Tag: John Colville

Athens 1944: Not Churchill’s Finest Hour? Hmm….

Athens 1944: Not Churchill’s Finest Hour? Hmm….

Question:

A r ead­er writes: “Rather late in the day, I have been read­ing The Spec­ta­tor (UK) Christ­mas Spe­cial dat­ed 15/21/29 Decem­ber 2018. Page 28 refers to one Ron­nie Boyd, who had been a teenage Ordi­nary Sea­man aboard HMS Ajax in Decem­ber 1944, when Win­ston Churchill arrived in Athens to try to end the ongo­ing civ­il war.

 “British forces ‘helped put down, with con­sid­er­able force of arms, a per­ceived partisan/communist uprising—the so-called Bat­tle of Athens, or the Dekemvri­ana in Greece,’ the arti­cle states. There fol­lows the extra­or­di­nary state­ment ‘Not Win­ston Churchill’s Finest Hour, it has to be said.’ It is accom­pa­nied by a mini-car­toon show­ing WSC on the bridge of HMS Ajax mak­ing this announce­ment.…

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All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (4)

All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (4)

Fake Quotes, concluded.

Red Her­rings: Quotes not by Churchill (or things he said quot­ing some­one else), con­tin­ued from Part 3.  Com­piled for the next expand­ed edi­tion of Churchill by Him­self.

Earthy or sex­ist gags were not real­ly Win­ston Churchill’s méti­er. His daugh­ter Mary brought me up sharp over the famous alleged crack to Bessie Brad­dock MP, who accused him of being drunk: “And you, my dear…are dis­gust­ing­ly ugly, but tomor­row I’ll be sober….” She said: “That’s not Papa. He was always gal­lant to the ladies.” But then I pro­duced the Scot­land Yard body­guard who was stand­ing next to him dur­ing the Brad­dock encounter.…

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All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (1)

Fake Quotes: A-E

In 1686 the Oxford Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary described “red her­ring,” a metaphor to draw pur­suers off a track, as “the trail­ing or drag­ging of a dead Cat or Fox (and in case of neces­si­ty a Red-Her­ring) three or four miles…and then lay­ing the Dogs on the scent…to attempt to divert atten­tion from the real ques­tion.” I apply the term to quotes, alleged­ly by Churchill, which he nev­er said—or if he did, was quot­ing some­body else.

Hence my Red Her­rings Appen­dix, updat­ed here­with, for the new, expand­ed edi­tion of my quotes book Churchill by Him­self. “You could fill a book with what Win­ston Churchill didn’t say,” remarked his some­time col­league, Rab But­ler.…

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