Bulletin #44 – Feb 2012

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Bletchley Park Puts its Stamp on Turing Centenary

On 23rd February Bletchley Park will release four first day covers celebrating Alan Turing’s centenary year. Each will carry a single 1st class Royal Mail “Turing Bombe” stamp cancelled with a unique first day of issue postmark. The intention is to restrict the issue to just 500 of each.

Produced in association with the Alan Turing Centenary Year Committee and Bletchley Park Post Office, proceeds will go towards supporting the preservation of Bletchley Park. Similar stamp and envelope combinations from Bletchley Park Post Office have fetched several times their original issue price. So at £9.99 each these little pieces of art and history could be a good investment. They can be previewed and ordered at bletchleycovers.com

The first design is by Rebecca Peacock of Firecatcher Design and the theme is Turing’s work on the mathematics of patterns. It was Turing’s genius for mathematics that made his work so vital to Bletchley Park and the development of modern computing.

The other three are original paintings by artist Steve Williams who has donated his work to Bletchley Park. They depict three buildings at Bletchley Park associated with Alan Turing. These are the cottage and hut where he worked and the room that housed the Bombe machines.

The stamp features a rebuilt Turing Bombe. The first day of issue postmark is a facsimile of one of the Bombe’s 36 rotor wheels.

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Churchill’s Personal Belongings go on Display at Chartwell, Churchill’s Beloved Home in Kent

New displays installed to rotate more then 3000 items

By Chris Murphy

THE KENT NEWS, Sunday 5 February 2012—Everyone remembers Sir Winston Churchill chomping on his huge cigars, sometimes wearing his distinctive hat. But of course he possessed far more than that, and now an exhibition is being held to display of some of his more personal items.
One of the items on display is Winston Churchill’s passport
It is the first time the 40 items will be seen by the public.

The show will include a passport used by Churchill when he was prime minister, and a dictation machine for preparing some of his famous and moving speeches delivered during World War Two.

Visitors to Churchill’s former home at Chartwell near Westerham, can see objects that belonged to the great wartime leader and his family and which help tell the story of his extraordinary life and times.


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The National Trust, the owner of the house, said it will also include a tiny silver paint box; diamond encrusted sword that was a gift of King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia; a painting by Sir John Lavery of Churchill and his son Randolph; plus a miniature leather travelling globe.

The collection even includes a dog bowl for his beloved pet poodle Rufus. His dog of choice was not the bulldog as many people believe, but brown poodles. His first was Rufus and he accompanied the PM throughout World War Two.

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Photograph of Churchill to go up for auction in Dorchester

THE DORSET ECHO, 6 February 2012—A previously unseen photograph of Winston Churchill on a horse following his daring escape form a prison camp during the Boer War is up for auction at Duke’s in Dorchester.
Previously unseen photograph of Churchill following his daring escape from a prison camp
Sitting astride his grey mount in 1899, the 26-year-old future Prime Minister is shown wearing a suit and tie and has on a wide-brimmed hat.

He has a notably slim figure after his ’60 hours of misery’ trying to find his way back to British lines.

He had gone to South Africa in 1898 as a newspaper war correspondent and was captured in November the following year.

He was part of a scouting expedition on an armoured train when it was attacked.

Churchill’s heroics led to speculation that he would receive the Victoria Cross.

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From the Archives of Finest Hour

From the Archives of Finest Hour

Churchill Painting Returns to Market

One of Winston Churchill’s earlier paintings (oil on canvas, 20×24), created in the costal resort of Mimizan in 1922, is Mimizan-1922Mimizan 1922being offered for sale by a private collector for the first time in many years.

It was purchased by its current owner in 1976 from one of Churchill’s grand daughters. Prior to that being owned by Lady Spencer Churchill. The painting depicts a view of the seaside in Mimizan on the south west coast of France

For more information on this painting, please contact:

Lee Pollock
Executive Director
The Churchill Centre
lpollock@winstonchurchill.org
+1-312-658-6027

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Churchill Best, Brown Worst As Britons Assess Their Prime Ministers

Wilson, Macmillan, Attlee and Thatcher all garner positive ratings, while eight other heads of government are in negative territory.

From Angus Reid Public Opinion

Winston Churchill remains a revered political figure in Britain, while a majority of respondents consider Gordon Brown as a bad head of government, a 2009 Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
A young Churchill in the August 1904 edition of “Review of Reviews”
The online survey of a representative sample of 2,025 British adults asked respondents to say whether the 13 politicians who have lived at 10 Downing Street since the end of the Second World War have been “good” or “bad.”

Three-in-five Britons (74%) think Churchill was a good prime minister, while only six per cent believe he was bad. Almost half of respondents (47%) think Margaret Thatcher was a good head of government, but 40 per cent believe she was bad.

Along with Churchill and Thatcher, three other British prime ministers managed to get a larger proportion of “good” responses than “bad” responses: Harold Wilson (37% to 18%), Harold Macmillan (28% to 12%) and Clement Attlee (21% to 10%).

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The Art of Public Speaking

The Education Departments of Chartwell, the Churchill War Rooms, and Blenheim Palace Announce 2012 Speaking Competition

The Education Teams of Chartwell, The Churchill War Rooms, and Blenheim Palace are currently working along with representatives from both the English Speaking Union (Oxfordshire) and the Churchill Archives to develop a new project for schools on the art of public speaking.


The speeches of Sir Winston Churchill will be used to teach groups of children how to prepare and deliver a good speech. It is also hoped that the project will increase their knowledge of Sir Winston Churchill’s work and his place in the nation’s history.

Each of the three sites are working with local schools providing visits which concentrate on the life and work of Sir Winston Churchill (WSC) and master classes in the skills required for successful public speaking. Groups from each school will then work on speeches highlighting the importance of WSC in an area of his work. The groups have been given titles and guidelines as a focus for their work. This information can be found by clicking on the links to the left of this page.

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Winston Churchill’s Grand Daughter to Exhibit Work in Palm Beach, Florida

The Art of Edwina Sandys: A Retrospective, at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, March 1st to April 1st, 2012

New York artist and sometimes Palm Beach resident Edwina Sandys will grace the gallery and Gardens with works from the sacred to the secular, addressing politics and society. Sandys has tackled big ideas while combining the lighthearted, the profound, the playful and mind provoking. The English artist’s appeal lies in her diverse subject matter and clearly recognizable style using positive and negative images to powerful effect. Member & Guest Artist Reception Mar 9, Thurs, 6-8pm. 

Visit the Gardens website for more infomation.

WSC’s Friendship with Welsh Miner Revealed

An unlikely friendship between a south Wales coal miner and one of the UK’s most revered prime ministers is to feature in a TV documentary.

BBC NEWS, 23 Janurary 2012—Collier John Williams, from Aberavon, met Winston Churchill in the winter of 1915-16 when they were both serving officers in France during World War I.

Later, Churchill helped Maj Williams find a job when he fell on hard times in the depression in the 1920s.

His grandson tells the story, which will be revealed on S4C next month.

Darn Bach o Hanes (A Little Piece of History) interviews Peter Williams, from Port Talbot.

Economic depression

After the miners’ strike and the economic depression, my grandfather lost his work in the coal mine. He wrote to Churchill to ask for work in the Ministry of Defence”

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The Churchill Centre UK Notice Board – February 2012

In Memoriam. We record with great regret the recent death of Norman Creswell, who was a stalwart member of the society and of the Epping & Woodford branch. When WSC was MP for Woodford, Norman was one of those who regularly assisted him with constituency business. We extend our deep sympathy to Sheila.

New Year Honours. Many congratulations to the following members who have been honoured as stated:

Lawrence Geller. Chairman of the TCC board – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [CBE]; for services to The Churchill Centre and for charitable and humanitarian work internationally.

Maj Gen Patrick Marriott CBE. Ex-officio honorary member of TCC-UK as Commandant, RMA Sandhurst – Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath [CB].

Robert Bieber. TCC-UK member (Wimbledon), Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College, London; for services to the voluntary sector – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE]. (Belated entry from a year ago.)

Recent Publications. Many congratulations to the following on their recent publications:

Lady Soames, Patron TCC: A Daughter’s Tale [the story from birth till marriage in 1947]
Anne Sebba, TCC-UK member: That Woman [viz.the Duchess of Windsor]
Cita Stelzer, TCC-UK Board member: Dinner With Churchill

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Changes at The Churchill Centre (UK)


A Note from Allen Packwood, Director of TCC UK


Sadly, we have to note the resignation of Bridget Warrington, with effect from 31 January, as Membership Officer. She is stepping down to concentrate on her career in paper conservation, and I know that all members will want to join me in wishing her well and thanking her for all her hard work. She was a major contributor to the success of the International Conference, and has laid the foundations for continued growth in 2012. Bridget is succeeded by Mrs Noelle Caulfield, also at Churchill College (tel: 01223 336190: email: TCC.Membership@chu.cam.ac.uk).

New Displays on View at Chartwell

Coming soon.. 

Churchill Quoted on Italian Cruise Ships (False!)

It’s all over the Web. And entirely bogus.

By Richard Langworth, Editor Finst Hour

After his retire­ment, goes the story, Churchill was cruis­ing the Mediter­ranean on an Ital­ian liner and an Ital­ian jour­nal­ist asked why a for­mer British Prime Min­is­ter chose an Ital­ian ship. “There are three things I like about being on an Ital­ian cruise ship,” Churchill sup­pos­edly says. “First, their cui­sine is unsur­passed. Sec­ond, their ser­vice is superb. And then, in time of emer­gency, there is none of this non­sense about women and chil­dren first.”
WSC observ­ing the Bar­bary apes on Gibral­tar, whose pop­u­la­tion he safe­guarded owing to the rumor that British rule would end if the apes dis­ap­peared, dur­ing a stop on one of his “Christina” cruises, after his retire­ment as Prime Minister.
Amus­ing to some, anath­ema to oth­ers, includ­ing rel­a­tives of the Costa Con­cor­dia pas­sen­gers and many embar­rassed Ital­ians, this is NOT by Win­ston Churchill. Some have attrib­uted it to Noël Cow­ard, but reader Nel­son Brid­well (com­ment below) refers us to the Quote Inves­ti­ga­tor, which tracks it to travel writer Henry J. Allen in 1917. It did appear in a book of Churchill quotes which—as invari­ably is the case when false quotes are given—provides nei­ther author­ity nor attribution.

Nei­ther this quo­ta­tion nor key words from it can be found in dig­i­tal scans of Churchill’s 15 mil­lion pub­lished words in books, arti­cles, speeches and pri­vate papers. Nor can I find any record of Churchill cruis­ing on an Ital­ian liner after his retire­ment as Prime Min­is­ter in 1955. (He voy­aged fre­quently on the Onas­sis yacht Christina, a Greek ves­sel of Liber­ian reg­istry, but not a cruise ship.)

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Chartwell Branch News – February 2012

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