Finest Hour 104

Books, Arts & Curiosities – Churchill Center Book Club Recap

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 35

An avalanche of new books by and about Churchill has been thundering off the presses over the past six months. Our New Book Service offers member discounts (substantially below in most cases) on the following, but Finest Hour’s reviews are not all in. This is a recap to let you know what’s available. There are a lot more than this, but here’s a start…

• All books may be ordered from CC Book Club, PO Box 385, Contoocook NH 03229. Mastercard and Visa accepted. Shipping anywhere in the world (surface bookpost outside North America) costs $6 for the first book, $1 for each additional. E-mail: or telephone (603) 746-4433.

REVIEWED ON PAGES 33-34: 1008. The Great Republic, by Sir Winston Churchill, 460pp., illus. Published at $26. Member price $19.

1025. A Scottish Life: Sir John Martin, Churchill and the Empire, by Michael Jackson, 280pp. illus. Published at $40. Member price $32.


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Books, Arts & Curiosities – “This is a very great country my dear Jack…”

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

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By Richard M. Langwortn

The Great Republic: A History of America, by Sir Winston Churchill, edited and arranged by Winston S. Churchill, 460 pp., illus. Published at $25.95, member price $19 + shipping from Churchill Center Book Club, PO Box 385, Contoocook NH 03229.

Recently I received in the post a new book, The Great Republic, by Sir Winston Churchill. Attached was a card: “With the compliments of the author.” This certainly demonstrates Sir Winston’s long reach—all the more impressive when we think that, 99 years ago, Winston Churchill was first introduced to a Boston audience.

Churchill was on a lecture tour in which he gamely engaged American audiences on the Boer War from the British point of view—a view not shared by his listeners. Whenever he displayed a magic lantern slide of a Boer cavalryman, they would break out into applause—but Churchill would disarm them, saying, “You are quite right to applaud him; he is the most formidable fighting man in the world.”

In New York he was introduced by Mark Twain, patriarchal with his flowing white hair, seen by Churchill as “very old”—Twain was in fact 65—and combining “with a noble air a most delightful style of conversation. Of course we argued about the war…I think however that I did not displease him, for he was good enough to sign at my request every one of the twenty-five volumes of his works for my benefit, and in the first volume he inscribed, I daresay, a gentle admonition: ‘To do good is noble; to teach others how to be good is nobler, & no trouble.'”
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Britain’s Gift

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 33

By Kirk Emmert

A Scottish Life: Sir John Martin, Churchill and Empire, by Michael Jackson, ed. by Janet Jackson. New York and London: Radcliffe Press 1999, 280 pages, illus. Reg. price $40, member price $32 + shipping, Churchill Center Book Club, PO Box 385, Contoocook NH 03229.

Michael Jackson has written a political biography of his wife’s uncle, Sir John Martin, who twice served in the Colonial Office (1927-40 and 1945-64), ending up as Deputy Undersecretary of State and, in his last two years, high commissioner to Malta.

During the war years, 1941-45, Martin was “a key figure in Churchill’s ‘secret circle'” in his position of principal private secretary (PPS) to the Prime Minister. Jackson’s account is based on Sir John’s private correspondence, “papers and documents from his Colonial Office days,” public interviews and writing after he retired, and the author’s own interviews with those who worked with Martin as well as his own long acquaintance with his distinguished family relation.

Three major themes inform his account of Martin’s life of public service: Martin’s work with, and later defense of, Winston Churchill; his approach to public affairs—a form of prudential Christianity; and, much the greater part of his biography, Sir John’s part in the ruling and decolonization of the British Empire, an institution which he viewed as Britain’s “good gift to the world.”
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Ampersand – Moments in Time: Coventry, Friday, 26 September 1941

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 47


Churchill spent the night of September 25th, 1941, “in a quiet siding, half a mile from a stone marking the centre of England and a few miles short of Coventry,” his private secretary, Jock Colville, wrote in his diary, later published as Fringes of Power. “The PM dictated half of his speech for the House of Commons next Tuesday. It promises to be his best.” (On the 30th Churchill would say: “Only the most strenuous exertions, a perfect unity of purpose, added to our traditional unrelenting tenacity, will enable us to act our part worthily in the prodigious world drama in which we are now plunged. Let us make sure these virtues are forthcoming.”)

On the morning of the 26th, Churchill’s train pulled into Coventry, where he was met by a reception headed by the Lord Mayor, J. A. Moseley. Colville continued: “the PM was not dressed. He always assumes he can get up, shave and have a bath in 1/4 hour whereas in reality it takes him 20 minutes. Consequently he is late for everything. Mrs C seethed with anger…. We went to the centre of the town….The PM will give the V sign with two fingers in spite of the representations repeatedly made to him that this gesture has quite another significance!

“We toured very thoroughly the Armstong Siddeley factory, where aircraft parts and torpedoes are made, and the PM had a rousing reception. As we entered each workshop all the men clanged their hammers in a deafening welcome. I drove with Jack Churchill whom some of the crowd took for [Soviet Ambassador Ivan] Maisky! The Whitley bomber factory is a hotbed of communism and there was some doubt of the reception the PM would get. But his appearance with cigar and semi-top hat quite captivated the workers who gave him vociferous [sic] applause.
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Churchill Trivia

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 46


Test your knowledge! Most questions can be answered in back issues of Finest Hour or other Churchill Center publications, but it’s not really cricket to check. 24 questions appear each issue, answers in the following issue. Questions are in six categories: Contemporaries (C), Literary (L), Miscellaneous (M), Personal (P), Statesmanship (S) and War (W).

985. When Churchill first went to America in 1895 he was met at the quay by what friend of his American relations? (C)

986. Who wrote the introduction to the abridged (1968) edition of Marlborough? (L)

987. Lord Randolph Churchill placed all his papers under a trusteeship. To whom were these papers consigned upon his death? (M)

988. In 1943 Roosevelt and Churchill met in Casablanca. What was Churchill’s code name during the first part of the trip? (P)

989. What did WSC see as the two main objectives of Boer strategy in the Boer War ? (S)
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Recipes From No. 10: Fruit Cake

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

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By Georgina Landemare (Churchill Family Cook, c. 1940s-50s) Updated & annotated by Barbara Langworth

During a recent visit to Chartwell I picked up the restaurant’s catering brochure and found this note interesting: “When Sir Winston knew that visitors would eventually have the opportunity to visit Chartwell, he was anxious to provide them with the appropriate facilities and himself laid plans for a tearoom and visitor centre.” Among the offerings was “Mrs. Landemare’s fruit cake as served at No. 10.”

In Recipes From No. 10 Mrs. Landemare offers three recipes for fruitcake, each with slightly different ingredients. I’ve made Fruit Cake #2 since the ingredients are usually available year round and it would make a delightful addition to afternoon tea.


1 Ib. butter
6 eggs
1 Ib. currants
2 oz. ground almonds
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CHURCHILLIANA – Longer Shorter

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

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A Short List of Arthur Shorter’s Chinaware; A Longer Short List of UK Churchill Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants

Arthur Shorter worked as an artist for Minton before establishing his own workshop in Hanley in the year of Churchill’s birth, 1874. The business became Shorter & Son in 1906 and Shorter & Sons Ltd. in 1933.

Shorters specialised in middle market novelty wares and Mabel Leigh’s work as an adventurous designer during the 1930s has become very collectable. In 1939 Shorter’s were one of the first potteries to commemorate Winston Churchill’s reappointment as First Lord of the Admiralty in the form of a large size character jug with an anchor for a handle. Although quite crisply moulded, the jug was very inaccurately painted with jet black hair and eyebrows.

Later S. Fielding & Co., another Shorter family company which used the trade name “Crown Devon,” reissued the jug with a musical movement incorporated in the base. Fielding’s version was much more sympathetically decorated with Churchill given reddish-brown hair and eyebrows.
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Riddles, Mysteries, Enigmas

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 42

Q: In the recipe for “Potatoes Anna” (FH 103), Barbara Langworth said she didn’t know who “Anna” was…

A: In Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 2, I found this historical note about Pommes Anna: “It was created during the era of Napoleon III and named, as were many culinary triumphs in those days, after one of the grandes cocottes of the period. Whether it was an Anna Deslions, an Anna Judic, or simply Anna Untel, she has also immortalized the special double baking dish itself, la cocotte a pommes Anna, which…you can still buy…” –Clarence Martin

• Note: Mrs. Landemare baked the potatoes in an omelette pan, not the tightfitted, lidded pot or casserole mentioned in other recipes I’ve seen. -BFL

Q: A visit to Chartwell torched my interest in Churchill’s library. I wanted to stay and look through the books. Is there an inventory or published bibliography of the books that he owned there at Chartwell—as well as those books that are still at Chartwell, but obviously not available for research? –Pat Walker

A: Unfortunately the books at Chartwell are mostly not books Sir Winston owned. His own collection was willed to his son Randolph, who sold off some and presented some to his son Winston, who has them still. (The ones Randolph sold regularly crop up on the secondhand market bearing Randolph’s bookplate and another plate reading “from the library of Sir Winston Churchill.”) Chartwell’s books today number many foreign language editions and duplicates, used to fill up shelves. I recall for example a row of the same issue of The Anglo-Saxon Review. However, many very fine books have been acquired by Chartwell over the years—notably displayed in the handsome glass fronted cabinet in the study. Also, The Churchill Center and Societies have provided the permanent exhibit of his books, many in dust jackets, in the display area located next to the kitchen as you leave the building at the end of your tour.

Q: Aside from the worthy archives at Churchill College Cambridge (from I I have recently received almost 150 copies of letters relating to one of my cousins, a friend of Sir Winston’s), what are some other major repositories/collections of Churchill correspondence, documents, etc. (unpublished)? –Pat Walker

A: Our website offers “Links” to various other sources of material, including Chartwell, the Cabinet War Rooms, the Beaverbrook Archives in Canada and the Churchill Memorial in Missouri. Other possibilities (which may have websites) are the Presidential Libraries (Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower) and, if you’re interested in his books, certain publishers archives. For instance, the Firestone Library at Princeton houses the Charles Scribner papers which include quite a lot of correspondence between Churchill and his major ‘tween-wars American publisher. Finally, check with the Churchill Archives at Cambridge for any leads they might provide in areas you are interested in; their holdings include the papers of a number of Churchill contemporaries, and they
undoubtedly know of other UK archives in allied areas.


Q. Suzanne Sigman ( brought our attention to the August 1999 issue of Food & Wine, which included an article, “The Gin Crowd” by Pete Wells, detailing gin’s discovery, early usage and current popularity. Suzanne quoted this passage, asking if Wells had it right:

“Churchill’s Choice:…One of the oldest English gins is Plymouth, which was created in 1791. One authority states that Plymouth was used to mix the first dry martini. It’s a controversial point, but Plymouth certainly became a martini standard. It was the gin preferred by Winston Churchill, who, when supplies of French vermouth ran short during World War II, would respectfully bow in the direction of France when mixing his drinks. Because I’m the kind of person who lies awake at night wondering what Winston Churchill’s martinis tasted like, I searched for Plymouth gin for years. Finally I concluded that the company that makes it must have gone out of business. But it turns out that Plymouth had simply been neglected. Until two years ago, that is, when a couple of British entrepreneurs bought the brand and brought it back to market. (It’s now available in [the USA] for the first time in twenty years). The new owners redesigned the bottle, but they haven’t changed the formula—which means that now I know what Churchill’s martinis were like. They were fantastic.”

A: We referred this story to Sir Winston’s grandson, who replied: “I never saw WSC drink gin, nor indeed CSC whose tipple, at least in later life, was Dubonnet. Have just bounced this one off Lady Soames, who thunders: Absolute b—s; and you may quote me! [But we will not!] Of course he would have had the odd Martini, especially when staying with the Roosevelts—FDR mixed a mean one—but he was certainly not a gin drinker by habit.'” So once again the media has it wrong and Food and Wine is contributing nonsense. 

Churchill in Stamps: Calf of Man to Iso

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 40


Catalogue numbers are from Gerald Rosen, A Catalogue of British Local Stamps, published 1975. A slash mark (/) indicates a set with a common design from which any value is usable. Carus and Minkus catalogue numbers, when mentioned, are identified by name.

ANYBODY who wants to stump U.S. presidential candidates with the names of holes-in-the-wall and out-of-the-way places has only to turn to the issuers of “locals,” those “stamps” purportedly produced to cover the cost of transporting mail to the nearest regular post office. Four of the six represented here are British islands, but except for Herm, the use of these labels for genuine postal purposes is doubtful. A lot of these “governments” also seemed to share the same stamp artists, which will become apparent as we sift through the list.

289. Calf of Man is a 1 1/2×1 mile islet off the southwest coast of the Isle of Man, and the Manx government did authorize the issuance of carriage labels. But the Calf people took advantage and produced hundreds of different varieties and overprints, and also used an odd currency. The “Murrey” (24 to an English shilling) was named for John Murrey, who issued the first Manx coinage in 1668. Shown are rosen CA36-39.
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Woods Corner – My African Journey Variants, Europe Unite’s Rampant Typos

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

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Brian Hardy offers us a discovery we hadn’t noticed. In Churchill’s African travelogue (first editions, including the American issue), the map plate opposite page 2 appears two ways: neatly trimmed to page size and mis-trimmed, with a large white portion at the bottom and the top folded down to compensate. Brian asked if this constitutes a “state” and which would be first. We don’t believe plates, which like errata slips were inserted by hand, are reliable guides to precedence, since in those days they were inserted by hand and by different people. We think this is a case of different workers inserting the map in different ways.


Dave Turrell writes: I finally got around to finishing up my list of errata from Europe Unite. As you may remember, I wrote to you a couple of months ago expressing surprise at the number of typographical errors in the book, given the high standards Churchill usually demanded for his publications, and that Randolph Churchill was editor. By no means do I claim that the following is the result of an exhaustive examination with a fine toothcomb, but rather they are the errors that jumped off the page at me while reading with, what I would assume to be, the level of attention applied by the average reader.

While I have not read all of Churchill’s first editions I have covered a reasonable number of them, including most of the postwar output. None of the other firsts has struck me as being such a sloppy production.
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Churchill Online: Churchill’s Luck and the WW2 Trench Effect

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 37

From Brandon R. Sanders – (

I have been in a debate with friends at a dinner party who believed unbiased Churchill admirers might agree that Churchill’s success was owed to a lucky roll of the dice more than any superior leadership qualities he possessed over others. Churchill was a very young man when he ran the Admiralty during World War I, while men of similar age were being slaughtered in France. They believe that the pool of men who offered greatness after WW1 was of such a diluted state that men like Churchill had a free rein to mark their spots.

The shadows of the “Lost Generation” lay across the postwar Europe. A settled, secure way of life had been destroyed. The way was clear for great changes, since the German guns made so many vacancies in the seats of power. Someone of Churchill’s age and calibre was now rare, and a long, empty void followed that Churchill filled by default.

I think I defended against this hypothesis well enough, but I ask: do they have any argument? Was Churchill lucky enough to have no one of similar talent looking over his shoulder because of the horrors of WW1?

From: Scott Palmer – (

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Urban Myths: Indian Forebears

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

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LONG before the age of political correctness, some Churchills delighted in extolling the legend of their Native American blood, believed to have been introduced through Jennie Jerome’s maternal grandmother, Clarissa Willcox. Despite the much-mooted Indian features of some of Clarissa’s descendants, there is no genealogical evidence to support Indian ancestry in the Jerome lineage.

In Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill, Vol. I,1 Ralph G. Martin wrote that Randolph S. Churchill in his biography of his father noted that the mother of Jennie’s grandmother Clarissa was one Anna Baker, whose “mother’s maiden name is not recorded in the genealogies” and “is believed to have been an Iriquois [sic] Indian.” Although Randolph did write something like this2 it is ironic that any Churchills or Churchillians give credence to Jennie, which was withdrawn in Britain over its false allegation that Sir Winston’s brother Jack was not Lord Randolph’s son. In any case, the fact is that we now know not only Anna Baker’s mother’s name but something of her background—thanks to an unearthed 1951 typescript on the descendants of the Baker family.3

Joseph Baker, born at Jamestown, Rhode Island on 12 February 1738 or 1739, married Experience Martin in Swansea, Massachusetts on 4 September 1760. Experience was the daughter of Eleazer Martin of Swansea (died 1749) and his wife, also named Experience, who, as a widow, was recorded in a land transaction of 30 March 1776.4 Circa 1761 Joseph and Experience Baker, together with Joseph’s brother William and two male cousins, George Sherman Sr. and Jr., migrated to Sackville in the newly created British Province of Nova Scotia,5 where Anna reputedly was born. They were all living at Sackville in 1770, but later returned to New England. The ancestry of Joseph Baker is well documented.6 In these pre-Revolutionary days when Nova Scotia was often regarded as a 14th American colony, the 1748 Treaty of Read More >

Fred Farrow: 1906 – 1999

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 30


FRED Farrow was the most unforgettable Churchillian I ever met. His uniqueness lay not so much in his numerous accomplishments, but in the way he continued accomplishing at a very old age. “I am blessed by coming from a line of long-lived people,” he said four years ago, behind his desk at Century Instruments in Livonia, Michigan, the company he founded and built up from nothing. “I come in every day and keep an eye on things, and I intend to keep right on doing so.” He was then 89.

The phone rang. It was 7PM. “Excuse me,” he said, and, picking up the phone: “Century Instruments….I’m sorry, you’ll have to call back tomorrow. We’re having a meeting right now. Mr. Farrow isn’t available.”

What corporation can you ring up in the middle of the evening and find yourself talking to the president, who is too busy to chat?

Fred arrived in the United States from England with an engineering degree and not much else in 1929, of all years. Three years earlier, loading British Gazettes on London docks during the General Strike, he had met Winston Churchill. Hearing Fred talking to his mates, the Chancellor of the Exchequer walked over to him: “Young man, you don’t sound like a Londoner—what part of the country do you come from?” Fred pitched his bundle of newspapers into the truck, stood as tall as he could and said, “County Durham, Sir!” The grin on Churchill’s face widened and he stepped closer, put his hand on Fred’s shoulder and said, “Jolly good. Carry on. God bless you.” Fred was hooked.
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Action This Day – Autumn 1899, 1924, 1949, 1974

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

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One hundred years ago:

Autumn 1899-Age 25

“World Famous Overnight”

Autumn 1899 began with war correspondent Churchill traveling by ship to South Africa to report on the AngloBoer War. It ended with escaped prisoner Churchill traveling by train surreptitiously out of South Africa into Portuguese East Africa. In between these two journeys, Churchill became famous throughout the world.

Churchill had accompanied an armored train which was ambushed by the Boers on its way to Ladysmith. While technically a non-combatant, he had been armed with his Mauser pistol and had volunteered his services to the train’s commander, Captain Aylmer Haldane, after the train came under fire. Several rail cars had been derailed by Boer artillery, preventing the engine from retreating to safety. Under constant machine gun and technically a non-combatant, he had been armed with his Mauser pistol and had volunteered his services to the train’s commander, Captain Aylmer Haldane, after the train came under fire. Several rail cars had been derailed by Boer artillery, preventing the engine from retreating to safety. Under constant machine gun and artillery fire from the Boers, Churchill directed the clearing of the line, helped load wounded onto the engine’s tender and then accompanied the engine to safety at Frere Station. After doing so, he returned on foot to the action to assist the remaining wounded and was captured. The driver of the train was quoted in contemporary accounts as saying of Churchill that “there is not a braver gentleman in the army.” One wounded officer whom Churchill helped lead to safety called him “as brave a man as could be found.”
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ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES – Westward, Look, This Land is Bright

Finest Hour 104, Autumn 1999

Page 27


Adding Britain Is a Logical Extension or the North American Free Trade Agreement

IN April 1941, Winston Churchill broadcast to his nation and the world a report on the war, which was still going badly for Britain. Nevertheless, he offered hope and he noted, “Nothing that can happen in the East is comparable to what is happening in the West.” He closed with the following lines, “…which seem apt and appropriate to our fortunes tonight and I believe they will be so judged wherever the English language is spoken or the flag of freedom flies:”

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly.
But westward, look, the land is bright!

As Britain contemplates Europe’s Economic Monetary Union, this sentiment has implications today. Should Britain join the EMU, there would almost certainly be a negative effect on Britain’s sovereignty as well as elimination of the pound.

Before World War II Churchill said, “We are bound to further every honest and practical step which the nations of Europe may make to reduce the barriers which divide them and to nourish their common interests and their common welfare….But we have our own dreams and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not absorbed.” After the war, while calling for European unity, he never suggested that Britain’s sovereignty should be absorbed into the continent or that its institutions or currency should be subordinated to the interests of the continent.
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