Month: February 2015

Sir Martin Gilbert CBE, 1936-2015 (2)

Sir Martin Gilbert CBE, 1936-2015 (2)

“Rose-lipt Maid­ens, Light­foot Lads” 

con­tin­ued from part 1

“Stop that!” Seat­ed beside him at his first appear­ance before the Churchill Society—the sec­ond Churchill Tour on 17 Sep­tem­ber 1985—I had caught Mar­tin Gilbert rif­fling through a brief­case crammed with sheets of yel­low foolscap, toss­ing some out as the min­utes ticked by before his lec­ture, “Churchill’s Lon­don: Spin­ning Top of Mem­o­ries.”

It was the first time I would hear a Gilbert speech, and here he was, culling it already. “This is my ‘Speech Form,’” he explained, refer­ring to the term Churchill used for his speak­ing notes. Unlike Churchill, whose typed speech notes includ­ed every word, the lines picked out like vers­es of the Psalms, Martin’s sheets each con­tained only a few hand­writ­ten words.…

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Sir Martin Gilbert CBE, 1936-2015 (1)

Sir Martin Gilbert CBE, 1936-2015 (1)

From Lady Gilbert, Lon­don, 4 Feb­ru­ary 2015:

It is with an unbear­able sad­ness that I am writ­ing to you today. After thir­ty-four months of ago­niz­ing­ly slow but steady recov­ery from an hypox­ia brain injury, and thir­ty hours of a vir­u­lent sep­sis infec­tion, the final query to Martin’s own per­son­al his­to­ry was answered last night. The funer­al will be at Eretz HaChaim Ceme­tery in Beit Shemesh, Israel on the 12th.  The Shi­va will be at our home in Lon­don from Sun­day evening the 8th.  I do not have the tim­ings for the funer­al yet but the ceme­tery should have it.  The Shi­va times will be through our shul web­site: highgateshul.com. Your con­cern and kind words, vis­its and friend­ship, prayers and love have sus­tained us par­tic­u­lar­ly dur­ing the last near­ly three years. Baruch Dayen Emet – Blessed is the True Judge.…

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Fatal Flaws? Winston Churchill wasn’t Perfect. Surprise!

Fatal Flaws? Winston Churchill wasn’t Perfect. Surprise!

Awk! We’ve now read umpteen arti­cles on Churchill’s Fatal Faults. They cite imag­ined flaws long dis­proven (poi­son gas, Ben­gal Famine, oppos­ing all self-deter­mi­na­tion, hos­til­i­ty to Gand­hi). One won­ders: Don’t these writ­ers ever do research?* 

In ris­ing crescen­do since 2015 we’ve put up with a lot. Well, yes, some admit, Churchill saved the West—but he was human and he made mis­takes (duh!). Why, he even said things that would shock us in our mod­ern enlight­ened age. This age of behead­ings, mas­sacres, drone strikes and chlo­rine gas attacks is so removed from the bad old days of Pax Bri­tan­ni­ca.

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