Category: FAQs

Lt. Churchill: “A Subaltern’s Advice to Generals”

Lt. Churchill: “A Subaltern’s Advice to Generals”

With col­leagues I dis­cussed which of young Winston’s ear­ly war books was deri­sive­ly called, “A Subaltern’s Advice to Gen­er­als.” This was a pop­u­lar wise­crack after his ear­ly works had the temer­i­ty to pro­pose British mil­i­tary strat­e­gy in India, Sudan and South Africa. Churchill was in his mid-twen­ties at the time—but not ret­i­cent to speak his mind. Noth­ing we didn’t know here….

Malakand Field Force?

With­out con­sult­ing ref­er­ences, I thought the “advice” line involved The Sto­ry of the Malakand Field Force (Churchill’s first book, 1898). I was influ­enced by its last chap­ter, “The Rid­dle of the Fron­tier.” Plen­ty of advice there, though it is as much polit­i­cal as it is mil­i­tary.…

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Rhinoceros Table, Mr. Churchill? Thanks but No.

Rhinoceros Table, Mr. Churchill? Thanks but No.

The Hills­dale Col­lege Churchill Project received a nov­el ques­tion: “After his 1908 African safari, Churchill’s  taxi­der­mists ask if he wants a ‘Rhi­noc­er­os Table.’ What in the world is a Rhi­noc­er­os Table?”

Rhinoceros Table, anyone?The ref­er­ence is in The Churchill Doc­u­ments, vol. 4, Min­is­ter of the Crown, 1907-1911 (2007), page 753:The rare sec­ond (paper wrap­pers) edi­tion, 1910.

Row­land Ward Ltd., 167 Pic­cadil­ly, to WSC, 4 March 1908

Sir, In accor­dance with instruc­tions giv­en on your behalf by Lieu­tenant Colonel Gor­don Wil­son, we have in hand the fol­low­ing: MODELLED HEADS 1 Rhi­noc­er­os, 1 Zebra, 1 Warthog, 1 Wilde­beest, 1 Coke’s Har­te­beest, 1 Grant’s Gazelle, 1 Thomson’s Gazelle and the dress­ing of three Zebra skins, at a total cost of £​32.…

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A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

Living Hot-Water Bottle

Q. “Rab” But­ler, Churchill’s Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion (1941-45) and Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer (1951-55), recalled that Churchill once told him he was doing less for the war effort than Churchill’s grey cat Nel­son, who saved fuel and pow­er by act­ing as a Prime Min­is­te­r­i­al hot-water bot­tle. True?

A. Yes. But­ler said this in a speech to the Rt. Hon. Sir Win­ston Spencer Churchill Soci­ety of Edmon­ton, Alber­ta. (This was the orig­i­nal Churchill Soci­ety, the only one sanc­tioned by Churchill per­son­al­ly). But­ler spoke at their annu­al din­ner on 6 May 1968.…

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