Tag: Westerham

Churchill’s Common Touch (1)

Churchill’s Common Touch (1)

Part 1: Mr & Mrs Don­key Jack

A recent book by a dis­tin­guished his­to­ri­an sug­gests that Win­ston Churchill dis­dained com­mon peo­ple. It cites anoth­er Prime Min­is­ter, H.H. Asquith, dur­ing World War I, pro­vid­ing a tow to a bro­ken-down motorist and giv­ing two chil­dren a lift in his car. The writer adds: “It is hard to imag­ine Win­ston Churchill behav­ing in such a fash­ion.”

It is not hard at all. In fact, Churchill did fre­quent kind things for ordi­nary peo­ple he encoun­tered, pri­vate­ly and with­out fan­fare. We know about them only through his pri­vate cor­re­spon­dence, thanks to the offi­cial biog­ra­phy, Mar­tin Gilbert, or the tes­ti­mo­ny of observers.…

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Churchill’s Favorite Newspapers

Churchill’s Favorite Newspapers

Which news­pa­pers did Churchill pre­fer? I am par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in 1919, when he was Sec­re­tary of State for War and Air. Was he a Times or Tele­graph read­er? —J.W., via email

Remark­ably, Churchill  read all the news­pa­pers he could lay his hands on—from The Times to the Dai­ly Work­er, the British ver­sion of which was lat­er renamed the  Morn­ing Star.

He would do this in bed of a morn­ing after break­fast­ing off a tray. He liked to dis­card each sheet of a news­pa­per to the left and right. In the 1940s this infu­ri­at­ed his valet, Frank Sawyers, who made a show of dis­ap­proval as he picked up the sheets.…

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