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Churchill Society News

3 October 2015
As part of the Churchill 2015 series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death in 1965, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust had a meeting of Fellow's Day at Blenheim Palace. Watch Churchill 2015 Committee Chairman Sir David Cannadine's talk on Churchill the Man

3 October 2015

In  May 2015, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust held a Fellows Day at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Trust By-Fellow a Graham Farmelo gave an insightful talk on Churchill and the nuclear age. 

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7 July 2015

New England students create Churchill documentary video

Massachusetts student Grant Griesman and his classmate, Nate Brennan recently created a documentary video on Sir Winston Churchill which was entered into the National History Day competition in the United States.

Both students will be entering the 8th grade this year at the Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Massachusetts. They are also both active members of their schools National History Day Club.

Each year the contest is aligned with a specific theme. The theme this year was "Leadership and Legacy in History" for which they felt Winston Churchill was a perfect subject.

Nate and Grant took on this challenging competition in addition to all of their regular class work and did their extensive research during the school year from September to February. The entered their project in the Regional Competition and from there they went on to place 2nd in the state completion.

They also recently placed their entry into the National Competition.

If you would like more information on the contest, please visit the National History Day website.

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7 June 2015

Watch Boris Johnson's 'Churchill Factor' Presentation at the 32nd International Churchill Conference in Oxfordshire

The Hon Boris Johnson MP and Mayor of London, was introduced to the speeches of Sir Winston Churchill from a very early age. He recalls his father reciting Churchill's speeches and used this as inspiration to write his recent book on Sir Winston Churchill. He identified what made Churchill great as the 'Churchill Factor'.

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3 June 2015

Tribute to Mary Soames

Address to the 32nd International Churchill Conference

By D. Craig Horn

I rise to pay tribute to our friend and our patron, Dame Mary, The Lady Soames. 

Lady SoamesLady Soames was “History’s Daughter” as proclaimed by Vogue magazine in August of 2012.  She took her responsibilities seriously and with aplomb, whether leading the 481 Battery in action at Hyde Park as a 20-year-old, or hosting a gala dinner party at the British Embassy in Paris (What Mary called “her posh life”) or Zimbabwe/Rhodesia, or dining with Roosevelt, Stalin or Truman, or accompanying her Papa on many of his travels.  She was also extremely proud to have chaired the National Theater where she got to know all of the cleaning ladies as well as the artistic aristocracy.  Mary met and dined with the greatest of the great.  In addition to Presidents, Czars and Kings, she was friends with Charlie Chaplin and Lawrence of Arabia, as Randy Barber and Laurence Geller, to name only a few of our own “glitterati.”

Mary Soames was a great giver; a giver of time, talent, warmth and model.  Her commitment to Chartwell, the National Trust, the Churchill Memorial trust, the Churchill Archives Centre and the National Theater was critical to their very existence as well as their longevity. 

Most of us came to know Lady Soames as the Patron of The Churchill Centre.  She attended many, in fact most, of the International Conferences such as this and was always front and center.  “Please don’t treat me like an old lady,” she would say, firmly turning down almost all offers of assistance. 

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6 April 2015

Get your digital copies of the eight-volume Winston S. Churchill

8 Never-DespairThe Churchill Centre is pleased to announce that the Official Biography, Winston S. Churchill, is now available for download on Amazon's Kindle.

Rosetta Books along with Hillsdale College has published all eight volumes of Winston S. Churchill in digital format, bringing this highly acclaimed masterpiece firmly into the 21st century. The volumes are all now fully searchable and include the ability to bookmark and make personal notations throughout. You can easily return to your favourite passages time after time, online, in your browser or on any device.

You even don't need to own a Kindle! The Kindle Reader app is available on most platforms*. Set up an account on Amazon.com and the download the Kindle Reader.

Click Here to Visit the Rosetta Books Website for Links

The authors of the official biography of Sir Winston Churchill, his son Randolph and then later Sir Martin Gilbert, had the full access to the complete archive of Sir Winston's letters and papers.

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9 March 2015
In 1999, Winston S. Churchill appeared on the U.S. television network CSPAN to discus his book, The Great Republic: A History of America, published by Random House. He edited the book using the writings of his grandfather, Sir Winston Churchill. 

His grandfather Sir Winston Churchill, who was British prime minister, won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 for his four-volume, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, published by Dodd, Mead, and Company. That book contains the history of the American Republic up to 1900. In Great Republic, speeches and essays of Prime Minister Churchill were used to update U.S. history to the mid-twentieth century. 

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20 February 2015

Fifty years after his death, Winston Churchill has emerged as a star on an unexpected platform: New York theater.

Dakin Matthews as Winston Churchill THE WALL STREET JOURNAL—February 20, 2015. The likeness of the “British Bulldog” is appearing on two stages this season. On Broadway, Churchill is among the prime ministers who meet with Queen Elizabeth II, played by Helen Mirren, in “The Audience,” opening March 8 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. At off-Broadway’s New World Stages, the one-man show “Churchill” has sold so briskly ahead of its Wednesday opening that it already has extended its run.

The timing is just right: 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death, on Jan. 24, 1965, and all year, the legacy of the Nobel Prize-winning wartime leader will be extensively celebrated.

An online hub, Churchillcentral.com, has been created to list information and events. The Royal Mint has struck Winston Churchill 2015 coins. London Mayor Boris Johnson has published a best-selling book, “The Churchill Factor,” ahead of the 50th anniversary. And at a December auction at Sotheby’s in London, several of Churchill’s own paintings sold for prices that far exceeded estimates—one setting an artist record by selling for £1.8 million ($2.7 million) after an estimate of £400,000 to £600,000.

“There has never been a stronger interest in Churchill,” said Barry Singer, proprietor of Midtown Manhattan’s Chartwell Booksellers, which bills itself as the world’s only Winston Churchill bookshop.

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4 February 2015
martin gilbert02The Churchill Centre is deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved friend and colleague the Rt. Hon. Sir Martin Gilbert. Sir Martin passed away peacefully in London on Tuesday evening after a long and serious illness at the age of 78. In addition to being the official biographer of Winston Churchill, he was a leading historian of the 20th century. He produced more than eighty books on topics including World Wars I and II, Jewish studies and the Holocaust.

Sir Martin was a longtime honorary member of The Churchill Centre who spoke at numerous Centre events through the years and contributed many scholarly articles to our journal Finest Hour. The autumn 2014 edition of Finest Hour celebrated his career with tributes from his numerous friends including former Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Gordon Brown.

Laurence Geller CBE, Chairman of The Churchill Centre, released the following statement:

The world has lost one of its greatest historians. The Churchill Centre and all those who have been touched by the life and times of Sir Winston Churchill mourn the one man who did more than all others to keep the memory of Britain's finest son green. Sir Martin Gilbert's vast and wide-ranging contributions to history have left us an eternal legacy that vividly and brilliantly link the past to the future. We are blessed to have had this great man in our lives.

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2 February 2015
wsc funeral02"Dockers" at Attention on the Thames, 30 January 1965Following the broadcast last week of a BBC special hosted by Jeremy Paxman commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, The Churchill Centre received this important letter from a viewer:

After watching the tribute to Winston Churchill on the BBC with Jeremy Paxman, I felt the need to write down my thoughts on the programme.

Firstly, I come from a long line of "Dockers", my two grandfathers, William Deeprose and Joe Catchesides, my father also Joe Catchesides, several uncles and cousins all worked in the Surrey Docks. My father Joe was a stevedore as was Joe senior, William (Bill) Deeprose was a deal porter (loading and unloading timber from the ships, a very very hard job in those days, he often came home with huge splinters lodged in his back). I only remember them speaking very highly of Sir Winston, even though they were lifelong labour supporters as was most of the old working class people. One of my uncles was fortunate enough to meet him, and always was very proud to relate the story.

My mother, Flo thought of Sir Winston as a hero and said that we would never have won the war if it hadn't been for him, a sentiment that thousands of people believed. I took my mother to Chartwell several times as she loved it there and always looked forward to our visits. I once took her to Blenheim so that she could see where Sir Winston was born. She found the letters he wrote to his father from his school very touching, especially the one where he confessed to dropping the watch his father had given him down the drain and the pains and expense he went to, to get it back.

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