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Finest Hour 113

Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 14


The Legacy or "Winston's Chela" Lasted Far Longer Than He Expected

Editor's Note

Finest Hour 63 reviewed the two biographies of Churchill's longtime friend and colleague Brendan Bracken: Poor, Dear Brendan by Andrew Boyle (1974), and Brendan Bracken by Charles Lysaght (1979). We stated: "Boyle's treatment is robust, but perhaps Lysaght takes us nearer to Bracken's real character." We are honored to publish herewith biographer Lysaght's Brendan Bracken Memorial Lecture on May 9th at Churchill College, Cambridge, which proves our point.

Brendan Bracken was Winston Churchill's closest friend and Minister for Information in Churchill's wartime government. He was also a benefactor of Churchill College before it opened its doors. Three months prior to his death, in August 1958, he wrote to Lord Tedder, Chancellor of the University, offering to provide furniture, silver and pictures for the Master: "In distant times the comforts and dignity of the Masters' Lodges encouraged all sorts of useful people to seek their hospitality. And so I hope the Churchill College will not only be acclaimed as a house of learning but also one of discerning hospitality."

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 28


The 18th International Churchill Conferences

The 2001 San Diego Conference welcomed over 200 members from Britain, Canada and the United States, well down from expectations but a success throughout. Nobody who booked through September 10th appears to have canceled except for health reasons, but the hotel received zero registrations after September 11th. Martin Gilbert not only made splendid contributions of his own, but took part in the Q&A after the Gallipoli panel, standing in line to ask his questions. But when he got to speak he said he had been ticking off his list of queries as earlier questioners spoke and realized he had little left to add! Judy Kambestad, to whom we owe much, tells us how it all came to pass.

Seventeenth International Churchill Conference, Alyeska Prince Hotel, Girdwood, Alaska. September 2000: Why would we, Judy and Jerry Kambestad, be invited to a meeting with the Board of Governors? We quickly find out: Judy is asked to chair the planning committee for the 18th International Churchill Conference.

To be part of the planning committee was on our agenda; chairing it was not. But some of us southern California Churchillians had been lobbying for a conference here for several years.

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 32


"One of the greatest of causes is being fought out, as fought out it will be, to the end. This is indeed the grand heroic period of our history, and the light of glory shines on all."
-WSC, 27 April 1941

In February 1945 at Yalta in the Crimea, Winston Churchill met with Franklin Roosevelt and Josef Stalin to plan for the postwar world. As Churchill pressed for free elections in Poland and the establishment of democratic governments in other liberated nations, his young American cousin, 21-year old Staff Sergeant James Colgate Jerome of Bennington, Vermont, made history of another sort as he fought with the famous 10th Mountain Division in the Apennine Mountains of northern Italy.

James Jerome, second son of William Travers Jerome, Jr. and Hope Colgate Jerome, was born on 23 January 1924 in Yonkers, New York. His great grandfather, Lawrence Jerome (1820-1888), and Churchill's grandfather, Leonard Jerome (1818-1891), were brothers, well-known for their financial prowess, and for making and losing several fortunes on Wall Street. Lawrence and Leonard married sisters, Catherine and Clara Hall; Clara became the American grandmother of Winston Churchill. James's grandfather, William Travers Jerome (1859-1934), the crusading New York district attorney who courageously stood up to Tammany Hall, was double first cousins with Jennie Jerome (1854-1921).

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 26

By Michael McMenamin

125 Years Ago:

Winter 1876-77 • Age 2

"He thought you would understand..."

Winter found Winston's parents still experiencing the aftermath of Lord Randolph's unfortunate interference in the marital difficulties of Lord and Lady Aylesford, the former a close friend of the Prince of Wales, and the latter a former lover both of His Royal Highness and, more recently, Randolph's brother, Lord Blandford.

In addition to leaving the country to serve as unpaid secretary to his father, the newly appointed Viceroy of Ireland (unpaid so that Randolph could retain his seat in Parliament), Lord Randolph was required as punishment to tender a formal written apology to the Prince in language dictated by, among others, Prime Minister Disraeli.

Winston's father having done so ("however ungraciously," wrote one close observer), the Prince of Wales refused to "accept" the apology, apparently in a fit of pique. This did not sit well with Lord Randolph's father, the Duke of Marlborough, who made his objections known. So it was that on 10 January 1877, the day before Winston and his mother arrived in Ireland, the Prince of Wales allowed the following letter to be sent to the Duke on his behalf by Francis

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 46

A compendium of facts eventually to appear as a reader's guide.

By Prof. Johm Ramsden, Queen Mary & Westfield College

British Union of Fascists

Formed by Sir Oswald Mosley in 1932 after he had left both the Conservative and Labour Parties; a small fringe group that never won a parliamentary seat and whose violent activities were quickly stopped by the British Government in 1934-36. Mosley's later Union Movement (1948-1979) was even less successful.

Common Wealth

A fringe group that flourished only during Churchill's wartime premiership, putting up surrogate candidates and winning by-elections where no Labour candidate stood because of the wartime party truce. It was largely absorbed by Labour after 1945.

Communist Party of Great Britain

Formed in 1920, on an initiative from the Moscow-run Communist International, and bringing together pre-existing leftist groups, it never had more than a few thousand members or more than a couple of MPs. It briefly increased its appeal during the 1940s, but was seriously damaged by the Cold War and was formally wound up after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 10

Winston Churchill was named "the most popular Prime Minister of all time" in a an internet poll (www.xrefer.com), with 43% of the vote. Second was Lady Thatcher at 23%. Tony Blair was fifth behind Attlee and Lloyd George. But a Mori poll for the "most influential" leader had Thatcher at 28% against only 1% for WSC .... In February, Sunday Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker attacked the BBC for a radio programme, "Europe and Us," in which they allegedly contrived to make Churchill a Europhile: "In four postwar speeches between 1946 and 1949, in Zurich, London, The Hague and Strasbourg, Churchill, proposed the setting up of a 'United States of Europe.' But, as he repeatedly made clear, he did not see Britain as part of this great project." However, Booker erred in claiming that Churchill's famous phrase, "we are with Europe but not of it," originated in 1953. In fact, that line originated with Churchill's article, "The United States of Europe," in The Saturday Evening Post of 15 February 1930, Woods C147, reprinted in the Collected Essays, 1975 .... In promoting the "Europe and Us" programme, Sue Gaisford of the Radio Times said "History may regard Winston Churchill as the architect of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign or the maker of xenophobic speeches, but tonight we consider him in philanthropic old age." A cadre of historians piled on to denounce this absurdity. Norman Stone of Oxford said: "They probably don't know what xenophobic means and are trying to find some way of saying 'patriotic without saying it. It's tosh. You just throw this sort of thing away." The Mail on Sunday, refused an interview with Ms. Gais- ford, wrote that the comments of "some scurrilous Trotskyite" were not expected from the august Radio Times.

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 44

By Georgina Landemare, The Churchill family cook, 1940s-1950s

Updated and annotated for the modern kitchen by Barbara Langworth (b_langworth@ conknet.com)

Inner, in peace or war, tended to be the longest single event of the day, accompanied by vintage Pol Roger champagne and fine claret or burgundy....The quality of the food was superb.... Mrs. Georgina Landemare was not only an exceptional cook; she could, when required (which was quite often) put back the time of a meal at short notice." —Winston & Clementine: The Triumph of the Churchills by Richard Hough.


(Serves six)
3 lbs breast of veal
2 pints [40 oz] white stock*
Rough vegetables [coarsely cut small carrot, 1/2 onion, stalk celery, 1/2 leek]
Bouquet garni [parsley, thyme and bay]
3 tablespoons butter

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 37

By Richard M. Langworth

War Speeches 1939-45, by Winston S. Churchill. Three volumes, 1,622 pages, bound in leather with gilt page edges, page-markers, marbled endpapers, $178.50 plus shipping. Order from the Easton Press, 47 Richards Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06857, telephone (800) 367-4534.

Who were Winston Churchill's speechwriters?," a noted statesman once asked Churchill's official biographer. "There weren't any," Sir Martin Gilbert replied—"he wrote all his speeches himself." The assertion was greeted with incredulous disbelief by Douglas Hurd, then foreign minister of Great Britain.

That someone other than the politician uttering them is responsible for the words of politicians seems natural nowadays; yet the hiring of speechwriters is a relatively new practice, an outgrowth of the importance vested nowadays in polls, analysts, and focus groups, manifestations of modern politics that are possibly responsible for the low esteem in which voters hold politicians. Do people not enter politics to advance certain deeply held beliefs, goals or ideals? What happens to them? How serious can they be if they have to employ others to enunciate their views?

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 39

By Lord Jenkins or Hillhead

Churchill: A Biography, by Roy Jenkins. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1002 pages, illus. in b&w and color, regular price $40, member price $27

Editors Note

We would not have thought it possible to launch yet another life of Churchill that had anything new to say, and when Lord fenkins wrote in his preface, "I do not claim to have unearthed many new facts," we were certain that what followed would be just another superfluous effort. Not so! Roy Jenkins's long and distinguished Parliamentary career saw him in many of the offices Churchill once held; his vast experience in the House of Commons enables him to interpret Churchill's life from a well of allied experience. His eloquent writing style makes the book read like a conversation with a trusted and patient friend, explaining all that we didn't know or failed to grasp. All the more remarkable, this accomplished biographer of Gladstone came to change his mind about who was the greatest of prime ministers. Finest Hour's own review will be published in our next issue, but we would not be undercutting any praise or criticism it may offer by suggesting that this is a book you should not be without. —RML

I propose to divide my talk into three sections: the shape of the book and how I came to write it; Churchill and Chartwell, which I think is an appropriate subject for today; and my summing up of WSC and why, at the end of the day, I put him above Gladstone.

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Finest Hour 113, Winter 2001-02

Page 20


In every sphere or human endeavour, he foresaw the dangers and potential for evil.

"Why study Churchill?" I am often asked. "Surely he has nothing to say to us today?" Yet in my own work, as I open file after file of Churchill's archive, from his entry into Government in 1905 to his retirement in 1955 (a 50-year span!), I am continually surprised by the truth of his assertions, the modernity of his thought, the originality of his mind, the constructiveness of his proposals, his humanity, and, most remarkable of all, his foresight.

When, in 1919, Churchill called Lenin the embodiment of evil, many people thought it was a typical Churchillian exaggeration. "How unfair," they exclaimed, "how unworthy of a statesman." In Kiev in 1991, I watched the scaffolding go up around Lenin's statue. The hero of 70 years of Communist rule was about to be taken down, his life's work denounced as evil by the very people who had been its sponsors, and its victims. They knew that Churchill had been right from the very outset: Lenin was evil, and his system had been a cruel denial of individual liberty.

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