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Bulletin #32 - Feb 2011
THE ST HELENS REPORTER, 19 January 2011 - He protected one of the most revered leaders in world history but barely spoke at word about for decades.
As a young Royal Marine at the very end of the war, Neville Bullock was detailed as part of Sir Winston Churchill's official bodyguard.
The role gave him a unique eye and ear on modern history.
He travelled with him to the famous Potsdam Conference in occupied Germany where Churchill, Russian leader Stalin and the American President Harry S. Truman to effectively carve up post-war Europe and Asia after the end of hostilities and decide what punishment to administer to their foe just nine weeks after victory.
Now, more than 65 years after his historic duties finished, pensioner Mr Bullock has received a surprise, but much treasured, honour.
Neville, a former Garswood parish and district councillor, has received the Churchill Centre and Cabinet War Rooms Museum's 2010 Somervell Award.
His essay, ‘Eyewitness to Potsdam' came to the attention of Awards Scheme chairman Lawrence S. Geller who was delighted to successfully nominate him.
This week Neville opened a package addressed to his home in Thornhill Road to find the surprise plaque prize.
The ever-modest octogenarian said he was "delighted and humbled" to have been singled out for recognition.
Mr Bullock, now a grandfather of two who finished his council duties for Billinge and Seneley Green ward in 2006 after eight years service, said: "The American members of the Churchill Society have presented me with this and I am very grateful.
TCC-UK's annual reception to mark WSC's birthday was due to take place on 1st December. But, at very short notice, severe snow and ice - making travel very difficult - led to a postponement. The event eventually took place in London on 8th February: the venue was St Stephen's Club and 85 members and their guests attended.
Allen Packwood, TCC-UK's newly appointed Executive Director, opened the proceedings and then handed over to the Hon Celia Sandys, who introduced the first speaker, Robert Hardy - recognized by all as the most authentic of all WSC's impersonators; he gave an amusing account of how he trained himself to play the role and then proposed the toast to the heroic memory of Sir Winston. Lady Soames responded and then introduced Sir Martin Gilbert; he had selected six important events in the life of WSC which had occurred on 8th February in various years, opening the door to some little known nooks and crannies.
The occasion was highly successful and many plaudits were received from those present.
Image: Portrait of Sir Winston Churchill and Wife Clementine
London, England, UK, November 26, 1954. British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Churchill admire the illuminated address, bound in a blue and gold leather cover, presented by the British Legion to commemorate the Prime Minister's 80th birthday. The gift was presented personally by Captain S.H. Hampson, National Chairman of the Legion, accompanied by officers of the Legion and of the women's auxiliary, at 10 Downing Street. The Prime Minister's birthday is November 30th.
In order to support its expanding worldwide activities, The Churchill Centre and Museum (TCC) has appointed new Executive Directors for the United States and the United Kingdom. Lee Pollock has undertaken responsibility for the U.S. and Allen Packwood for the U.K., both effective January 1, 2011.
Lee is a longstanding Churchillian based in Chicago and has been a member of The Churchill Centre Board of Trustees since 2009. "I'm extremely excited about the challenges that lie ahead. Churchill has so much to offer, even in the 21st century, and we're in the ideal position to bring him to a new generation of Churchillians," Pollock said. In conjunction with Mary Paxson, TCC's Director of Administration, Dan Myers, Chief Financial Officer, and John David Olsen, Director of Communications, Lee will focus on expanding the Centre's activities in the U.S., including membership development, education and programming.
Allen Packwood, who continues in his primary position as Director of the Churchill Archives Centre (CAC) at Churchill College, Cambridge, will support the Trustees and Executive Committee of TCC - U.K. in increasing the Centre's awareness and profile in the United Kingdom. Packwood, who has worked at the CAC for 15 years now, the most recent ten as Director, says, "I'm delighted to take on this new role with TCC. Churchill College is extremely supportive and feels this move will help expand awareness of Sir Winston and the Archives Centre, while also bringing the Churchill world closer together. I look forward to meeting new and old friends on both sides of the Atlantic".
Phil Reed, previously TCC's Executive Vice President, stepped down at year-end 2010 to focus on his primary responsibilities as Director of the Churchill Museum and War Rooms and more recently of HMS Belfast, docked on the Thames in London. Phil will continue to lend his knowledge and experience to actively support TCC's trans-Atlantic mission. Laurence Geller, Chairman of the Board to TCC remarked, "It's taken us two men and a team of horses to replace Phil Reed and we're really going to miss his day-to-day involvement. But naturally we wish him the best in his expanded role at the Imperial War Museum."
by David Freeman, for Finest Hour 150
On the last day of October, 1925 HRH Prince Albert, Duke of York, twenty-nine years old and second son of King George V, made his first broadcast speech. The occasion was the closing ceremony of the Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium. The Duke spoke into a microphone before a crowd of 100,000, but what often happened in private now happened in public: his words came haltingly, and he was acutely embarrassed. One man listening to the crowd that day, a speech therapist recently arrived from Australia, remarked, "He's too old for me to manage a complete cure, but I could very nearly do it."
One year later Lionel Logue had his chance. With the Duke and Duchess of York scheduled to make a Royal Tour of Australia, the need to improve the Duke's speaking became pressing. Help had been sought before, never with success, but the Duke agreed to see Logue, a man with no medical training but strongly recommended.
The Duke and Logue hit it off from the start, and HRH left their very first meeting brimming with confidence. After two months of treatment, significant improvement in the Duke's speech became evident and the Australian tour was a fine success.
For his part King George V was delighted. Although the King had verbally abused his children when they were young, he admired the adult "Bertie," who rapidly became his favored son and preferred successor. But primogeniture was not to be questioned in those days, and so arose the 1936 Abdication Crisis.
Once Edward VIII had abdicated and the Duke of York had become King George VI, the new monarch's was preoccupied by his coming performance during the Coronation and-even more daunting-the Empire-wide broadcast he must give later that day. Logue was called upon to assist, and success was again achieved.
By Josh Sanburn
Katy Perry. Phil Collins. Eric Clapton. Winston Churchill. The one who you think wouldn't belong is the oft quoted, cigar-chomping former U.K. Prime Minister. But guess again. Churchill now has one more posthumous peg to (posthumously) hang his felt hat on: a hit album. In Reach for the Skies, which itself reached the fourth spot on the charts, Churchill's famous war speeches are set to music played by the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. The album marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and is the first time a Prime Minister has entered the British charts.
Governance. The new arrangements for managing TCC-UK have now been put in place. Please read the important letter enclosed with this mailing from Allen Packwood, who has been appointed Executive Director of the society. Allen will be well known to many members, having been Director of the Churchill Archives Centre at Churchill College, Cambridge for several years (a post which he continues simultaneously to occupy).
Board of Trustees. Member Stephen Rubin OBE has been appointed a Trustee.
Life Peerages. Many congratulations to member Michael Dobbs, who has been honoured with a life peerage: he is now Lord Dobbs. Congratulations also to Gordon Wasserman, a regular guest at TCC-UK events, who has been similarly honoured.
WSC Birthday Reception. Many members will know that the annual Birthday reception, scheduled for 1st December 2010, had to be postponed at the last moment due to severe snow and ice. Please see the accompanying notice and application form with the new arrangements for Tuesday 8th February 2011. Instead of meeting at the Marriott, Grosvenor Square, the venue is St Stephen's Club, 34 Queen Anne's Gate [not No. 38, as earlier stated elsewhere], which is close to St James's Park tube station. As arranged for the December date, the speaker will be Robert Hardy; Sir Martin Gilbert will also speak.
Visit to Harrow. A visit to Harrow School is being arranged on Saturday 16th April 2011, which will take the place of the traditional AGM In his letter, Allen Packwood states that - while there - he plans to use a session to speak about the society's new strategy and structure and answer questions; he also hopes to agree the composition of the Membership Committee and to arrange the election of some members to it. Full details with the next mailing.