Rest in peace, Winston Churchill

As you know, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA was a British politician, best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He died on this day in 1965 at the age of 90.

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Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, he served as Prime Minister twice (1940–45 and 1951–55). A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.

I remember how really sad my parents (especially my father) were when Winston died. We watched the entire televised funeral.

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In our family, it was a Big Deal. My father probably used it as an excellent excuse to drink way too much and to entertain gloomy thoughts about the state of the world.

A few years later, my family went to visit the Churchill Memorial in Fulton, Missouri when it opened in 1969. This Church, St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury, had stood in London since 1677 when it replaced an earlier structure that had sat on the same site since the 12th century. A magnificent building, it was badly damaged during the London Blitz, and was moved stone by stone to the campus of Westminster College in Fulton and rebuilt to Wren’s original specifications. Beneath this Church is the National Churchill Museum itself. I have always meant to go back.

St Mary Aldermanbury

Maybe this year!

Anyway, a toast to Winston Churchill and to our pater who revered him!

“All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour; duty; mercy; hope.” (1947)