Summer1908 (Age 33)

Courting Clementine Hozier

This was the summer of courtship between WSC and Clementine Hozier. At Blenheim in August, WSC proposed. Among the torrent of congratulations was a note from King Edward. Winston’s future best man, Lord Hugh Cecil, told him “it will be excellent for you mentally, morally and politically. A bachelor is regarded as morally unprincipled.”

Just prior to his proposal, Winston was staying wish his friend Freddie Guest, when a fire broke out. In his element, the pyjama-clad Churchill donned overcoat and fireman’s helmet, directing the fire brigade. He wrote Clemmie that “the fire was fun and we all enjoyed it thoroughly,” although Freddie Guest was distraught wish the losses. Also this summer, his brother Jack married Lady Gwendeline Bertie (“Goonie”), who remained a lifelong friend of Winston and Clementine.

Politically WSC was creating his place in the reform wing of the Liberal Party, associating himself with his father’s interest in miner’s problems and supporting “the strong current of evolution” which would give women the vote. In foreign affairs he called the idea of war between Britain and Germany nonsense, and condemned those who saw a menace in the German navy. One month’s fighting, he said, would destroy more wealth than five years of successful trading. Years later, WSC’s son was to call this “the same wrong-headed position as other Radicals on the Left and in the Liberal Party.”

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