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Summer 1958 (Age 83)

Health concerns troubled Sir Winston and Lady Churchill. CSC was afflicted with shingles, which affected her face, one eyelid and eye. This painful disease ruined Clemmie’s vacation visit to friends at the British Legation in Tangier. In July Lord Moran lunched with Halifax, who reflected on American views of Churchill. Halifax thought Americans perceived Winston as a relic of Britain’s imperial past. Moran also visited the mortally ill Brendan Bracken, who wanted to talk about the depression, fears, melancholy and shyness that Churchill -had fought to overcome all his life. Despite the calumny heaped on him, said Bracken, WSC was determined to never give in: “There is in Winston the old aristocratic contempt for consequences.”

In August, Sir Winston visited Lord Beaverbrook in France. His host noted that he was usually in a very low state in the morning, which he spent in bed reading. Card games—cribbage and gin rummy—passed the afternoon and, after a glass of champagne and two brandies, the evenings were spent in talking. Usually the topic was geopolitics. Sir Winston believed that Britain and Russia might work together and that an alliance between Russia, Germany and Britain would give security and stability to Europe and Asia. The Churchills were still with Lord Beaverbrook when several members of their family arrived to help them celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary on 12 September.

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