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Senior Statesman

by the Rt. Hon. J. Enoch Powell, M.B.E., M.P.

I AM grateful to the Society for endowing me the privilege of pronouncing the oration upon this occasion. It was forty years ago and more that, in a very junior capacity, I had another privilege: that of being at the service of Sir Winston when he was leading the Opposition in the 1945 Parliament. And I thank you also for inviting my wife who, so it happened, was also at the service of Sir Winston Churchill in the 1940s and in 1950.

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Churchill was out of power at the time of his famous speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, after the Labour Party's landslide victories in the July 1945 election. Himself reelected, Churchill was a potent leader of the opposition in through 1951. 

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By Kjell Stromberg

    On occasion, the Swedish Academy has surprised everyone by its choice of Nobel laureates. It happened in 1953, when after awards for literature to Per Lagerkvist and Francois Mauriac in the preceding two years, the Academy chose Sir Winston Churchill. Whatever may have been the literary merits of this extraordinary laureate, it is certain that for most people throughout the world he was chiefly, if not exclusively, the great statesman who had been the architect of victory in the greatest of all wars. Another point was that, after six years out of power, Churchill had become once again Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1951, and it was generally believed that the Swedish Academy had assumed a tacit obligation not to crown any writer who was either holding a government position or playing a political role of first rank in his country at the time his candidacy might be presented.

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"Labour's Nationalization Policy and Scotland"

Churchill's speech at the Conservative Party Rally,
Ibox Park, Glasgow, 20 May 1949

Anyone who believes Churchill was "past it" after 1945 has only to view this excerpt from a speech full of powerful rhetoric and humour, punctuated with the loaded pauses and gestures which were his trademark. Two and one-half years later, the Conservatives would return to office, and Churchill to Downing Street.

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"A Son of America Though a Subject of Britain"

ON APRIL 9th, 1963, a deeply moved Sir Winston Churchill, sitting in his London home with his wife beside him, watched a satellite relay of a White House ceremony giving him honorary United States citizenship. It had been hoped that he would not only witness the event by TV but would also he able to respond. However, the relay station at Goonhilly, Cornwall, was not ready to transmit and it was decided not to request French help for this special Anglo-American occasion.

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The Story Behind the Investiture

Finest Hour 20, July-August 1971

The origins of the Cinque Ports are lost in antiquity, but it is generally agreed that the confederacy began long before 1066.  Alfred the Great is credited with the establishment of the British Navy, but his appreciation of the use of sea power in war did not survive him, and England offered no effective naval resistance to subsequent Danish and Norman invasions. So it was that Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich formed an association to provide and man a naval defense force. Winchelsea and Rye were added later to these "head ports" and some 30 other inland towns became supporting "limbs." William the Conqueror found it advantageous to deal with the Cinque Ports, giving tax exemptions and the right to make their own by-laws in return for the Cinque Ports' commitment to maintain a fleet "to keep the Narrow Seas," a function which they strenuously discharged throughout the Middle Ages.

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Lord Soames on Sir Winston


By Christopher Soames
Published by permission in FH58,Winter 1987-1988

YOUR HONOUR, Mr. Justice Steer, Mr. Ivany, Gentlemen. You've been so kind to me that I must say there were some moments when I hardly recognized myself. You referred to the GCMG [ed. Grand Cross of the Order of St. Mary and St. George] which stands for "God Calls Me God," and then the GCVO [ed. Grand Cross of the Victorian Order]. I received these very close together, and I then received a rude telegram from a friend, who said, "What! Twice a knight at your age?" [Laughter] It's not strictly true, actually, it's about someone else; but it will do…

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