s Memoirs and Hallam’s Constitutional History. He read no novels.
-JOHN PLUMPTON FH 93, WINTER 1996-97

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