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Churchill Centre News

3 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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23 January 2015

50th Anniversary Commemoration Begins

A major international celebration of the life and legacy of Winston Churchill has begun, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of his death on Saturday, January 24 and State Funeral on January 30.  The yearlong Churchill 2015 events are being organized by a global consortium of institutions including The Churchill Centre U.K. and U.S., the Churchill War Rooms, Chartwell, the Churchill Archives and Blenheim Palace.  Activities will include a wide range of broadcasts, programs, lectures, exhibitions and publications along with a new website www.churchillcentral.com, organized in themes of Commemoration, Education and Legacy.
churchill2015 launchChurchill granddaughter's Celia Sandys and Emma Soames (L&R) flank great-grandson Randolph Churchill (C) at the Churchill 2015 launch.

Highlights of the year will be memorial services at Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, MO.  Exhibitions include "Churchill's Scientists" at the Science Museum London, "Churchill - de Gaulle" at the Musée de l'Armée Paris and "Death of a Hero" at Churchill's family home Chartwell. Other features are the 32nd International Churchill Conference May 27-29, a Churchill Weekend in Fulton in March, a new commemorative coin from the Royal Mint and a Global Leadership Program in London this fall.

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3 June 2014
Last Surviving Child of Winston Churchill Witnessed History First Hand

ladysoames02The Trustees, members and affiliates of The Churchill Centre around the world are deeply saddened at the news of the death of The Lady Soames LG DBE. Mary was more than just our Patron. She was our advisor, mentor, supporter and—above all—friend. Her passing marks the end of an era not only for our organization but for all those who respect the memory of her father.

Lady Soames died at her home after a brief illness surrounded by members of her family on Saturday, 31 May at the age of ninety-one. Nicholas Soames, the eldest of her five children, stated: "She was a truly remarkable and extraordinary woman, who led a very distinguished life. She was not just a wonderful mother to whom we were all devoted, but the head and heart of our family after our father died, and will be greatly missed." Lady Soames's husband Christopher, a former Cabinet minister and life peer, passed away in 1987.

Writing to Nicholas Soames on behalf of The Churchill Centre, Laurence Geller, the Chairman, stated: "Your mother will be very much missed not only by her loving family and all who knew her but by all who remember her as her father's much loved daughter. All the members of The Churchill Centre join me in extending our deepest sympathy and condolences to you and your family upon your loss."

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27 September 2013
Historic Work to Join Prestigious National Collection
Statuary HallThe Churchill Centre is honored to announce that it has been invited to donate a bust of Winston Churchill to the U.S. Capitol for permanent display in the Congressional art collection, alongside images of great figures from American history. Very few non-Americans are represented in the Capitol building and this will be the most significant recognition accorded to Churchill by the United States government in many years.

The donation is made at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives pursuant to House Resolution 497 approved on the 70th anniversary of Churchill's historic address to a joint session of Congress shortly after America's entry into World War Two. The Resolution noted Churchill's status as an Honorary Citizen of the United States and recognized that his "persistence, determination and resolve remain an inspiration to freedom-fighters all over the world."

The work being donated by the Centre is a rare Estate casting of a historic bust of Churchill sculpted from life by renowned artist Oscar Nemon. Only two other such copies are in existence, in the Churchill War Rooms in London and in the Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow.

An historic Congressional ceremony to unveil the bust will be held in Statuary Hall in the Capitol on Wednesday morning, October 30, 2013. In announcing the ceremony, the Speaker noted "Placing a bust of Churchill in the Capitol is a fitting recognition of his service to the cause of freedom and his friendship to the United States. Next month, we will come together to salute this great statesman and honor his legacy of persistence, determination, and resolve."

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11 March 2013
David Freeman Takes Over From John David Olsen

DFNew Chartwell Bulletin Editor
Dr. David Freeman
Long-time Churchill Centre member and Finest Hour contributor David Freeman has taken over the reins of the Chartwell Bulletin [CB] from John David Olsen starting with this issue.  "John transformed the CB from a quarterly print publication mailed out to hundreds into a monthly online newsletter sent out to tens of thousands," Freeman explained.  "My job now is to build on the base which John established in order to draw in more readers as active members of the Churchill Centre."  "I will be working closely with Finest Hour editor Richard Langworth to coordinate the two journals by which we regularly engage our members," Freeman said.  

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9 December 2012
The Churchill Centre's newly published concise guide to Winston Churchill is now for sale online. 

The Churchill Centre has just published The Churchill Companion: A Concise Guide to the Life & Times of Winston S. Churchill.

ccThis handy, pocket guide was originally compiled by the late David Hatter, but the editing of this new publication was completed by Finest Hour editor Richard Langworth, with the able assistance of many Churchill experts*.

The Churchill Companion offers twenty-eight categories of ready-reference information on the life and times of Sir Winston S. Churchill (1874-1965) for students, scholars and researchers, together with Internet references for further reference. It will be available digitally as well as in print form.

Sections include:

  • A Timeline of his life and times
  • Books written by or about Churchill
  • Elections he participated in from 1899 to 1959
  • A Glossary of Parliamentary and Political Terms
  • Honors, Orders, Decorations and Medals
  • Myths
  • Offices Held
  • Residences
  • Secretaries, including Private, Parliamentary and Personal

The Companion begins with a 100-year Timeline of Churchill's life from his birth in 1874 to the death of his wife Clementine in 1977. Subsequent chapters list Churchill's books; recommended books about him; his BBC broadcasts from 1938 to 1945; pound-dollar values and inflation since 1874; dramatic productions in film and television; elections fought by Churchill; the family tree; leading articles in the journal Finest Hour; the 1965 funeral service; a glossary of Parliamentary and political terms; British governments, sovereigns and prime ministers; Churchill's honors, orders, decorations and medals; his favorite hotels; his military commissions; a military glossary, leading Churchill myths; government offices held; British political parties; Churchill residences and holiday accommodations; Parliamentary, personal and private secretaries; the British nobility; World War II summit conferences; all Churchill's race horses; his travel by sea; his travels in North America, his travels in World War II, and the Visitors Book at Chartwell.

Order your copy today. Available from Amazon.com for $12.95.

The Churchill Centre is the leading international membership organization devoted to preserving the thoughts, words and deeds of Sir Winston Churchill among democratic and freedom-loving peoples throughout the world. The Centre has over forty branches, chapters and affiliates in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Israel and Portugal. Centre publications include the quarterly journal Finest Hour (in both print and digital form), featuring the best contemporary writing about Churchill's life and times, including—by special permission— Sir Winston's own articles and speeches from among his fifteen million published words. Many of the chapters in The Churchill Companion are derived from articles and research in Finest Hour.

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6 June 2012
The Churchill War Rooms are to be featured in latest series of "Museum Secrets," airing on UKTV this month.

Phil-Reed-Churchill-War-RoomsMuseum Director Phil Reed on a tour of the Churchill War Rooms.
The Yesterday Channel on UKTV in England will be airing Museum Secrets Season 2 for the first time this summer.

Starting on June 22, 2012, Yesterday will broadcast Museum Secrets on Fridays at 9 PM for eight weeks.

The Imperial War Museum tells the story of Britain at war, from World War One to the present, through a collection of 10 million items – from guns to planes to medals to cyanide pills – at five locations in England visited by over 2 million people every year.

Find out more on the series and watch a video clip here.

In Episode Two, we descend into Churchill's top-secret underground bunker to discover why he was an irreplaceable leader. We find out how a London housewife became a spy who withstood horrific Nazi torture to protect a vital secret, then we take cover in a World War One trench as we reveal the story of a Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose discovery turned the tide of the war. We meet an aging cold warrior who exposes dark truths about atomic weapons hidden from the British people for 50 years, then fly above Iraq with British top guns to discover how to stay frosty when enemy missiles lock on. And finally we follow a team of military researchers as they close in on the holy grail of camouflage: how to make a soldier invisible.

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30 May 2012
The Churchill Centre honors a distinguished American and holds most successful fundraising event in its history.

2012-Malek-DinnerFred Malek is presented with the award by last year's recipient J.W. Marriott.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2012—The Churchill Centre presented its 2012 Leadership Award to distinguished American civic and business leader Fred Malek at a gala dinner and award ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C. on April 30, 2012. Mr. Malek, who was recognized for his forty years of service as an advisor to four United States Presidents and his leadership in private industry received the award from J. W. Marriott, Jr., a previous recipient, a Churchill Centre Trustee and Chairman of Marriott International, Inc.

Over 400 Churchillians from across the United States as well as leaders from the public, private and institutional sectors in Washington attended the dinner, the largest and most successful in TCC history. Proceeds supported the Centre's educational activities and the new National Churchill Library and Centre to be created on the campus of the George Washington University.

Follow this link for more photos from the event. 

Co-Chairs for the evening were TCC Chairman Laurence S. Geller CBE, Jane Harman, longtime member of Congress and President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and Catherine B. Reynolds, Chair of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. The host committee included Sens. Trent Lott, Tom Daschle, William Cohen and Norm Coleman, Cong. John Dingell, Gens. Brent Scowcroft, Jim Jones and David Petraeus and Secys. Frank Carlucci and Elaine Chao. Noted journalist Chris Matthews served as Master of Ceremonies.

Dinner speakers included Gen. David Petraeus, Randolph Churchill, Katty Kay, BBC Washington bureau chief, and Dr. Steven Knapp, President of George Washington University. Other distinguished attendees included Lt. Gen. Frank Kearney, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Philip Barton, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United Kingdom, Petr Gandalovic, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Edwina Sandys and Paul Tetraeult, President of the Ford's Theater Society. Also enjoying the evening were Cong. Mac Thornberry, Sen. Roy Blunt, GWU Provost Steven Lerman and President Emeritus Steven Trachtenberg.

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3 April 2012



Churchill: The Power of Words
June 8 – September 23, 2012

New York, NY, March 27, 2012—Sir Winston Churchill (1874–1965) is considered by many historians to be among the finest orators and writers of the twentieth century. His speeches galvanized Great Britain at its darkest hour during World War II, and his letters to President Franklin D. Roosevelt were instrumental in building support for the war effort from the United States, the country of Churchill's mother's birth. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 for his contribution to the written and spoken word, Churchill became an icon of the post-war age, an internationally recognized leader admired throughout the free world.

Churchill: The Power of Words, on view from June 8 through September 23, 2012 at The Morgan Library & Museum, brings to life the man behind the words through some sixty-five documents, artifacts, and recordings, ranging from edited typescripts of his speeches to his Nobel Medal and Citation to excerpts from his broadcasts made during the London blitz. Items in the exhibition are on loan from the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, as well as from Churchill's house at Chartwell in Kent, which is administered by Britain's National Trust.

The exhibition is designed with a contemporary audience in mind, and includes a compelling audio-visual space where visitors may listen to Churchill's major speeches, as well as an interactive timeline with touch screens that explores the context of Churchill's broadcasts and writings with related images.

"Few modern statesmen have approached Sir Winston Churchill's skill with the written and spoken word," said William M. Griswold, director of The Morgan Library & Museum. "He made his name as a writer, he funded his political career with his pen, and he carefully crafted his words to serve as tools for international diplomacy and as patriotic symbols for a nation at war. This exhibition shows why words matter, and how they can make a difference for the better, and it is therefore particularly appropriate that the Morgan, with its extraordinary literary collections, should host this exhibition."

Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives Centre, said: "The incredible collections of The Morgan Library & Museum represent the literary, artistic and cultural tradition that informed the writings of Winston Churchill, and the world he fought to preserve. There can be no better venue for this exhibition."

The Power of Words
"In the dark days and darker nights when Britain stood alone—and most men save Englishmen despaired of England's life—he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle." —John F. Kennedy, April 9, 1963

The physical and intellectual heart of the exhibition is Churchill's own voice, as recorded in some of the broadcasts that were received in the United States, and as set out on the page in his own annotated speaking notes. The exhibition highlights a number of the speeches that he made between October 1938, when Hitler began to dismember Czechoslovakia, and December 1941, when Pearl Harbor brought the United States fully into World War II.

Churchill's broadcast to the United States on October 16, 1938 was made from the political wilderness, as he no longer held high political office in Britain, but is a powerful articulation of the need for the United States to become more engaged in Europe and to play a role in containing Hitler. It is also a clear statement of the power of words and ideas: "They [the dictators] are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home—all the more powerful because forbidden—terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic."

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14 January 2012
Geller-GW-Library-AnnouncementLaurence Geller, and GW's President, Steven Knapp
The Churchill Centre and The George Washington University (GW) have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the creation of a new Churchill Library and Center on the GW campus in the heart of Washington, D.C. The Memorandum was executed at a signing ceremony at The Churchill Centre's headquarters in Chicago by its Chairman, Laurence S. Geller, and GW's President, Steven Knapp.

Mr. Geller noted that "undertaking this project with The George Washington University represents a milestone in the development of The Churchill Centre and of Churchill scholarship in America. The unique place that Winston Churchill holds in modern history as an icon of leadership and the respect his memory is accorded throughout the United States have long demanded the creation of a permanent home for Churchill studies, exhibitions and programs in our nation's capital." President Knapp added that "GW is delighted to be able to partner with The Churchill Centre in this worthwhile project which will bring an important new element to our campus and expand our already strong programs in modern history."

The planned $8 million facility, to be known as The National Churchill Library and Center at George Washington University, will encompass four elements: an extensive library of books and other materials by and about Churchill and his times; an endowed Chair in Churchill Studies in GW's History Department; an endowed Directorship of the Library and Center; and customized exhibition space for permanent and travelling displays about Churchill, his life and times. The Library and Center will be housed in dedicated street level space in GW's Gelman Library in the heart of the university campus in Washington's West End and will present a continuing range of lectures, seminars, programs and exhibits for scholars, students and visitors.

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