Finest Hour 148

Regional and Local Organizations

REGIONAL AND LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS: FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010 Read More >

Churchill Quiz

CHURCHILL QUIZ: FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

BY JAMES LANCASTER Read More >

Action this Day

ACTION THIS DAY: FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

BY MICHAEL MCMENAMIN Read More >

When Hitler and Churchill Thought Alike We

FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

BY MANFRED WEIDHORN

Dr. Weidhorn, of Fair Lawn, New Jersey (mfwh@optonline.net) is Guterman Professor of English Literature at Yeshiva University, a CC academic adviser, and author of four books on Churchill’s rhetoric and literary work. Among his recent books is the well-received Person of the Millennium.

ABSTRACT
We praise Churchill’s courageous oratory because we assume that the cause over which one will not surrender is just. We are jolted when we hear Hitler using similar rhetoric. Read More >

Staying There: Mena House, the Summit of Cairo

FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

BY DAVID DRUCKMAN

Mr. Druckman’s visits to Churchill haunts include South Africa (FH 47), Gallipoli (FH 90), Lady Randolph’s Brooklyn (FH 129), Schloss Cecilienhof at Potsdam (FH 132), and Livadia Palace at Yalta (FH 146). Photographs by the author and Lynn Druckman.

ABSTRACT
His wartime travels proved that Churchill was always willing to put up with the worst of everything, to twist a famous remark; but he’d always settle for luxury. Read More >

Getting There: “With Fond Memories of Commando”

FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

BY WILLIAM VAN DER KLOOT

Mr. VanDerKloot (billvdk@gmail.com), the son of Churchill’s wartime pilot, is the Peabody Award-winning producer of documentaries and children’s programming. He is based in Atlanta, where he spoke on this subject to the Churchill Society of Georgia.

ABSTRACT
They flew the most important person in Britain across enemy-patrolled seas and continents, but when they realized they had become celebrities, they separated for the good of the cause. Read More >

Air and Sea

Chronology

Getting There: Churchill’s Wartime Journeys

FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

BY CHRISTOPHER H. STERLING

Professor Sterling (chriss@gwu.edu) teaches Media Law and Policy at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

ABSTRACT
In a time when the world leaders, and their spouses, fly jumbo jets stuffed with aides and staffers, we recall how an embattled Prime Minister traveled to more vital meetings rather less elaborately: an epic tale of Determination for a man his age. Read More >

Gazing Upwards: Robert Hardy at 85

FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

ABSTRACT
Richard M. Langworth • Written for his Birthday on 25 October 2010 Read More >

Around and About

AROUND AND ABOUT: FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010 Read More >

Quotation of the Season

QUOTATION OF THE SEASON: FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010 Read More >

Datelines

The 1954 Sutherland Portrait

RIDDLES, MYSTERIES AND ENIGMAS: FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010

ABSTRACT
“The trouble was not that [Sutherland] admired the PM too little, but rather that he worshipped him too blindly….”

Q Recently on BBC Radio 4, antiquarian book dealer Rick Gekoski spoke of the Sutherland portrait of Churchill, commissioned by Parliament as a tribute on his 80th birthday in 1954, saying it was destroyed by his wife because she hated it so much. It portrayed the PM hunched with age and dark in mood. A detailed study by the artist 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. —James Mack, Fairfield, Ohio Read More >

Despatch Box

DESPATCH BOX: FINEST HOUR 148, AUTUMN 2010
==================

In these troubled times I turn my thoughts to Churchill and the winter of 1941 and feel much better. I also try to view the nonsense of current events through the lens of a historian writing in 2080. The moral: Things have never been better, and they’re terrible. -ROBERT H. PILPEL, WHITE PLAINS, N.Y

SMOKING UP THE JOINT

Finest Hour 147 (page 63) poked amusing fun at the airbrushing of Churchill’s cigar on a poster outside the “Britain at War Experience,” a tourist site next to the “London Dungeon.” Evidently the uproar has influenced management. I passed by today and noted that a new poster had been put up, complete with cigar. -ANTHONY CALABRESE, RUTHERFORD, N.J.

ERRATUM, FH 147

John Tory (FH 147:7) was a former Leader of the Ontario Province Progressive Conservative Party but never Premier of Ontario. Actually we have civic elections in October and there is strong pressure on him to run for Mayor—he would stand a very strong chance to win. -TERRY REARDON, ETOBICOKE, ONT

…PRAYERS AND THE LASH

Can you please revisit this supposed Churchill quotation? I see it among the “Red Herrings” non-quotes in your book, Churchill By Himself, but it’s listed by the Yale Book of Quotations. -DONALD ABRAMS, HERMOSA BEACH, CALIF.

Editor’s response: “Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, buggery [sometimes ‘sodomy’] and the lash.” Churchill By Himself listed this Churchillism in the “Red Herrings” appendix of unattributed remarks, because I could not track it. Turns out I was not searching for exactly the right phrase—but I’m still not entirely at ease with this one. Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, offers a slightly different version of the quote, giving as his source Nigel Nicolson, ed., Harold Nicolson: Diaries and Letters, 3 vols. (London: Collins 1966-68) III, 193, which is as follows:

“Paddy Leigh Fermor tells me [that] when Winston was at the Admiralty, the Board objected to some suggestion of his on the grounds that it would not be in accord with naval tradition. ‘Naval tradition? Naval tradition?’ said Winston. ‘Monstrous. Nothing but rum, sodomy, prayers and the lash.'”

Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor DSO OBE (b. 1915 and still with us) would seem an upstanding source. A distinguished soldier, who parachuted into Crete with the SOE to organize the island’s resistance to German occupation, he was also widely admired for his travel books.

I’ve altered my note to this entry in my appendix to quote Leigh Fermor via Nicolson. The latter, himself usually reliable, did have this secondhand; moreover, I think Churchill was not quite original. It is more likely that he was embellishing something he’d read.

There are preceding occurrences of similar phrases, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: “Compare ‘Rum, bum, and bacca’ and ‘Ashore it’s wine women and song, aboard it’s rum, bum and concertina,’ naval catch phrases dating from the nineteenth century.” So running this to earth is tricky, like Churchill’s famous crack about Democracy (“the worst system, except for all the others”)— which WSC admitted was by an earlier author when he voiced it in the House of Commons in 1947.

If you like it, use it, but be sure it’s Leigh Fermor’s version!

Join Now

Join NowPlease join with us to help preserve the memory of Winston Churchill and continue to explore how his life, experiences and leadership are ever-more relevant in today’s chaotic world. BENEFITS >BECOME A MEMBER >

WinstonChurchill.org

The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.