I am doing some work for my English AS course and need a comparitive piece to go with a poem I am studying. I have tried looking for Winston Churchill’s goodbye letter to his wife but have been unsuccessful. Is there any way I could even have a part of the text of the letter for my studies? —A.S., UK
This was a great letter. Expecting he would likely wind up fighting in France after his removal as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915, Churchill wrote his wife a letter to be opened in the event of his death. Lady Soames writes: “The letter shows what deep faith he had in her judgment and resolution…” (Clementine Churchilll, 127). From Churchill by Himself, page 531:
Duchy of Lancaster Office, 17 July 1915 (excerpt)…
I am anxious that you should get hold of all my papers, especially those which refer to my Admiralty administration. I have appointed you my sole literary executor….There is no hurry; but some day I should like the truth to be known. Randolph will carry on the lamp. Do not grieve for me too much. I am a spirit confident of my rights. Death is only an incident, and not the most important which happens to us in this state of being. On the whole, especially since I met you my darling one I have been happy, and you have taught me how noble a woman’s heart can be. If there is anywhere else I shall be on the look out for you. Meanwhile look forward, feel free, rejoice in life, cherish the children, guard my memory. God bless you. Good-bye.
This letter was first published in Martin Gilbert, editor, Winston S. Churchill, Companion Volume III, Part 2 : Documents, May 1915-December 1916. (London, Heinemann, 1972), 1098. The biography is now back in print at Hillsdale College Press.