Finest Hour 189, Third Quarter 2020
By David Freeman, July 2020
This is the first in what will be a series of four issues to be published over four years examining Churchill’s connections with the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom. The rich but scarcely explored field of Scotland comes first, and we are honored to have a foreword from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Churchill’s affiliations with Scotland began with his birth on 30 November 1874—the feast day of St. Andrew, Scotland’s patron saint. Despite the many connections that followed, Scots today have all but forgotten Churchill. Alastair Stewart looks at the reasons for this and explains why it would profit the country to embrace the Churchill legacy.
More egregious than collective amnesia has been a campaign of deliberate misrepresentation of Churchill’s record in Scotland. Gordon J. Barclay untangles the malicious myths that have been fabricated and explains the reasons for the militant assertion of fake history.
In previous issues of Finest Hour, we have looked at aspects of Churchill’s military connections with Scotland, including his command of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers during the First World War in FH 171. In the same issue, we reported on the construction of the Churchill Barriers at Scapa Flow. In this issue, Robin Brodhurst details Churchill’s many other nautical connections with Scotland.
On the political side, we looked in our previous issue at Churchill’s relationship with Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. In this issue, Piers Brendon looks at Churchill’s friendship with another Scotsman who made it into 10 Downing Street, the Earl of Rosebery. David Stafford helps us to understand why Churchill lost his “seat for life” in Dundee, even though his time as the city’s MP saw him functioning at the highest levels of government.
There is far too much about Churchill and Scotland to include in just one issue, but we have room for Ronald I. Cohen to show how Churchill’s legacy was once greatly valued by the Scots. Finally, we glimpse how the stirrings of nationalism affected the twilight of Churchill’s career with the Scottish Pillar Box War.