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Churchill in the News
Spot the difference: How today's airbrushing PC censors decided Churchill could do without his cigar
By Beth Hale
LONDON, 15 June 2010 (Daily Mail) The face is instantly familiar, the two-fingered salute unmistakable.
But are these actually the same photograph of Sir Winston Churchill?
In the original photograph the war leader has his cigar gripped firmly in the corner of his mouth.
But in the other image - currently greeting visitors to a London museum - his favourite smoke has been digitally extinguished.
It seems the man who steered Britain through the most dangerous period of its recent history may have fallen victim to the modern curse of political correctness.
Last night the question of who removed the cigar and when was something of a mystery.
The Winston Churchill's Britain At War Experience, in South-East London, confessed to being astonished to discover that the image may have been doctored.
Comment of the Churchill Centre: This article starts quoting the long-ago-exploded myth that Churchill sent the army against striking miners at Tonypandy in 1910, but goes on to vindicate him of the charge, and is quite accurate with the actual facts. You will also find comments regarding Tonypandy here in Finest Hour 35.
LLANMAES, 12 June 2010 (BBC) - A decision to name part of a military base in the Vale of Glamorgan after Winston Churchill has been criticised by a community council.
Llanmaes council say it is wrong to name the St Athan site in honour of the wartime prime minister because he sent troops to intervene in a south Wales miners' dispute in 1910.
The strike led to violent outbreaks known as the Tonypandy riots.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to name St Athan's West Camp Churchill Lines.
The West Camp will be a separate base for the 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, outside the area occupied by the huge Defence Technical College development planned for the rest of the site.
On May 10, 2010 the U.S. Embassy London held the European premier of Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny. Funding for the film was provided by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the U.S. Department of State's Office of Holocaust Issues. Ambassador and Mrs. Susman hosted the event alongside the Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier. The night celebrated the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill accepting the role of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
HIGHWORTH, 26 May 2010 (Swindon Advertiser) - LYING just outside of Highworth, this palatial mansion kept one of the country's most closely-guarded secrets during World War Two.
Thousands of men were trained at Coleshill House during the 1940s to form the backbone of a British resistance movement in the event that Hitler's Nazis had successfully invaded the UK.
Now, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of nearly £28,000, more people will have the chance to learn about the Auxiliary Unit, whose headquarters were at Coleshill House, which was destroyed in a fire shortly after the war.
The National Trust now manages and cares for the grounds where the Auxiliers received guerrilla training in survival skills, weaponry and sabotage techniques.
Comment by the Churchill Centre: This long article is right on the facts concerning Churcill and the causes of his electoral defeat in 1945; whether you buy the author's 2010 is of course up to you.
By Andrew B. Wilson
May 2010 (The American Spectator) - Talk about a swift reversal in fortune. Consider how quickly British Prime Minister Winston Churchill went from winning a war to losing the peace. On V-E Day -- May 8, 1945, the day after the surrender of Nazi Germany -- Churchill stood on a balcony overlooking London's Parliament Square and addressed a great, cheer
ing sea of humanity. When he told the people, "This is your victory," they roared back: "No, it's yours!" A little less than two months later, the British people went to the polls...and voted him out of office.
Just like that, the British prime minister went from basking in the glow of public adulation to staring at election results that showed an overwhelming lack of support for his continued leadership.
Comment by the Churchill Centre: Recently on BBC Radio 4, antiquarian book dealer Rick Gekoski told the story of the Sutherland portrait of Churchill, commissioned as a triubte on WSC's 80th birthday in 1954. Gekoski said it was destroyed after WSC death by his wife because she hated it so much. Photographs taken before its demise show the Prime Minister hunched with age and dark in mood. A detailed study by the artist for the destroyed painting still hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.
Gekoski asked if the rights of an owner override those of the public, and if the Churchills had the moral right to destroy it. What were Sutherland's personal feelings toward Churchill? It looks like the sort of painting you'd do of someone you didn't like very well.
Comment from the Churchill Centre: While there are several rather inflammatory lines in this presentation, it does present Churchill's dilemma in this heart-wrenching decision to attack his former French allies, certainly not one that he took lightly. At the end there is speculation that Admiral Darlan would have scuttled the French fleet before allowing it to get into the German hands (as he told Churchill he would do)−but experience with French governments during the previous two months did not encourage Churchill to accept everything on face value. The contributions Churchill Centre advisers Martin Gilbert and Warren Kimball are particularly useful to this discussion.
By Scott Reyburn
LONDON, May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Steve Forbes, chief executive of Forbes Inc., is selling his collection of items associated with former British leader Winston Churchill at auctions in London and New York.
The Churchill memorabilia will be offered by Forbes, 62, in three parts at Christie's International. The first sale, expected to raise 1 million pounds ($1.5 million), will be held in the U.K. capital on June 2, the London-based auction house said today in an e-mailed statement.
"My father liked to observe that nothing is forever, including collections," said Forbes in the foreword to the auction catalog. "Since my immediate family doesn't share this passion of mine, it seemed fitting and proper to let others have the opportunity and thrill of putting their own collections together, an activity that I enjoyed for some three decades."
Among the 150 lots of letters, books and photographs on offer in the June sale will be the wartime Prime Minister's engagement diary, detailing Churchill's appointments from September 1939 to June 1945. The document, kept by private secretaries, notes the start of the Battle of Britain and meetings with President Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle and Stalin. It is expected to fetch as much as 120,000 pounds.
Comment by the Churchill Centre: The idea that Churchill's longtime disciple and wartime Minister of Information was Churchill's illegitimate son made for amusing chit-chat in London clubs during the 1920s and 1930s, but Churchill never took it seriously. When his wife brought the rumor to his attention, WSC remarked with a grin: "I've looked up the matter, but the dates don't coincide." This film correctly dismisses the charges.
New Irish Documentary Investigates ‘Churchill's Secret Son..?'
19 Apr 2010
Independent production company Marbella Productions are currently finishing work on ‘Brendan Bracken - Churchill's Secret Son..?' The history documentary co-produced by RTÉ examines the life of Irish man Brendan Bracken, Winston Churchill's right hand man and explores the possibility of a biological connection between the two men.
IFTN spoke with producer Adrian Bracken about making his production debut at 60, casting the young Winston Churchill and his own possible links to the documentary's subject matter.
Due to be broadcast on RTÉ One in November 2010, the 60 minute HD documentary, ‘Brendan Bracken - Churchill's Secret Son..?' is currently in post production at Marbella Productions in Spain. Produced and presented by Adrian Bracken (actor, In Sickness and in Health, Tom's Midnight Garden), the documentary is a personal journey to uncover the story of a man who went to great lengths to hide his tracks, including having all of his personal papers incinerated when he died.
As one of the most written about figures in history, it remains as a testament to his legacy that there is still so much to say about Winston Churchill.
Max Hastings' Finest Years seeks to paint a picture of Churchill than many of us won't recognise, exploring the highs and lows of his premiership - and the qualities which made him both a flawed and great leader.
Describing Churchill as the ‘greatest actor on the world stage' - Max explains that he believes that had he not been for Churchill, the allied forces would not have been victorious in WWII.