Tag: Walter Thompson

“The most important thing about education is appetite”

“The most important thing about education is appetite”

I am asked if Churchill ever said “the most impor­tant thing about edu­ca­tion is appetite.” He did, but it isn’t easy to find. I checked his Com­plete Speech­es under “edu­ca­tion” and came up with an extract from a 1929 speech at Bris­tol Uni­ver­si­ty, where he was Chan­cel­lor:

Churchill in aca­d­e­m­ic robes at Har­vard, 1943, where he told Amer­i­cans, “The price of great­ness is respon­si­bil­i­ty.” Behind him is his long­time Scot­land Yard body­guard, Det.-Sgt. Wal­ter Thomp­son.

“I nev­er myself had the advan­tage of a uni­ver­si­ty edu­ca­tion. I was not thought clever enough to prof­it by it to the full.…

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Churchill’s Washington Humor, Part 2

Churchill’s Washington Humor, Part 2

After his Har­vard address on Anglo-Amer­i­can uni­ty, 1943. At left is his ubiq­ui­tous body­guard, Detec­tive Inspec­tor Wal­ter Thomp­son.

Con­tin­ued from Part 1…

Win­ston Churchill was the only for­eign­er to have made three speech­es to joint ses­sions of Con­gress. His last was in 1952—whose text I was asked for by Nel­son Mandela’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives when Man­dela, a Churchill admir­er, him­self addressed a joint ses­sion. In his 1952 speech Churchill famous­ly told Con­gress:

I am hon­oured indeed by these expe­ri­ences which I believe are unique for one who is not an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen. It is also of great val­ue to me, on again becom­ing the head of His Majesty’s Gov­ern­ment, to come over here and take coun­sel with many trust­ed friends and com­rades of for­mer anx­ious days.…

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Churchill’s Naked Encounter

Churchill’s Naked Encounter

“The Prime Min­is­ter of Great Britain has noth­ing to hide from the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States.” **

[More like­ly: “You see, Mr. Pres­i­dent, I have noth­ing to hide.”]

This was alleged­ly stat­ed by Churchill dur­ing his vis­it to the White House fol­low­ing Pearl Har­bor in Decem­ber 1941, accord­ing to Churchill’s body­guard, Wal­ter Thomp­son, and one of his sec­re­taries, Patrick Kin­na, on the strength of which I includ­ed it as like­ly in Churchill By Him­self.

The sto­ry goes that Roo­sevelt, inspired to call the new world body  he hoped to orga­nize after the war the “Unit­ed Nations,” wheeled him­self into Churchill’s room, find­ing the PM, as Har­ry Hop­kins put it, “stark naked and gleam­ing pink from his bath.” But Hop­kins was not present; he had this sec­ond­hand.…

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