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Scotland’s Real Strength

Finest Hour 189, Third Quarter 2020

Page 19

By Winston S. Churchill

In the first volume of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Winston Churchill surveys the final two centuries of medieval Scottish history, when internal strife and periodic battles with England afflicted the lives of many generations, and identifies the true foundation of Scotland’s emergent power.

The disunity of the [Scottish] kingdom, fostered by English policy and perpetuated by the tragedies that befell Scottish sovereigns, was not the only source of Scotland’s weakness. The land was divided, in race, in speech, and in culture. The rift between Highlands and Lowlands was more than a geographical distinction. The Lowlands formed part of the feudal world, and, except in the SouthWest, in Galloway, English was spoken. The Highlands preserved a social order much older than feudalism. In the Lowlands the King of Scots was a feudal magnate; in the Highlands he was the chief of a loose federation of clans. He had, it is true, the notable advantage of blood kinship both with the new Anglo-Norman nobility and with the ancient Celtic kings. The Bruces were undoubted descendants of the first King of Scots in the ninth century, Kenneth MacAlpin, as well as of Alfred the Great; the Stuarts, claimed with some plausibility, to be the descendants of MacBeth’s contemporary, Banquo. The lustre of a divine antiquity illumined princes whose pedigree ran back into the Celtic twilight of Irish heroic legend. For all Scots, Lowland and Highland alike, the royal house had a sanctity which commanded reverence through periods when obedience and even loyalty were lacking, and much was excused those in whom royal blood ran. Read More >

Why Have the Scots Forsaken Churchill?

Finest Hour 189, Third Quarter 2020

Page 08

By Alastair Stewart

Alastair Stewart is a Scottish public affairs consultant and freelance writer. His mum, granny, and grandad gave him a lifelong interest in Winston Churchill.

In the United Kingdom today, there is a debate about our history and our statues. Raised are two perennial questions: what is truth and what is an acceptable legacy? That debate has literally and physically targeted the Ivor Roberts-Jones statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square.

Yet Scots, forever ready for a feisty debate, are left looking around for a comparable statue of Churchill even to protest. While most communities are proud of their connections to significant historical figures, a Dundee historian has said of his city, where Churchill served as the local MP for nearly fifteen years, “A statue of Winston Churchill here would be as welcome for many as a swim through vomit.”1 Does he speak for all Scotland?

The Invisible Man

In 2019, an elected Member of the Scottish Parliament courted controversy and praise when he tweeted that Churchill was a “white supremacist” and a “mass murderer” interspersed with hand-clapping emojis.2 The shock value aside, the post quickly revealed the pantomime view of Churchill, which underpins his legacy in Scotland. Read More >

Coming of Age in Afghanistan: Reflections of a Young Officer in the Scots Guards

Finest Hour 181, Summer 2018

Page 31

By Alexander Perkins

A great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill looks back on his own service in the British Army.

Alexander Perkins is a great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. He served in the Scots Guards from 2007 to 2013.

More than five years ago, after serving seven years in the British Army with the Scots Guards, I called it a day and have since started a career in the commercial world. As much as I love what I do now, hardly a day goes by when I do not think back to my time in the army. When asked to write about my military service, I felt mixed emotions. It was a great experience—but not always a happy one. That said, I would not trade any of it away, because I feel those times have made me who I am today.

In January 2006, aged nineteen, I began my military career as an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst—the first of my great-grandfather Sir Winston Churchill’s descendants to attend his alma mater. Twelve months later, I was commissioned into the Scots Guards. What followed were six incredibly varied years. Over this time, I saw and did things that I could not have imagined at the start of the adventure. The highlights of my career were the two tours of duty I served in Afghanistan.

Read More >

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.