This summer brought physical pain and discomfort to Sir Winston, While Lady Churchill remained in London, Sir Winston holidayed on the Riviera. In the middle of a night, with a nurse on guard in an anteroom, Churchill climbed from his bed, fell and broke a leg.
A splint was prepared in the hotel room and the patient was taken to a medical clinic in Monte Carlo. After a temporary plaster was prepared, Churchill was taken by a special R.A.F. plane at Nice. The incident became a media event. An army of French photographers followed every move. The motorcade to the airport in-luded police motorcycles, a TV truck, an ambulance, a car full of detectives and two cars with Sir Winston’s staff.
In London, people came up to the ambulance with encouraging get-well words for the patient. Following surgery to repair the broken limb, Sir Winston survived successive attacks of bronchitis, pneumonia, a thrombosis and jaundice.
While he was in the hospital, conversions were made to 28 Hyde Park Gate to provide a bedroom on the ground floor. As he recovered he insisted on carrying on his normal routines as much as possible. Several films were provided for his entertainment: Winchester 73, a western; Above Us the Waves, a naval documentary; The Vanishing Prairie, by Disney and The Wooden Horse.
Other accoutrements were also provided. He expected and received champagne with his meals, plus his regular allotment of cigars and brandy. He always insisted on pouring his own brandy, “and never dispenses it lightly.”