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Churchill in the News

3 February 2015

Highlights of the fiftieth anniversary commemoration in photos

Randolph Churchill opening speechRandolph Churchill (Winston Churchill's great grandson) photographed speaking at the press preview of "Churchill's Scientists" the UK's first exhibition on Churchill and science to mark 50th anniversary of his death.

30 January 2015 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill. In commemoration of this event, three separate ceremonies were held in London.

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30 November 2014
A new exhibition 'Churchill's Scientists' at the Science Museum shows just how important Churchill was to British science
Winston ChurchillBy Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

The Telegraph—29 November 2014. Winston Churchill is arguably Britain's greatest war time Prime Minister, one of the most celebrated orators of the 20th century, and a respected author, who even won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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14 March 2013
Watch an excellent interview by Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Member Greg Burns.
This program is presented by Pritzker Military Library and made possible by the support of the Churchill Centre.

Greg Burns interviews author Paul Reid for this edition of Pritzker Military Library's Citizen Soldier.

William Manchester was a tremendously successful popular historian and biographer whose books include The Last Lion: Visions of Glory, The Last Lion: Alone, Goodbye Darkness, A World Lit Only by Fire, The Glory and the Dream, The Arms of Krupp, American Caesar, and The Death of A President. In 1998, after completing much of the research for the final volume of The Last Lion, Manchester suffered two strokes that left him unable to write. Manchester sought a writer with a reporting background to complete his work. In 2003, Manchester asked his friend Paul Reid to complete Defender of the Realm. Reid, who now lives in North Carolina, had spent many years as a feature writer for the Palm Beach Post. But Manchester died less than two months after passing the baton to Reid. Before writing Defender of the Realm, Reid augmented Manchester's voluminous notes with extensive research of his own. The result, after more than eight years of effort, is the most thrilling volume of The Last Lion triptych.

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21 August 2012

Historian David Starkey in his new Channel 4 three-part series The Churchills explores the dangers of not learning the lessons of history.
Currently only available for UK residents on the Channel 4 on-demand website. 

4 August 2012
An exhibition of Churchilliana in New York has reminded Americans why they took the great man to their hearts – and kept him there.

By Andrew Roberts

THE TELEGRAPH, 4 August 2012—Americans love Sir Winston Churchill. That much has been obvious since even before 1963, when President Kennedy gave him the only honorary US citizenship ever awarded to a living person. Yet, in the half-century since then, that admiration and affection hasn't abated; he is one of the only non‑Americans to have a US warship named after him, and as many books are published about him in America as in Britain. Indeed, the only bookshop in the world dedicated solely to selling his books, articles and memorabilia is the splendid Chartwell Books on Madison Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan. As Churchill's mother, Jennie Jerome, was born in Brooklyn, Americans understandably regard Churchill's extraordinary life as an almost semi-detached telling of their own national story.

So when the prestigious Morgan Library and Museum in New York decided to stage an exhibition entitled Churchill: The Power of Words, which would include the cream of the America-related items in the Churchill Archives at Churchill College, Cambridge, they knew that it would be popular.

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24 July 2012
Historic letter indicates the Nazis planned to assassinate Sir Winston Churchill with a bar of exploding chocolate.

By Rosa Silverman

THE TELEGRAPH, 17 Jul 2012—A Nazi plot to kill Sir Winston Churchill with a bar of exploding chocolate during the Second World War has been revealed in historic papers.

Giving a new meaning to the dessert name "death by chocolate", Adolf Hitler's bomb makers coated explosive devices with a thin layer of rich dark chocolate, then packaged it in expensive-looking black and gold paper.

The Germans apparently planned to use secret agents working in Britain to discreetly place the bars - branded as Peters Chocolate - among other luxury items taken into the dining room used by the War Cabinet during the conflict.

The lethal slabs of confection were packed with enough explosives to kill anyone within several metres.

But the plot was foiled by British spies who discovered the chocolate was being made and tipped off one of MI5's most senior intelligence chiefs, Lord Victor Rothschild, before the wartime prime minister's life could be endangered.

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15 May 2012
Great-grandson Randolph Churchill follows Sir Winston's footsteps on speaking tour of Canada.

By Licia Corbella

THE CALGARY HERALD, 4 May 2012—"In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet." — Sir Winston Churchill

British prime minister Winston Churchill, left, welcomes Canadian PM William Lyon Mackenzie King in London on Sept. 1, 1941From any other mortal, that quote would sound like a boast, but coming from the mouth and pen of arguably the greatest orator and leader of the 20th century it is, indeed, a wholesome and humble statement.

Many historians over the decades would agree that Churchill's words — contained in the 50 books, 10,000 articles, and dozens upon dozens of moving speeches he wrote and delivered — were more than just wholesome, they were transformational, if not the very salvation of the free world at its most dangerous time.

On Tuesday, the British wartime prime minister's great-grandson, Randolph Churchill III, will speak to the 46th annual banquet of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Calgary, which was established to remember one of history's greatest people, but also to nurture high school students to aspire to great oratory and leadership themselves.

Randolph, 47, who was born two days before his great-grandfather's death on Jan. 24, 1965, says he will discuss the importance of inspirational leadership in a speech titled: Churchill, European Unity and Economic Turmoil, at the Ranchmen's Club, 710 13th Avenue S.W.

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9 May 2012
British general kept Winston Churchill and Free French leader Charles De Gaulle in the dark about a top secret plan to arm Vichy France, recently discovered documents reveal.

By Mike Thomson
BBC Radio 4

BBC NEWS, 19 March 2012—Both Churchill and De Gaulle had made clear their contempt for Marshall Petain's regime, which controlled a large part of France thanks to a deal struck with Hitler.

Relations between Britain and France had been strained since July 1940, when Churchill, who was determined to stop French ships falling into German hands, ordered the Royal Navy to sink several French war ships off the coast of Algeria - 1,300 French sailors lost their lives in the action.

In retaliation, a furious Vichy not only broke off diplomatic relations with London but also bombed Gibraltar.

In December 1941, Winston Churchill made clear his distaste for the supposedly neutral Vichy regime and its often enthusiastic collaboration with Hitler.

"Here we were having been fighting the Vichy French... and here we are talking about arming their colleagues"

"The men of Vichy, they lay prostrate at the foot of the conqueror, they fawned upon him," he said, in a speech to the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.

Later, Vichy voluntarily deported Jews to Germany.

Charles De Gaulle was equally contemptuous. Vichy's leaders had accused him of being a traitor when he fled to London after the fall of France. At the time, Marshal Petain, a hero of World War I, was a more popular figure in France - many saw him as having shielded Vichy from the worst excesses of Hitler's forces and saved the region from German occupation.

But neither man had anything to say about a secret meeting in London in December 1941 between a senior Vichy military officer and a member of the British General Staff. That, it seems, is because nobody told them.

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1 May 2012
London-based boats with fascinating histories and expectant owners are getting ready to play their part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

By Tom Bigwood

Havengore has been part of state occasions before, such as Churchill's funeral
BBC NEWS, 23 April 2012—Dedicated owners have spent months preparing a wide range of vessels to be part of the floating celebration.

One million people are expected to line the Thames when about 1,000 boats form the flotilla as part of the Queen's 60th anniversary celebrations.

From a "jolly boat" to the vessel that carried Sir Winston Churchill on his final Thames journey - a variety of craft will join the royal procession on 3 June.

The full route, including mustering and dispersal areas, stretches from Hammersmith in the west to the Old Greenwich Royal Naval College in the east and is approximately 14 miles (22km) long.

The official pageant route is about seven miles (11km).

'Bottom cleaned'
One boat the Queen might recognise is Jolly Brit which is a "jolly boat" from the former Royal Yacht Britannia.

Jolly boats were used by members of the Royal Family and other guests when enjoying trips ashore from the yacht.

Boats of all types, including the New Southern Belle, are taking part
Now owned by Henry Butt, Jolly Brit was a mess when he bought her 15 years ago.

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20 April 2012

In March of 1992, Lady Soames was interviewed for Desert Island Discs about her life and her famous father

Follow this link to listen to the interview and her favourite musical pieces.

The castaway in Desert Island Discs this edition is Lady Soames, historian and only surviving child of Winston Churchill. A distinguished author and now Chairman of the Board of the National Theatre, she spoke to Sue Lawley about her extraordinary life - recalling her blissful childhood spent at Chartwell, the family's country home in the Kent countryside. She also spoke about the many state visits she made with her father and her husband - and remembering a conversation she had with General de Gaulle, who gave her lots of good advice on the best places to walk dogs in Paris.

©BBC Radio 4 and Desert Island Discs

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