The Place to Find All Things Churchill

Finest Hour 114


Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 47

By Curt Zoller ([email protected])

TEST your knowledge!Most questions can be answered in back issues of Churchill Center publications but it’s not really cricket to check. Twenty-four questions appear each issue, answers in the following issue. Categories are Contemporaries (C), Literary (L), Miscellaneous (M), Personal (P), Statesmanship (S) and War (W).

1231. About whom did Churchill comment, “He thinks he is Joan of Arc but my bishops won’t let me burn him”? (C)

1232. In Roosevelt’s first correspondence to WSC, which Churchill book did FDR say he’d enjoyed reading? (L)

1233. In 1942 Churchill’s parliamentary opponents called for a vote of no-confidence. What was the pretext for the parliamentary vote? (M)

1234. What name was originally given to intercepted German codes? (P)

1235. Who on WSC’s staff said, “We had been at war with Germany longer than any war power, we had suffered more, we had sacrificed more, and in the end we would lose more…Yet here were these God-awful American academics rushing about, talking about the Four Freedoms and the ‘Atlantic Charter'”? (S)
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Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 46

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

Compiled by the Editor

Undersecretary of State for the Colonies

9DecO5-24AprO8. Chief assistant to the Colonial Secretary with responsibility for directing all colonial affairs worldwide. Since the Colonial Secretary at this time was Lord Elgin, Churchill was the nominal spokesman (much to Elgin’s angst) on colonial matters in the Commons.

President of the Board of Trade

24Apr08-25Octl 1. Equivalent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Appointment date is the official one, but per the rule of the day, Churchill had to refight his Manchester seat to confirm this Cabinet office. He lost on 23 April, but was elected MP for Dundee on 9 May.

Secretary of State for the Home Department

Feb10-25Octl 1. Responsible for police, prisons and the state of criminal law (and some odd archaic roles such as looking after wild birds in Scotland and determining if English and Welsh towns are cities), but once much larger. Roy Jenkins calls it “a plank of wood out of which all other domestic departments have been carved,” including today’s Agriculture, Environment, and Employment ministries.
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Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 46

Will future generations remember?
Will the ideas you cherish now be sustained then?
Will someone articulate your principles?
Who will guide your grandchildren, and your country?
There is an answer.

The Churchill Center Associates (page 2) are people who have committed $10,000 or more, over five years, all tax-deductible, to the Churchill Center and Society Endowment funds earning interest in the United States and Canada.

With their help—and yours—those earnings guarantee that The Churchill Center will endure as a powerful voice, sustaining those beliefs Sir Winston and you hold dear. Now. And for future generations.

If you would like to consider becoming a Churchill Center Associate, please contact
Richard M. Langworth, Chairman, Board of Trustees
(888) 454-2275 • [email protected]


Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 44

Thanks to Gregory Smith for finding the powerful quotation The River War (“Quotation of the Decade?”, FH 113:5). I have a onevolume paperback (Prion: London 1997) and cannot find it, or passages I remember hearing on the Books on Tape production. I must add that I remain troubled by passages like this: “The indigenous inhabitants of the country were negroes as black as coal. They displayed the virtues of barbarism….The smallness of their intelligence excused the degradation of their habits.” —Andy Guilford

Editor’s response:
The Prion paperback edition is a further abridgement of a previous abridgement first published in Frontiers and Wars. (See my Connoisseur’s Guide to the Books of Sir Winston Churchill, page 37.) But the 1902 Longmans, 1915 Nelson, and 1933 Eyre & Spottiswoode one-volume editions also fail to produce Mr. Smith’s highly relevant quotation. The Books-on-Tape audio version, which is based on the same text, also lacks this quotation.

The quotation falls in Volume II, Chapter XXII, “Return of the British Division,” which Churchill omitted starting in 1902. Likewise culled was Chapter XXI, “After the Victory,” which contains some of Churchill’s finest writing on the meaning of war for the common soldier, particularly the Dervishes. We republished this in Finest Hour 85, still available for $5 postpaid from Churchill Stores, PO Box 96, Contoocook NH 03229.
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Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 44


Alan Ebenstein’s recently published biography* of Friedrich Hayek, 1974 Nobel price winner and possibly the 20th century’s greatest political thinker and economist, shows that he was a longtime admirer of Winston Churchill, although best known for his influence on Margaret Thatcher. Churchill’s portrait hung over Hayek’s desk for many years, even when in later life he returned to his native Austria to work.1 Those who believe that the four foremost conservative political thinkers of the 20th century were Reagan, Thatcher, Goldwater, and Churchill may be interested to know that all four were, in different ways, influenced by Hayek.2

Frederich Hayek, born in Austria in 1899, came to the London School of Economics in 1931 and, with the worsening situation in Germany, later offered his “considerable knowledge of Austrian affairs” to the Ministry of Information.3 His offer declined, he remained at L.S.E. throughout the war. Consequently he and Harold Laski, with Lionel Robbins, became the prominent influences there and, when the wartime evacuation to Cambridge took place, he came into close contact with John Maynard Keynes.
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Arts – Recipes irom No. 10: Madras Eggs

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 43

By Georgina Landemare, the Churchill family cook, 1940s-1950s, updated and annotated for the modern kitchen by Barbara Langworth ([email protected]).

Only a very short letter this. Here I am in camp at this arid place—bare as a plate & hot as an oven. All the skin is burnt off my face and my complexion has assumed a deep mulberry… “

—WSC to his mother Rajankunte Camp, Madras, India, 21 January 1897 (Winston S. Churchill, Companion Volume I, Part 2, edited by Randolph S. Churchill, London: Heinemann, 1967, p. 726; also available from Churchill Archives,


4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
6 small tomatoes, skinned, seeded & sliced
4 oz. chopped cooked ham
2 small shallots, finely chopped
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Eminent Churchillians – Nancy Canary and Craig Horn

Churchill Centre Secretary and Treasurer

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 42

Nancy Canary is an attorney alternatively operating out of Cleveland, Ohio and Delray Beach, Florida. She has long been an admirer of Winston Churchill and has read many of his writings. Many of her clients over the years have been veterans of World War II, including a Canadian whose father served in Churchill’s wartime Government.

Nancy joined The Churchill Center five years ago after hearing a speech by Michael McMenamin (center above right), fellow Cleveland attorney, contributor of Finest Hours “Action This Day” column, delivered at Cleveland’s Rowfant Club. After discussing with Michael her admiration for Churchill, he suggested she join the Center and attend meetings of Northern Ohio Churchillians, of which he was and still is President. The following year she attended her first conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she met our Patron, Lady Soames and Trustee, Celia Sandys. It was here that Nancy learned of Celia’s intention to take a group of Churchillians to South Africa in June of 1999. She inquired about the trip and in fact was one of the last to sign up before the list was sold out. She also attended the pre-South African trip through parts of England hosted by Barbara and Richard Langworth, which culminated at the 16th International Conference in Bath, England. During this trip she came to know the Langworth’s and was later asked by Richard to consider serving as a Governor of The Churchill Centre. In January 2002, Nancy relieved John Mather as executive secretary of the Center, which also places her on the Executive Committee—that portion of the Board charged with handling day to day operations between meetings of the Governors. Her fellow Governors are pleased to welcome Nancy to the team.
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INSIDE THE JOURNALS – Who Really Put Churchill in Office?

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 37

Abstract by David Freeman

Witherell, Larry L, “Lord Salisbury’s Watching Committee and the Fall of Neville Chamberlain, May 1940.” English Historical Review, November 2001: pp. 1134-66.

In early 1940 the 4th Marquess of Salisbury (son of the late Prime Minister) established a self-styled “Watching Committee” to monitor the domestic political scene and press for the creation of a true National Government. While the existence of this committee has long been known, it has received insufficient scholarly attention. The collection of Committee materials in the Salisbury and Emrys Evans papers provides the first detailed examination of its formation, membership and activities, and establishes that Salisbury’s Committee played an essential role in the political drama of 1940.

The principal figures responsible for the Committee’s formation included Lord Salisbury; his son Viscount Cranborne (known as “Bobbety” and subsequently the 5th Marquess); Robert, Viscount Cecil of Chelwood (brother of the 4th Marquess); and Viscount Wolmer (later the 3rd Earl of Selborne and a nephew of the 4th Marquess). Thus, the core of the Committee consisted entirely of Cecils, one of England’s oldest and most respected aristocratic and political families.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Suez: The Churchill-Eisenhower Letters

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 36

“Dear Winston” researched by Daun van Ee for Craig Horn

Churchill to Eisenhower, 23 November 1956, in Macmillan, Riding the Storm (London, 1971), pp. 175-76:

My Dear Ike,
There is not much left for me to do in this world and I have neither the wish nor the strength to involve myself in the present political stress and turmoil. But I do believe, with unfaltering conviction, that the theme of AngloAmerican alliance is more important today at any time since the war. You and I had some part in raising it to the plane on which it has stood. Whatever the arguments adduced here and in the United States for or against Anthony’s action in Egypt, it will now be an act of folly, on which our whole civilization may founder, to let events in the Middle East come between us.. .and it is the Soviet Union that will ride the storm. [They are] attempting to move into this dangerous vacuum, for you must have no doubt that a triumph for Nasser would be an even greater triumph for them.. .1 know where your heart lies. You are now the only one who can so influence events both in UNO [United Nations Organization] and the free world as to ensure that the great essentials are not lost in bickerings and pettiness among the nations. Yours is indeed a heavy responsibility and there is no greater believer in your capacity to bear it or well-wisher in your task than your old friend,
Winston S. Churchill.

Eisenhower to Churchill, 27 November 1956 (excerpts). Daun van Ee is a Historical Specialist in the Manuscript Division, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Praise without Criticism

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 34

By Richard M. Langworth

Eisenhower and Churchill: The Partnership That Saved the World, by James C. Humes. New York: Prima Publishing, 2001. A Forum Book, with a foreword by David Eisenhower. 268 pages, published at $25. Member price $19.

Many books have been published on Churchill and the military— Fisher, Alanbrooke, de Gaulle, Montgomery, the Admirals, the Generals. It is surprising that a book on Churchill and World War II’s supreme commander, flung together as they were by circumstance and geography, has been long in coming. There was, of course, Peter Boyle’s The Churchill-Eisenhower Correspondence (FH 69:27 and 71:26); but until now there has been no book on the two individuals.

This is not a detailed analysis of the byplay between two key leaders, like Kersaudy’s Churchill and de Gaulle or Kimball’s Forged in War on Churchill and Roosevelt. Rather it is a paean to both, juxtaposing their biographies up to 1942, then delving into their relationship in the supreme ordeal of World War II.

David Eisenhower’s foreword establishes the rationale: “No two men did more than Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower to combat the twin evils of tyranny: fascism and communism.. .if Churchill was the voice of freedom, Eisenhower provided the implementing tools.” Fair enough, as far as it goes, but the subtitle still seems excessive. If there was any partnership that “saved the world” it was that of Churchill and Roosevelt, who made the plenary decisions—Eisenhower in WW2 may have formulated tactics, but strategy was that of the Presidents and Prime Ministers. Even then, what they saved was the West—as Norman Lash put it in his Churchill-Roosevelt book, and as Churchill and Eisenhower later sadly admitted. Ask the Romanians, the Poles or the Estonians about saving the world.

By way of full disclosure, this writer has been a friend of James Humes for a quarter century; if I pulled my punches, critics would claim a buddy system. So I will not, knowing that Mr. Humes will perfectly understand what I trust is constructive criticism. The book lacks, above all, that very quality: criticism—not that such works need always be critical. But when two protagonists come down on opposite ends of an issue, as Churchill and Eisenhower often did between 1942 and 1956, one of them must be right and the other wrong; so a book about them really requires judgments.

The great issues that separated Churchill and Eisenhower, at least when equals (as world leaders in 195256) get little space here. The 1956 Suez Crisis, shortly after Churchill left office, gets barely a paragraph. It deserves a chapter, since it involved Churchill’s last act as a world statesman. Sir Winston’s eloquent letter to Eisenhower, imploring the President not to sacrifice Anglo-American rapport over “Anthony’s action in Egypt,” was first revealed in Macmillan’s memoirs in 1971 (see next page). Macmillan believed that this, and Ike’s reply, began the process of rapprochement that he had to complete when he became Prime Minister in 1957. This exchange deserves to be pondered by any book about Churchill and Eisenhower.

Likewise, many of Eisenhower’s earlier letters to Churchill as Prime Minister are almost painful to read; Humes should have offered an appreciation, from his vantage point as a Presidential speechwriter, of how much they represented Ike’s views, and how much the Dulles State Department’s. Eisenhower’s considerate treatment of Churchill on WSC’s final extended visit to America in 1959 should have had more ink. There is almost nothing about the cut and thrust of Churchill’s post-Stalin efforts to reach what he called a “final settlement” with Russia, Eisenhower’s adamant refusal, and the irony by which Eisenhower reversed himself just as Churchill was despondently retiring. Nor is there anything here on why Churchill privately preferred Eisenhower’s opponent in 1952 and 1956—why he remarked after the 1952 American election, “I am greatly disturbed. I think this makes war much more probable.” The history of all this remains to be written.

Humes devotes considerable space to the war and ably outlines the issues over which Churchill and Eisenhower agreed and argued during 1942-45. The chief arguments were over the invasion of the south of France (“Dragoon”), Roosevelt’s Teheran promise to let the Red Army enter Berlin first, and the sidelining of the Italian campaign so as to devote maximum resources to the Normandy invasion (“Overlord”). On each of these issues Ike was in favor, Churchill against—though Humes provides several statements suggesting that Eisenhower was as cleareyed about Soviet intentions as Churchill. If that is so, the book needs exonerating evidence to show how Ike’s preferred policies and strategies were overruled by his superiors.

There are some eye-openers in this book that you may not expect, including several excerpts from Ike’s letters professing devotion to his absent wife. “Lots of love—don’t forget me,” went one letter, when it has been fairly well established that he (temporarily, to his credit) forgot her. Another is Eisenhower’s apposite and eloquent speech at the ceremony Churchill arranged for him at the Guildhall in June 1945. Like Churchill, Humes notes, Eisenhower wrote that speech himself, and The Times compared it to the Gettysburg Address, which certainly sounds un-Timesian. The speech was a model of humility and of Anglo-American brotherhood, and one rarely reads such words by Britons to Americans, except by Winston Churchill.

There are a lot of real clangers. Among these are the assertions that Chartwell had been sold during the war; that Churchill spurned the postwar honors of Norway, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands; that WSC wanted the North African landings instead of Normandy; that one of the DDay beaches was called “Neptune”; that de Gaulle’s military rival was named Gen. “Gerow.” Earlier chapters claim that Lord Randolph Churchill would not have entered politics had he not been snubbed by the Prince of Wales in the Aylesford affair, and that he died of syphilis; that Churchill was born in the palace of the Ninth Duke of Marlborough; that as Minister of Munitions in World War I, Churchill “flew to France every day to examine where supplies were needed”; that Eisenhower named Camp David after his father; that the Democrats regained control of Congress from the Republicans in 1956; and that Churchill’s Dardanelles debacle in World War I was a disappointment comparable to Eisenhower’s “never getting to go to France and see battle.”

Every one of these assertions is demonstrably wrong—as is the old canard that Churchill planned his own funeral, which Humes calls “Operation Hope.” The funeral was planned by the “Hope Not Committee,” presided over by the Duke of Norfolk, and never included Churchill.

The book is bedizened with Churchill quotations, most of which are said to have been made to Eisenhower when they patently were not. “I both drink and smoke and am 200% fit” was said privately in WSC’s first meeting with Montgomery. Another quip about Monty—”In defeat, indomitable; in advance, invincible; in victory, insufferable”—was certainly not said to Eisenhower. If said at all (there is some dispute) it was likely expressed with a smile to Monty himself, when its stark frankness had lost the ability to wound.

Other quotations are misquoted so as to come out worse than the original. Churchill did not tell Ike, in the war, “Well, General.. .You are speaking to the result of an English speaking Union.” What he said was in reply to Adlai Stevenson after the war, when Stevenson asked if he had any message for the English-Speaking Union: “Tell them you bring them greetings from an English-Speaking Union.”

When Wilfrid Paling, MP, called Churchill a “dirty dog,” WSC did not reply, “My reaction to his charge was that of any dirty dog toward any palings.” It was: “Does the Hon. Member know what dirty dogs do to palings?”

Churchill’s famous remark when someone (but not Lady Astor) referred to Chamberlain as “The Prince of Peace,” was not, “I thought the Prince of Peace was born in Bethlehem, not Birmingham, England”—WSC was too good for such wordy rejoinders. What he said was: “I thought Neville was born in Birmingham.” Why edit the great man’s words when it invariably renders them less effective than the way he expressed them?

The book provides an illuminating look at the remarkable parallels in the early lives of Churchill and Eisenhower. It focuses on Eisenhower’s homespun, plain spoken honesty, and argues convincingly that the General may have known there was more to Churchill’s strategic concepts late in the war than Ike’s superiors would admit—always assuming, of course, that the reader agrees with Churchill. But it needed proofing by someone conversant with the saga to comb out inaccuracies and fix the quotations.

Books, Arts & Curiosities – Trilateral Indisposition

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 33

By Leon J. Waszak

Allies at War: The Bitter Rivalry among Churchill, Roosevelt, and de Gaulle, by Simon Berthon. New York: Carroll & Graf, 354 pages, illus., published at $26, member price $23.

I became acquainted with Simon Berthon’s book at the Chartwell Bookshop, while rolling through the English countryside last summer with a group of like-minded friends. The British edition, which first caught my attention, appeared to be a companion book to complement a BBC2 documentary series of the same name. The recently published American edition, by contrast, is currently being marketed as a stand-alone work. I am not fully aware of the book’s utility vis-a-vis the BBC program (to be seen in the U.S. on PBS), so this is an assessment of the book in its own right.

Whatever medium proves to be more noteworthy in the long scheme of things, Mr. Berthon (who is also the producer of the BBC series) has found the stuff of great drama to mold in this Second World War setting, against the larger-than-life personalities of Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle. His study reveals not only their celebrated leadership abilities in waging a successful coalition war, but their clashing interests and egos, with a hint of pettiness and mutual distrust.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Magnum opwatch gens de haut en bas

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 31

By John G. Plumpton

Churchill: A Biography, by Roy Jenkins. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1002 pages, illus. in b&w and color, regular price $40, member price $27.

There are times,” wrote the great Cambridge scholar, Sir Geoffrey Elton, “when I incline to judge all historians by their opinion of Winston Churchill—whether they can see that no matter how much better the details, often damaging, of man and career become known, he still remains, quite simply, a great man.”

Sir Geoffrey would have likely judged the new Churchill biography by Roy Jenkins favourably. The octogenarian Jenkins, a biographer of Attlee, Asquith, Baldwin and Gladstone, among others, and a political colleague of Labour leaders since World War II, concludes with a startling admission: “When I started writing this book I thought that Gladstone was, by a narrow margin, the greater man…I now put Churchill, with all his idiosyncrasies, his indulgences, his occasional childishness, but also his genius, his tenacity and his persistent ability, right or wrong, successful or unsuccessful, to be larger than life, as the greatest human being ever to occupy 10 Downing Street.”

As good as this biography is, Jenkins’s is not the final, definitive view. In his Churchill: A Brief Life, Piers Brendon, a former Keeper of the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, England, predicted that “Churchill’s place in history is about to become still more of a battleground.” The computerized catalogue of the papers has been completed and the entire microfilmed and digitalized archive will eventually become available to scholars throughout the world. Since only ten percent of the papers are now in print, the result of this digital revolution will be, according to Brendon, “an explosion in Churchill studies.”
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Alto-Staccato

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 30

By Richard M. Langworth

The Great Courses: Churchill, by Prof. J. Rufus Fears. Audio and videotapes with guidebooks. The Teaching Company, 4151 Lafayette Center Drive, Suite 100, Chantilly VA 20151-1231, telephone (800) 832-2412. Three videocasettes $149.95; six audiocassettes $89.95.

One is always grateful to members of the academy for paying positive attention to Churchill, but I couldn’t get through these tapes. Prof. Fears is a kind of right-wing Cornell West, pontifical, self-satisfied, and convinced that he is right. Churchill never puts a foot wrong and is described as almost God-like. This is exactly the type of worshipper who sets Churchill up for ambushers like Christopher Hitchens (see pages 14-15).

We begin with Churchill in 1940 at “the House of Parliament,” changing his country’s mind about fighting Germany. Fears says that the French and Belgians had surrendered, “not because the soldiers wouldn’t fight but because of a collapse at the top.” (Wasn’t it both?) If Churchill had taken a poll in May 1940, he would have found that 80% of Britons thought Britain should negotiate with Hitler. (Where is the evidence of that?)

 A shining moment is Fears’s comparison of Churchill with Pericles and Lincoln, who together, he says, comprise history’s “three outstanding statesmen.” A statesman has “bedrock principles, a moral compass, and a supreme vision”; a politician has none of the above. Unfortunately this is accompanied by veiled references to Bill Clinton, which date the performance.
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COVER STORY – Martin Driscoll’s New Painting for the Churchill Suite, Hotel Queen Mary

Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 29

You can own a fine canvas reproduction; reserve your copy without obligation now.

Readers who have visited the Churchill Suite on the Queen Mary are familiar with the quite dreadful painting that had decorated one of its bulkheads lo these many years. Observing that this representation fell far short of a fitting memorial to Sir Winston, John Plumpton had a chat with Martin Driscoll, whose art studio is aboard the ship. The upshot was the commissioning of the new Churchill oil shown with Mr. Driscoll at right, and reproduced on our cover.

The Churchill Center, which retains the copyright, will shortly produce a high quality, oil-on-canvas reproduction of this fine painting, which will be available to members only in a limited edition of only 100, signed and numbered by the artist before the final coat of varnish preservent is applied. Thanks to Churchill Center Associate Jeanette Gabriel for help in the arrangements.

Paintings will be on canvas with a foam core backing in the same approximate size as the original, 14×16 inches—a standard size allowing the owner to supply a ready-made or custom frame as preferred individually.
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Finest Hour 114, Spring 2002

Page 20


Sir Martin Gilbert Recalls the Women Who Made the Man

“I am a pretty dull and paltry scribbler, but my stick as I write carries my heart along with it.”
—Sir Winston to Lady Churchill, 1963

Last October 23rd, hundreds gathered in a marquee in the Royal Geographical Society’s grounds to hear the official biographer speak of the women who mattered in Winston Churchill’s life. Churchill, we were told during the introduction, is a subject that arouses strong passions. Indeed, no sooner than the day after the announcement of Sir Martin’s lecture, an indignant answer-phone message was left with the RGS claiming that the title of the talk was an “insult to the great man”!

The indignant caller need not have worried: where Churchill is concerned, such a title carries no puerile implications, particularly given the speaker, and the presence of Sir Winston’s daughter, Lady Soames. As we have come to expect from Sir Martin, the session was gripping, frequently funny, and filled with fascinating glimpses into the human side of Churchill.

Of the women in Churchill’s early life, the first was of course his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill. Winston, she wrote, was a “demanding son,” and Sir Martin gave plenty of examples to show what she meant.
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