The Place to Find All Things Churchill

Finest Hour 111


Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 52

There is no part of the powers conferred on His Majesty’s Government, in this time of trial that I view with greater repugnance than these powers of exceptional process against the liberty of the subject without the ordinary safeguards which are inherent in British life. These high-sounding familiar phrases like “Habeas Corpus,” “petitioner’s right,” “charges made which are known to the law,” and “trial by jury”— all these are what we are fighting to preserve.

We all care about them and understand them, and we are determined that they shall not be trespassed upon by anything except the need of self-preservation which arises in time of war….

For my part, I hope that the day may come as speedily as possible, even before the end of the war, when we may be able to relieve ourselves of these exceptional powers….

In the meantime, I feel that we are entitled to ask from the House a general measure of support for the Minister charged with exercising them.
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Commemorative Covers

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 51

1) Two different philatelic covers (150 of each) were published by the Universal Ship Cancellation Society to mark the commissioning of USS Winston S. Churchill in Norfolk, March 10th. Price $1.25 each, plus a large stamped self-addressed envelope. Send payment in US$ or mint US stamps to Rich Hoffner, USCS, 18 Ryers Avenue, Cheltenham PA 19102.

2) CC covers director Dave Marcus has produced 50 Churchill Center covers marking this event, all franked by the ship’s post office, bearing a 30c stamp picturing a Cardinal, State Bird of Virginia. Send US$3, £2 or C$4 to the editor; funds will go to the respective organization.

3) Dave is a preparing another limited edition marking the visit of USS WSC to Portsmouth, England, in August. Same price as above.

4) An official Churchill Center commemorative cover will be posted from London October 16th, marking the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s return to power in 1951. Covers are free but you must be on the list. Send your current mailing label as proof of membership to Dave Marcus, 3048 Van Buskirk Circle, Las Vegas NV 891215107, USA.


Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 51

A compendium of facts eventually to appear as a reader’s guide.


Compiled by Douglas Russell & Paul Courtenay

2nd Lieutenant, 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, 20 Feb 1895.
Lieutenant, 4th Queens Own Hussars, 20 May 1896.
Lieutenant, South African Light Horse, Jan 1900.
Captain, Imperial Yeomanry, Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars, 4 Jan 1902.
Major, Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, 25 May 1905.
Lieutenant-Colonel (temporary), QOOH, posted to 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, 5 January 1916.


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Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 49

Question Time is that period in the Parliamentary week where Members are allowed to ask the Prime Minister any question they wish, governed only by decorum and the judgment of the Speaker as to whether they are genuinely asking questions or (commonly) giving a speech. Churchill was a master of Question Time, and Mr. Courtenay provides examples of his wit and command.

Merchant Navy Awards

On 8Sep42 the Prime Minister was asked about awards for gallantry in the Merchant Navy. This was clearly a planted question, as a mechanism for giving information…

WSC: “Officers of the Merchant Navy, serving as such, who receive the Order of the British Empire, are appointed to the Civil Division, which is, of course, of equal status to the Military Division of the Order. It is not proposed to vary this arrangement, or to make any recommendation for the creation of further decorations. The personnel of the Merchant Navy serving under special agreement as part of the Royal Navy have hitherto been eligible for the naval gallantry awards other than the [Distinguished Service Order]. That position has now been rectified, and the DSO is available for Read More >

Something’s Cooking Aboard DDG81

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 48

From Cdr. Mike Franken, Commanding Officer, USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG81),June 16th

Here is a picture of our first underwater explosive test. This is the splash made by a 7-ton explosive charge placed at 200 feet depth. The third and final shot was one-half this separation distance, putting us on the edge of the plume. We are now fixing the ship….

Arts – Recipes From No. 10: Biscuits (Cookies)

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 48

By Georgina Landemare, Churchill family cook, 1940s-1950s

Updated and annotated for the modern kitchen by Barbara Langworth (b_langworth@

“We picnicked near a river in the Atlas foothills against a background of prickly pear… [Beaverbrook] was greatly impressed by the antagonism of the Moorish and Jewish children who refused to play with one another…. We fed them with biscuits, cakes and oranges…. JOHN COLVILLE, FRINGES OF POWER: DOWNING STREET DIARIES 1940-1955 (1985)

The American word “cookie” comes from the Dutch koekje meaning “little cake.” The closest thing in Britain would be a “sweet biscuit.” The word “biscuit” is from the French bis cuit, (twice cooked) which may have originally referred to sea biscuits, cooked twice to keep them crisp.


3/4 lb. finely ground almonds
1/2 lb [2 cups] icing [powdered] sugar, sifted
2 whipped egg whites
2 unwhipped egg whites
Baking [parchment/rice] paper
Blanched almonds for top
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‘All the News That’s Fit to Print: Churchill on Hitler in Great Contemporaries

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 47

In an article entitled, “Rethinking Negotiation with Hitler” written in The New York Times of 25 November 2000, Benjamin Schwarz recapped the changing views among historians of Churchill on this subject. (Schwarz lumped Andrew Roberts, Sheila Lawlor and John Charmley into the category of “revisionist historians” with Clive Ponting, a great disservice to Lawlor, Roberts and Charmley.)

The revisionists argue, Schwarz wrote, “…that the idea of an armed truce with Germany didn’t carry the same moral odium it does today. (Even Churchill speculated in 1935 that Hitler ‘will go down in history as the man who restored honor and peace of mind to the great Germanic nation.’).”

As in most attempts to startle, Mr. Schwarz took the quote out of context. It originates with Churchill’s “The Truth About Hitler,” published in The Strand magazine, November 1935 and reprinted as a chapter, “Hitler and His Choice,” in Churchill’s Great Contemporaries (London: Butterworth, New York: Putnams 1937). The full applicable quote (in 1935, remember) reads:
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Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 44

By Richard M. Langworth

We complete herewith our discussion of The Second World War, turning to the numerous editions and variants published in all languages since the mid-Fifties. Entries are confined to physical descriptions only; much more information, including quantities and current values, will be found in A Connoisseur’s Guide to the Books of Sir Winston Churchill, which is now available from the CC New Book Service at $30.

Chartwell (First Illustrated) Edition: ICS A123e. Educational Book Co., Ltd., London 1955, 6 vols.

In a special note to this edition dated 1 October 1954, Churchill writes: “Now a special edition is being published illustrated for the first time, in which all those first minor errors have been corrected.” This beautiful edition carries an entirely new text in fine, readable, large type, along with hundreds of illustrations on coated paper—interspersed not in thick 16page sections but spread around in two- or four-page inserts. Each volume contains a colour frontispiece and three-colour maps, silk head and tail bands and duplex endpapers, although the folding maps of the First English Edition are eliminated. There were no dust jackets, though each volume was wrapped in a plain glassine cover.
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CHURCHILL ONLINE – Palestine: The Twice-Promised Land

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 43

Correspondence over “Listserv Winston”

The Churchill Center maintains an internet listgroup that allows you to communicate with 500 people worldwide on any Churchill subject. Subscriptions are free. To subscribe, send the two word message SUBSCRIBE WINSTON to: and then follow the instructions you receive back. The listgroup is maintained for us by kind courtesy ofMarist College. If you have any problems, email our host, Prof. Jonah Triebwasster (

11 June 2001:

“Churchill declared himself as a Zionist—and probably he was one— but his hands were tied by the British (and US) ruling classes, which were anti-Semitic.”

12 June 2001:

“Yes, there was an anti-semitic streak in British high society, but to claim that behind all British government actions lay the anti-semites is nearly as absurd a claim as Hitler’s that Jewish financiers were the real Western governments, started the war, etc., etc. (which we know to be rubbish). In what way were WSC’s ‘hands tied’?”

Editor’s note:

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INSIDE THE JOURNALS – The Fulton Speech as Art & Failure Churchill and Palestine Revisited

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 42

Abstracts by Chris Hanger

Hostetler, Michael J.: “The Enigmatic Ends of Rhetoric: Churchill’s Fulton Address as Great Art and Failed Persuasion,” Quarterly Journal of Speech, 83:416-28 (1997).

Those who study speech techniques describe Churchill’s “Sinews of Peace” speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri in 1946 as a masterpiece of rhetoric and metaphor, citing the theatrical “Iron Curtain” metaphor. However, most scholars overlook other powerful metaphorical examples that link dangers and challenges confronting the world, which are contained in its title. Churchill’s virtuoso use of language and the power of speech bind several metaphors into a comprehensive argument.

The title of the speech is itself a metaphorical use of muscle and its anatomic relation, both in terms of layers and as a binding together of related structures. The word “sinew” means “tendon”: that part of the musculature that permits muscles to be attached to bone. Reference to the singular also permits examination of individual “strengths,” while plural usage denotes strength, energy, or the main or chief supporting force of something. Churchill uses these to examine common “sinews” between Great Britain and the United States: allies averse to war, sharing a common language, cultural connection, religious heritage, common law, love of liberty and peace. Churchill argues that such common attributes of law and liberty should be extended to the world community.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Myth and Revision, Shaken and Stirred

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 41

By David Freeman

Churchill, by Ian S. Wood. British History in Perspective series, New York: St. Martins Press, 220 pp. hardbound, published at $49.95. Member price $36.

Ian Wood is a Lecturer in History at Napier University in Edinburgh and a tutor with the Open University. His book is aimed primarily at students, but the general reader will find this to be a solid, thoughtful and up-to-date assessment of Churchill’s career. Regarding the production of yet another conventional biography as superfluous, Wood adopts a thematic approach. The brief monograph’s nine chapters analyze topics such as: Churchill the Warrior, Churchill and Appeasement, Churchill and the United States, and so on. These essays rely on much of the most recent (and best) scholarship in Churchill studies with all evidence duly documented. The results are first rate and go a long way towards confounding recent revisionist theories.

Wood addresses many of the tired old points that revisionists have hammered away at over the years, but gives these topics a refreshing twist because he takes the responsible approach of providing balance and perspective. Thus, on the book’s very first page Wood observes that it has often been said Churchill “derived a real excitement for war and preparation for it.” But the author immediately goes on to write that “it was a guilty excitement, as Churchill often made clear when he thought aloud about it, and he was never indifferent to war’s implacable human price.” To follow this up Wood produces an appropriate illustrating quote from Churchill’s very first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – “In Victory, Magnanimity”

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 40

By Andrew Roberts

Churchill: A Study in Greatness, by Geoffrey Best, London, Hambledon, 370 pp., illus., published at £19.95 ($30), CC Book Club price $25.

History is, as Pieter Geyl called it in Napoleon: For and Against (1945), “an argument without end,” and this book is a masterly summation of the present arguments for and against Winston Churchill. Although he usually comes down in Churchill’s favour, Geoffrey Best is scrupulously objective in explaining the anti-Churchill case of the so-called “revisionists.” Indeed, no better book has been written about the state of the historiographical struggle over Churchill.

Geoffrey Best is well placed to adopt the Olympian stance necessary to eschew subjectivity in this most emotive of historical fields. A former history professor at Edinburgh and Sussex universities, he is a senior member of St Antonys College, Oxford. Unlike some academic historians, he has a felicitous turn of phrase. I defy anyone who starts his chapter on 1940, “His Finest Hour,” not to finish it in a sitting.

Unfortunately, this book has been published just too early for Best to be able to include reference to the second volume of David Irving’s Life of Churchill (expected in August). He does make short work of several of the more hoary anti-Churchill myths, writing, “I have enjoyed making my own mind up.” His subtitle—an answer, perhaps, to the late Sir Robert Rhodes James’s Churchill: a Study in Failure (1970)—allows no doubt as to which side Best finally favours.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Not For Publication?

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 39

By Andrew Roberts

War Diaries 1939-1945, by Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, edited by Alex Danchev and Daniel Todman. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25 ($38), member price $28.

“ON NO ACCOUNT MUST THE CONTENTS OF THIS BOOK BE PUBLISHED,” wrote Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke on the opening page of his wartime diary, and it is easy to understand why. As the “Master of Strategy,” the man Churchill had implored to become Britain’s senior soldier, Alanbrooke was the repository of all the most important wartime secrets. Even when they were published in 1957, the diaries were heavily censored both on grounds of national security and for fear of antagonising powerful figures such as the then American President Dwight Eisenhower and the past and serving prime ministers Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan.

They are now published unexpurgated for the first time and, although it has long been no secret that Alanbrooke did not always see eye to eye on strategic matters with Churchill, it is only now apparent that for much of the war he could hardly bear the prime minister. Churchill, on the other hand, seems to have harboured no reciprocal ill-will towards Alanbrooke.

Alanbrooke’s influence on global strategy cannot be underestimated. It was he, more even than Churchill, Roosevelt or Stalin, who set out the stages by which Nazi Germany was going to be defeated in the West. It was he who laid down the crucial sequence of North Africa, Italy and Normandy as the path to Berlin. Once thought of as a tough, humourless, Ulster-born “brass hat,” it is now clear that Alanbrooke was a passionate man given to bouts of depression and elation and also of fury against many of those with whom he had to work, especially Generals Marshall, Eisenhower and Patton and much of the British political establishment.
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Crossing the Floor

Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 34

On 31 May 1903, Churchill entered the House, bowed to the Speaker and, glancing at the Tory benches, took a seat next to Lloyd George with the Liberal opposition. These are the first two documents after that date in Winston S. Churchill, Companion Volume II, Part 1 1901-1907, edited by Randolph S. Churchill, London: Heinemann, 1969.

WSC to Lord Hugh Cecil (Quickswood Papers) 2 June 1904

My dear Linky,

…I could not help thinking last night what a wrench it is to me to break with all that glittering hierarchy & how carefully one must organise one’s system of thought to be utterly independent of it. The worst of it is that as the Free Trade issue subsides it leaves my personal ambitions naked & stranded on the beach — & they are an ugly & unsatisfactory spectacle by themselves, though nothing but an advantage when borne forward with the flood of a great outside cause.

Yours always

WSC to? [Probably a constituent] 9 June 1904
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Finest Hour 111, Summer 2001

Page 34

Allen Packwood explains how the grandson of a Duke came to represent a working class suburb of industrial Manchester

Churchill’s links with the town of Oldham began in the summer of 1899 when he was approached by the local Conservative Party and asked to stand as a Tory candidate in the impending by-election. At first glance he appears a strange choice. He was certainly not a local man. In fact, it would be fair to say that his roots were both geographically and socially far removed from the industrial North-West.

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, born at Blenheim Palace to the second son of a Duke, was brought up by a nanny in large houses full of servants. His education was typical of the Victorian aristocrat, passing from private boarding schools to Harrow and then to Sandhurst. He did not excel at all of his studies. His early school reports make for entertaining reading. His first headmaster described him as “a constant trouble to everybody…always in some scrape or other” and, on another occasion, opined (with notable lack of prescience) that he lacked ambition.

But by 1899 Churchill did have two things going for him. The first was the reputation of his father. Lord Randolph Churchill’s glittering political career had been cut short by illness, and he had died in 1895 aged only 45. But at the height of his powers in the early 1880s Lord Randolph had been famous for his wit and fiery speeches. It was Lord Randolph who conceived of appealing for support of the Conservative Party to ordinary working classes under the slogan of “Tory Democracy.” Although he never really defined what Tory Democracy actually was, it ensured that he was remembered fondly in places like Oldham, where his speeches had been well received.
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