March 25, 2017

Churchill had been determined to have a happy family – to maintain those ‘dominating virtues of human society’ – but he lived so many other lives – as a politician, as a war leader, and had so many passionate interests (writing, painting, holidays) – that his family was, to a greater or lesser degree, squeezed in among these other busy lives. There were painful consequences, of course, but Clementine had always accepted that her husband must come first (and ‘second and third’) and worked tirelessly to support him. And his children, however, they responded to the pressures of being the great man’s children, appreciated, and were proud of, all he had done for them and for the country.

Towards the end of his life, Churchill spent his time at Chartwell, sitting in the garden, gazing out over the valley and the lakes to the Weald beyond, with his family around him. Churchill died on 24 January 1965 and was buried at the churchyard at St Martin’s Church, Bladon, next to his parents and within sight of Blenheim Palace where he had been born more than ninety years earlier. When Clementine died in December 1977, she was reunited with her husband, her ashes placed in Churchill’s grave.

‘He seemed quite content: even though he might not say very much, one knew he was glad one was there.’
Mary Soames, A Churchill Family Album

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