WOODS CORNER: FINEST HOUR 124, AUTUMN 2004
A bibliophile’s department named for Frederick Woods, first bibliographer of Sir Winston Churchill
John Colville in his Downing Street Diaries, The Fringes of Power, reported of Commander C.R. [Tommy] Thompson, Churchill’s wartime naval aide: “At the end of the war he unscrupulously purloined the official diary of the Prime Minister’s activities which had been meticulously maintained by the private secretaries. ” I find no further mention of this. What is the “rest of the story”? Can you give a source for further reading? —ALEC JONES, HOOVER, ALA.
Colville’s notes on his contemporaries are the best part of his book. He called them as he saw them. Thompson’s diaries, which he apparently bolstered by consulting the official Prime Minister’s diaries, were used by Gerald Pawle who published as The War And Colonel Warden (London: Harrap; New York: Knopf, 1963). The text includes interviews with more than sixty people who had close contact with the PM. The result is an intimate, readable story of “Col. Warden,” Churchill’s code name on travels in World War II.