Finest Hour 138

The Churchill Centre

PATRON: THE LADY SOAMES LG DBE

The Churchill Centre was founded in 1968 to inspire leadership, statesmanship, vision and courage through the thoughts, words, works and deeds of Winston Spencer Churchill. Global membership numbers over 3000, including affiliated societies in many nations. (For a complete listing see inside back cover.) The Churchill Centre is devoted to scholarship and welcomes both critics and admirers of Winston Churchill. The Centre’s academic advisers and editorial board includes leading writers on Churchill’s life and times. The Centre publishes a quarterly journal, Finest Hour, which offers proceedings from annual conferences, and a monthly e-newsletter, the Chartwell Bulletin. The Churchill Centre sponsors international and national conferences and promotes republication of Churchill’s long out-of-print books. Editors and staff of the Centre’s website answer email research queries from students and scholars worldwide, guiding them to sources they need in quests for knowledge of Winston Churchill’s life and times.

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Part 5: Did Singapore Have to Fall?

 

Britain’s “impregnable fortress” surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Churchill called it “the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history”; but in July 1942, five months after the fact, WSC said: “I have never made any predictions, except things like saying Singapore would hold out. What a fool and a knave I should have been to say it would fall.” Our 2007 Vancouver conference considered: just how “impregnable” was the “fortress”? Could it have been saved? What did Winston Churchill know, and when did he know it?

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Part 3 & 4: Did Singapore Have to Fall?

Point and Counterpoint

 

 

3. Richard Torre Replies to Raymond Callahan

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Part 2: Did Singapore Have to Fall?

Britain’s “impregnable fortress” surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Churchill called it “the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history”; but in July 1942, five months after the fact, WSC said: “I have never made any predictions, except things like saying Singapore would hold out. What a fool and a knave I should have been to say it would fall.” Our 2007 Vancouver conference considered: just how “impregnable” was the “fortress”? Could it have been saved? What did Winston Churchill know, and when did he know it?

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Part 1: Did Singapore Have to Fall?

Britain’s “impregnable fortress” surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Churchill called it “the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history”; but in July 1942, five months after the fact, WSC said: “I have never made any predictions, except things like saying Singapore would hold out. What a fool and a knave I should have been to say it would fall.” Our 2007 Vancouver conference considered: just how “impregnable” was the “fortress”? Could it have been saved? What did Winston Churchill know, and when did he know it?

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Poems Churchill Loved

Crimea, 1945 and “The Charge of the Light Brigade”

by Joshua Greenberg

Mr. Greenberg is a young member of The Churchill Centre UK. Besides travelling “in search of Churchill,” he is a volunteer at the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, London.

Visiting museums in Russia and the Ukraine is a completely different experience for Westerners. To take photographs you must pay a fee. I was charged two Hryvnas (about 55p) per photo. Some museums are so under-funded that they have to economize on lighting. So a museum worker sometimes follows you around the halls switching the lights off after you.

Among the photos I found was one taken in February 1945 by the Russian war photographer A. Mashuyev, purportedly of Churchill visiting the British Crimean War Cemetery outside Yalta. But Finest Hour senior editor Paul Courtenay has identified the figure as Field Marshal Henry Maitland Wilson.

Wilson appears saddened to see the cemetery in such a state. In the background the land is ash black and the graves are destroyed. The face of the Russian officer standing behind Wilson hints that he may have felt the same sorrow. The memorial stands on Cathcart Hill, named for the British Lieutenant-General George Cathcart, who planned the infantry manoeuvres during “The Charge of the Light Brigade” in 1854.

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Feeding the Crocodile: Was Leopold Guilty

 

Following correspondence with Daniel Wybo of London, Ontario,  Finest Hour wishes to set out what we know of King Leopold III of the Belgians, and Churchill’s remarks about the Belgian surrender on 28 May 1940. Mr. Wybo’s interest is through the memory of his father, who fought in the Battle to defend the canal at Ghent-Terneuzen in the area of Terdonk. Taken prisoner by the Germans, the elder Wybo escaped and later became part of the Belgian underground. “My father was always bitter about how our King was treated,” Mr. Wybo writes, “and over the great lies propagated about his actions.” Reprinted material by kind permission of Winston S. Churchill and Curtis Brown Ltd., Andrew Roberts and David Reynolds. Our thanks to Lt. Col. Louis Van Leemput, Warren Kimball, Daniel Wybo, Paul Courtenay and James Lancaster for assistance in research.

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Churchill Facts: Residences of Winston and Clementine Churchill

by Stefan Buczacki

This is an update on a featured article in Finest Hour 103, kindly provided by Mr. Buczacki, author of the excellent new book Churchill & Chartwell, reviewed in the same issue of Finest Hour.

This list is as complete and accurate as I can make it. More complete details, including the holiday homes where the Churchills stayed with friends, and also London hotels used as short-term accommodation, are in my book. Overseas holiday residences are excluded. There are overlaps in several dates when more than one house was owned, leased or lived in at the same time. Dates are essentially those of ownership, not necessarily when the Churchills actually moved in or left. Please note that most London houses are in practice held on long-term leases rather than strictly owned as freeholds, and usually belong to institutions or Trusts.

Primary Residences of WSC: owned, leased or provided officially

48 Charles Street (January 1874—1879). Leased by Lord Randolph Churchill.

The Little Lodge, Dublin (January 1877—April 1880). Official residence of Lord Randolph Churchill.

29 St. James’s Place (April 1880—late 1882). Leased by Lord Randolph Churchill.

2 Connaught Place (late 1882—1892). Leased by Lord Randolph Churchill. The family moved into Duchess Fanny’s at 50 Grosvenor Square (see below), where Lord Randolph died in 1895.

105 Mount Street (1900—late 1905). Leased by WSC; his first bachelor flat.

12 Bolton Street (December 1905—March 1909). Leased by WSC, the first house of his own and became his first married home.

33 Eccleston Square (Spring 1909—May 1918). Not lived in between May 1915 and late 1916, since it was leased to Lord Grey from 1913. First house purchased by WSC after his marriage.

Admiralty House (April 1913—May 1915). Official residence, available to WSC from 1911 but not lived in until 1913.

Ministry of Munitions house, probably in Whitehall Place (May 1918—late 1918 or early 1919). Accommodation officially provided to the Minister of Munitions.

1 Dean Trench Street (early 1919—early 1920). Rented from the Hon. Victoria Adeane.

2 Hyde Park Street (late summer 1919—May 1920). Purchased by WSC but never lived in.

2 Sussex Square (November 1919—January 1925). Owned by WSC. Lived in from February 1920 to 1924, then leased, and finally sold in February 1925. Demolished following irreparable bomb damage sustained in March 1941.

11 Downing Street (January 1924—April 1929). Official residence.

11 Morpeth Mansions (late November/early December 1931—late 1939). Leased by WSC.

Admiralty House (September 1939—July 1940). Official residence.

10 Downing Street & Number Ten Annexe (early summer 1940—July 1945). Official residences.

28 Hyde Park Gate (September 1945—1965). Combined with 27 Hyde Park Gate from August 1946. Owned by WSC but subdivided and let while the family lived at 10 Downing Street.

10 Downing Street (December 1951—April 1955). Official residence.

Family or Friends’ Loans or Shares

50 Grosvenor Square (1892—1895). Owned by Duchess Fanny. Now demolished.

35a Great Cumberland Place (1895—1900). Owned by Lady Randolph Churchill.

10 Carlton House Terrace (January—February 1908). Owned and loaned by Lord and Lady Ridley.

22 Carlton House Terrace (March—May 1909). Owned and loaned by Freddie Guest.

21 Arlington Street (May—late July 1915; CSC until October). Owned and loaned by Ivor Guest.

72 Brook Street (July 1915—November 1915). Owned by Lady Randolph Churchill.

41 Cromwell Road (October/November 1915—Autumn 1916). Owned by and shared with Jack and Goonie Churchill.

16 Lower Berkeley Street (September—November 1918). Now Fitzhardinge Street. Owned and loaned by Lady Horner.

3 Tenterden Street (Autumn 1918) Owned and loaned by Lady Cornelia Spencer-Churchill. Now demolished.

Templeton, Roehampton (Late October 1919—February 1920). Owned and loaned by Freddie Guest.

62 Onslow Gardens (Winter 1929 and probably Winter 1930). Owned and loaned by Venetia Montagu.

67 Westminster Gardens (July 1945—September 1945). Leased and loaned by Diana and Duncan Sandys.

Country Houses

Lullenden, East Grinstead, West Sussex (February 1917—November 1919). Owned by WSC.

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent (November 1922 to 1965). Lived in from around April 1924. Owned by WSC; officially owned by the National Trust after WW2.

Chequers (early summer 1940—July 1945; December 1951—April 1955). Official residence.

Holiday Homes

Leased or rented by the family (as opposed to the homes of friends with whom they stayed without charge for holidays). Properties rented by Clementine with Goonie and/or Jack are excluded if Winston is not known to have visited them.

Banstead Manor, Newmarket (holidays of 1889-1902). Leased by Lord Randolph Churchill.

Pear Tree Cottage, Overstrand, near Cromer, Norfolk (Summer 1914). Rented by WSC jointly with Jack.

Hoe Farm, Godalming, Surrey (Summer 1915). Rented by WSC jointly with Jack.

Maryland, Frinton on Sea, Essex (Summer 1921). Rented by Clementine.

“Seeing Claw to Claw”

 

All might have been well had de Gaulle been an ordinary General or even an ordinary man. He is not.  He is an extraordinary man. He is an eagle with bad habits. Winston, who is a house-trained eagle, does not see claw to claw with him.” Harold Nicolson

 

by Will Morrissey

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Present at the Creation: Danny Mander Guarding the P.M. at Teheran

Present at the Creation:

Danny Mander Guarding the P.M. at Teheran, 1942-43

 

An Interview with Susan Kidder

Finest Hour 138, Spring 2008

 

Susan Kidder is a recent transplant from New England to Wisconsin, and founder of the Winston Churchill book group of Wisconsin. WSC was Susan’s inspiration since middle school years: “I learned the power of the spoken word, which I used to disarm my verbal tormenters!”

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Lion of Britain, Cross of Lorraine: Churchill and de Gaulle

THE CROSS OF LORRAINE IS PART OF THE HERALDIC ARMS OF LORRAINE IN EASTERN FRANCE. IT WAS ORIGINALLY HELD TO BE A SYMBOL OF JOAN OF ARC, RENOWNED FOR HER PERSEVERANCE AGAINST FOREIGN INVADERS (IN HER CASE,THE ENGLISH)….DURING WORLD WAR II, THE CROSS WAS ADOPTED AS THE OFFICIAL SYMBOL OF THE FREE FRENCH FORCES UNDER GENERAL CHARLES DE GAULLE.” —WIKIPEDIA

by Terry Reardon

Finest Hour 138, Spring 2008

In honor of our first Churchill Symposium in France (“Churchill and France,” 6-7 June 2008), Finest Hour is pleased to offer two articles on the topic, the first being an overview by FH contributor Terry Reardon of ICS Canada.

Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was born on 22 November 1890 in Lille, France. He graduated from the French military academy in 1912, was wounded three times in World War I, and spent thirty months as a prisoner of war, making repeated but unsuccessful escape attempts.

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Churchill’s French

DE GAULLE SAID THAT BY LEARNING ENGLISH HE WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND CHURCHILL’S FRENCH. WSC OFTEN SPOKE “FRANGLAIS,” BUT IS THERE  EVIDENCE OF MALICE AFORETHOUGHT? ARE THERE STORIES OF THE COMMENTS AND  REACTIONS OF FRENCHMEN (AND WOMEN) WHICH ECHO DE GAULLE’S REMARK? YES—AND THEY SUGGEST WSC’S FRENCH WAS RATHER GOOD.

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We’ll Always Have Boston, Bill Buckley, Churchillian

by Richard M. Langworth
Finest Hour 138, Spring 2008

My first encounter with William F. Buckley, Jr. was as a college senior in 1963. I had responded to one of his annual appeals, which subscribers to National Review expect as part of their reading matter: his eloquent confession that a journal devoted to capitalism has had, not exactly ipso facto, another losing year, and cannot continue without the help of its friends. I said I could not spare a penny to save a publication I simply couldn’t imagine being without. (College campuses in those days were hotbeds of ideas from left to right, not the closed shops so many of them are today.) Read More >

Wit and Wisdom

Blair Farley asks us to confirm Churchill’s reflection, very apropos these days:

“I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents.”

Indeed it is his remark. Churchill had risen to give the toast to the Institute of Journalists in 1906. See Robert Rhodes James., ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches 1897-1963 (New York: Bowker, 1974, 7 vols.), I: 693-94. Since this was a short and amusing speech, we publish it in entirety.

The laughs at the beginning were over his references to the heavy criticism in the press of the new Liberal government, of which he was a part. His later reference to The Times Book Club—which produced cheap editions of current books—was likely prompted by his current feud with the Book Club, which had brought out a cheap edition of his current best-seller, Lord Randolph Churchill. WSC believed a cheap edition was premature, and would cut into the sales of the standard edition.)

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Riddles, Mysteries, Enigmas

Did Franklin Roosevelt Call Winston Churchill a “Stinker”?

Q: What is the source of Franklin Roosevelt’s description of his first meeting with Churchill, in July 1918 at Gray’s Inn, when he thought him a show-off and a “stinker”?

—Andrew Roberts

A: The source is Joseph P. Kennedy’s papers. Kennedy wrote that FDR complained that Churchill “acted like a stinker…lording it all over us….” My Roosevelt and Churchill: The Complete Correspondence (1984, vol. II, 355), quotes the “stinker” remark from Michael Beschloss, Kennedy and Roosevelt (1980, 200, 230). Beschloss had special access to the Joseph Kennedy papers, and seems the first to publish the “stinker” remark. Daun van Ee (Library of Congress) reports a slightly different version in Amanda Smith, ed., Hostage to Fortune: The Letters of Joseph P. Kennedy (2001, 411): A diary entry for 28 March 1940 quotes FDR as saying: “‘I always disliked him [Churchill] since the time I went to England in 1917 or 1918. At a dinner I attended he acted like a stinker.” Smith’s “editor’s note” (xxxiv) mentions various versions of her source texts, but gives no indication that this text was altered.

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