Finest Hour 118

Books, Arts & Curiosities – What Matters Is What They Wrote

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 42


Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History’s Greatest Speakers, by James C. Humes. Prima, 208 pp., softbound, $14. Member price $12

There is an old saw in the American historical profession: if you want to write a best-selling book, call it Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog, since the title contains every American’s three favorite subjects. A close second, I suppose, would be a how-to book with the names of Lincoln and Churchill on the cover. Though dog lovers and hypochondriacs might stay away, the author would still capture the formidable history buff-hero-orator market.

This might have been what presidential speechwriter and linguist professor James Humes had in mind with this collection of 21 “power points” to improve public speaking, drawing on the examples and inspiration of leaders from around the globe. Citing personages as different as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Adolf Hitler, Humes argues that public speaking is much more than getting up in front of a group and talking. Instead, he encourages readers to consider how they stand, dress, joke and use props as they deliver any kind of speech.

While Humes’s book is clearly designed for the business professional and CEO, he goes to great length to demonstrate that we all speak in public every day, if only to a few friends or the Rotary Club. And what worked for Lincoln at Gettysburg can work for the reader in the boardroom, or for anyone who needs to speak in public.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Return or the Downy Bird

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 41

“What a downy bird he is. He will always stoop to conquer.”~wsc

Marlborough: His Life and Times, by Winston S. Churchill. Two volumes, 2000 pages, University of Chicago Press, $170 hardbound, $50 softbound. Member prices $155 hardbound, $38 softbound.

At last Churchill’s greatest biography has been republished in softbound and hardbound format: the first unabridged appearance since the Folio Society edition twelve years ago, and far more affordable.

The books are offprinted from the postwar two-volume Harrap edition (Woods A40d), which is completely unabridged. Though the type size is relatively small compared to the 1930s editions, Churchill made many corrections to the original work; thus we have here his final approved text. The new books are much more durable and readable than the postwar sets, which cost considerably more in fine jacketed condition. And for students and readers, the softbound version is a bargain— much nicer than the small English paperbacks we have had to get by with to date for reading copies.

The hardbound set lists for $170 and the softbound set for $50. Since we can’t imagine anyone wanting just one, the Churchill Book Club will offer them as two-volume sets, at lower than either of the major internet booksellers—with a generous $15 discount off retail for the hardbacks.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – Where’s the Beef?

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 38


“God for a month of power and a good shorthand writer!” —wsc

Winston Churchill, by John Keegan, Penguin, 202 pp., $19.95, member price $13.

Winston Churchill: A Biographical Companion, by Chris Wrigley, ABC/Clio Press, 368pp., $55, member price $48.

Aspects of Winston S. Churchill, edited by T. H. Baughman & Emily E. Suelter, Therese Press, 148 pp, paperback, 2000; not known to be in print.

Churchill, Whitehall and the Soviet Union, 1940-45, by Martin H. Folly, Palgrave Press, 236 pp., $65, member price $56.

British History Makers: Winston Churchill, by Leon Ashworth, Cherrytree Books, 32 pp., $19.95, member price $15.

Someone wrote recently that only two kinds of books about Winston Churchill are still publishable: highly specialized studies, such as Stafford’s Churchill and Secret Intelligence; or blood-curdling attack books accusing him of everything from bombing naked cities to dictating naked to secretaries, like Irving’s Churchill’s War. Well, you wouldn’t know that from this group.
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Books, Arts & Curiosities – The P.M. Was the Patient

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 37


Churchill at War 1940-45, by Lord Moran. Carroll & Graf, 352 pp. softbound, $18, member price $12

May 10th, 1940 is surely a date as ominous as December 7th or September 11th. It marked the true beginning of World War II, when Hitler’s explosive invasion of Belgium and the Netherlands presaged their early fall and the conquest of France in six weeks. On the other hand, May 24th, 1940, is not a date that today strikes a chord. But to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, only two weeks in Downing Street, it was probably the most despairing day of his life.

The French had been overwhelmed by the new blitz offensive and their surrender was already contemplated. One British army was holding off the Germans at Calais in the desperate hope of giving the rest of the British Expeditionary Force time to regroup or—as they came to do—to abandon all their weapons and materiel on their retreat and then embark for England from the port of Dunkirk.

Churchill, on the morning of May 24th, decreed that no more troops or planes should be sent to France. As the Nazis began to fortify the French coast only twenty-one miles from the cliffs of Kent, he ordered fifty aircraft to mine the sea lanes and overnight evacuated residents of the coastal towns to prepare for an imminent invasion. At this “darkest hour,” as Churchill called it, Hitler offered peace terms, which the British ambassador in Washington, for one, found very attractive. The gist of Hitler’s offer was: “I’ll keep Europe, you keep your empire and I will respect your island independence.”
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Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 45

Will future generations remember?

Will the ideas you cherish now be sustained then? Will someone articulate your principles?

Who will guide your grandchildren, and your country?

There is an answer.

And now is the time!

In 2003—at last—The Churchill Centre has established its permanent office in Washington, D.C., with a salaried executive director, who has integrated everything we do in the most logical place to do it: the nations capital. Now we have secured the permanence of our infrastructure, heretofore maintained by devoted but widelyspread volunteers.
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Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 10

JANUARY 5TH— His many friends in England and North America regret the passing of ICS UK committee member Fred Lockwood, a man of many parts who lived and enjoyed life to the full.

Fred started his working life in the British Civil Service, but when the Second World War broke out he joined the Indian Army and served in the Baluch Regiment, seeing much active service in North Africa and Italy. After the war Fred returned to the Civil Service, holding a variety of appointments including, as he described himself, “NATO’s man in London.” He rose to the grade of Assistant Secretary.

In 1978 he joined the Finance Division in the Ministry of Defence, Oman. Later he became Head of Resource Management. He was much involved in negotiations for new equipment for the Omani Armed Forces and, with his thorough approach to everything he did, he was a valuable asset in ensuring that the best possible contracts were secured. He left Oman after 15 years’ service in 1993, and became a consultant with British Aerospace.

Fred was also an active and valuable committee member of the International Churchill Society UK, and with his considerable experience, energy and dry wit was a great asset. He rarely missed an International Conference. Away from work Fred was a keen and enthusiastic cricketer.
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Lord Jenkins of Hillhead OM PC

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 09

Our distinguished honorary member Roy Jenkins died on January 5th at the age of 82. The most important postwar British politician not to become prime minister, he came from the South Wales mining region, the son of a leading Labour MP who had been Parliamentary Private Secretary to Clement Attlee and a junior minister in the closing stages of Winston Churchill’s wartime coalition government. Young Roy obtained a first class degree at Oxford and then joined the Army, where he worked for a time among the Bletchley Park code-breakers.

He was elected to Parliament in 1948, but had to wait until Harold Wilson’s Labour government in 1964 before achieving office. Briefly Minister of Aviation, he was promoted to the Cabinet as Home Secretary and became an avid liberal reformer, notably in the field of homosexuality and abortion laws which were central to the permissive society (which he termed the “civilised society”). He then became Chancellor of the Exchequer and was successful in steering the economy from crisis to calmer waters, an achievement which gave him a good chance to succeed Harold Wilson. But his party lost the 1970 election and the opportunity was lost with it.

Although he returned to office as Home Secretary in 1974, he left the government for a four-year term as President of the European Commission. He worked energetically and was determined to be recognised everywhere as a head of state, as his fascinating book, European Diary, makes clear.
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Distinguished Visitors: Halifax 1943

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 48


On 14 September 1943, after attending the first Quebec Conference and visiting President Roosevelt at Hyde Park, Winston, Clementine and Mary Churchill arrived in Halifax to return to England aboard the battle cruiser Renown. Chambers’s illustration, from the Halifax Herald, did not appear until a week later, because the visit was top secret until the party had safely returned to Downing Street.

Renown was already well known to Nova Scotians, having been first to arrive in Halifax in 1919 when the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) had visited Canada. She made so many transatlantic voyages during World War II that she was nicknamed “the Taxi” (see FH 3, “Glimpses from the ‘Taxi'”). Her sister ship, Repulse, was also a familiar site in the ice-free port before she was lost in Far Eastern waters shortly after Japan attacked American and British territories in the Pacific.

While in Halifax, Churchill decided to show his wife and daughter the spectacular view from atop 300-foot Citadel Hill, a favorite venue for locals and tourists. Nobody expected him. The Herald reported that a car drove to the top of the hill and, there emerged “a young subaltern of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, a portly man smoking a cigar wearing a Trinity House uniform and a yachting cap; and a distinguished woman in civilian clothes.”
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Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 46


Timeline: Milestones in the Life of Winston S. Churchill

With the encouragement of many on our internet Listserv, I have developed this prototype timeline of Winston Churchill’s life, an ongoing project: what you see here is the first draft.

Ideally I wanted to record a similar date for each office Churchill held, but the varying methods of appointment for different offices and changing parliamentary procedures prevent this. The only consistent dates that can be quoted are the resignations of Prime Ministers, whereupon the old government goes into caretaker mode, and when the monarch commissions the leader of a party to form a new government. I have elected to sacrifice consistency for added accuracy and detail.

Some of the dates listed here differ from those in “Ampersand” in Finest Hour 114, page 46, and I would like to explain why. (References to the official biography are “BV” for biographic volumes, “CV” for companion ; volumes. “BV5” means Biographic Volume 5; “CV2/2” means Companion to Volume 2, Part 2.)


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Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 44


Winston Churchill on the Nadir of His Grandfather’s Career

William Orpen entered the Army Service Corps in 1916 and was commissioned by Quartermaster General Sir John Cowans to paint senior political and military figures. Churchill’s portrait was done in Orpen’s London studio sometime after WSC’s return from France in May of 1916: a heart-rending and revealing portrayal of a tormented 41-year-old Churchill, grievously wronged and humiliated. It was painted after the disastrous failure of Allied forces to sail a fleet through the Dardanelles to take Constantinople, and the murderous slaughter of British and Anzac forces in the subsequent, abortive attempt to invade the Gallipoli Peninsula. The present Winston Churchill wrote in his biography of his father: “To this day the lies and misrepresentations arising from Churchill’s part in the affair show scant sign of abating.”


Jeanette Gabriel: Why is the Orpen portrait so reflective of your grandfather after the Dardanelles tragedy?

Winston Churchill: It was traumatic—one of the worst periods of his life. Even when he was in the trenches worst periods of his life. Even when he was in the trenches later in France, he implored his wife to make sure, if anything happened to him, that his side of the Dardanelles case was put forward. He joked that once he got to France he was the “escaped scapegoat.”
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Churchill Trivia

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 43


Twenty-four questions appear each issue A. in the following categories. Contemporaries (C), Literary (L), Miscellaneous (M), Personal (P), Statesmanship (S) and War (W).

1303. With whom did First Lord of the Admiralty Churchill replace the First Sea Lord, Sir Arthur Wilson? (C)

1304. What is the American title of Celia Sandys’s first book, published in England as From Winston with Love and Kisses? (L)

1305. Churchill’s close friend F. E. Smith was knighted in 1915, raised to the peerage in 1919, and made an Earl after vacating the Lord Chancellorship. What was his new title? (M)

1306. Who defeated Churchill in the Oldham by-election of 1899? (P)

1307. Churchill told Anthony Eden in a minute of 7 July 1944 to follow up on bombing the Auschwitz concentration camp and the rails leading to it. What stopped this? (S)
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“Visions and Boldness”

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 36


What Is The Churchill Centre? What Does It Stand For? And Where Is It Going?

In late December, at the request of one of its committees, The Churchill Centre invited a famous world figure to deliver a major address. On February 6th, the same committee unanimously voted to rescind the invitation.

What happened in the interim was a speech in which the individual fell short of his reputation: he delivered inflammatory and insulting remarks about, as Churchill might say, “a certain great personage.” The remarks were ill-considered, intemperate, and unjustified. The Centre was threatened with a mass walk-out should the speaker appear at the event in question.

The identity of the speaker or the event are not the point. The point has to do with questions of much greater importance: What is The Churchill Centre? What does it stand for? And where is it going?

Our mission is plain enough: “To foster leadership, statesmanship, vision and boldness among democratic and freedom loving peoples worldwide, through the thoughts, words, works and deeds of Winston Spencer Churchill.” Does this suggest only congenial and chummy meetings, limited to right thinking guests who agree with us? Or does it imply principled, learned discussion of controversial issues of statesmanship in the Churchill context, with people we respect? Do we “strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends,” as members of the legal profession are encouraged to do? Do we subscribe to Churchill’s famous Rule 12 of The Other Club: “Nothing in the rules of the Club shall interfere with the rancour and asperity of party politics”?
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“The McCormick Dugout is Always Ready to Welcome You”

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 34

In 1900 The Chicago Tribune began publishing “the highly colored dispatches of an upstart war correspondent anxious to parlay his South African heroics into a seat in Parliament.”1 Fifteen years later the Tribune’s publisher, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, after a friendly interview with Churchill, said he was “the most aggressive person I ever met.”2

Given McCormick’s well-known anti-British prejudice and isolationist bent, a surprisingly close relationship developed between the two magnificoes in the years leading up to World War II. A Tribune editor wrote, “Winston Churchill caused much gossip when he came to Chicago, because he was the guest of one of Chicago’s most anti-British pillars….the last person Chicagoans expected to be host. [Yet] the two men couldn’t have been a happier combination.”3

McCormick’s Anglophobia allegedly stemmed from personal effronteries he’d experienced as a schoolboy in England.4 Although he felt comfortable fox hunting and enjoying an English-like country house, he had no qualms about comparing the British Empire to the Third Reich, or saying that “Rhodes scholars were British spies planted in Uncle Sam’s bosom.”5
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Encounters with Chicago

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 30


Churchill s visits to the Windy City revealed his great qualities. Contemporary reports recall the man in all his brilliance, and the city in all its luster.


The front page of the Chicago Tribune featured an impressive looking young man above the caption: “Man of the Future…who may some day be Premier.”1 Winston Spencer Churchill was twenty-six; although it would take another thirty-eight years to fulfill its prophecy, the newspaper had recognized his potential.

In America’s heartland, Churchill already enjoyed a recognition afforded few foreigners. His adventures during the British campaigns in India, Egypt and the South African Boer War had been well publicized. American newspapers painted him as a military and journalistic hero. He was also an accomplished author: five books, all published in American editions, and a syndicated column on the Boer War that appeared in the Chicago Tribune among other newspapers.2
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Churchill and Air Travel

Finest Hour 118, Spring 2003

Page 24


For the crucial early decades of the twentieth century, Winston S. Churchill held the relevant decision making posts as much of Britain’s aviation quite literally got off the ground. As he later noted, “Except for the year 1916, I was continually in control of one or another branch of the Air Service during the first eleven years of its existence….Thus it happens to have fallen to my lot to have witnessed, and to some extent shaped in its initial phases, the whole of this tremendous new arm….”1

While air transport—or what today we call airlines— never engaged him so much as its military applications, civil aviation also received its effective start under Churchill’s admittedly sometimes very indirect supervision. Though only a bit part in Churchill’s long career (it is not even mentioned in many of the standard biographies), his involvement with fledgling airlines is worth a closer look.


Churchill’s fascination with flying began early. As President of the Board of Trade in February 1909, only three months after the first “sustained flight” in Britain, he suggested that the government communicate with Orville Wright to help jump-start British aviation.2 Two years later as First Lord of the Admiralty he promoted what eventually became the fledgling Naval Air Service.3 For a time his interest in aviation included hands-on experience. He took hours of flying lessons in 1913, though already 34 years old, older than most beginning pilots. Churchill was fascinated with using the Read More >

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill 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.