30/1/2015 3:45 pm  #1

Winston Churchill

Or to give him his full name and honours 
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill,  KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA

In the UK there have been a number events to mark the 50th anniversary of Churchill's death and funeral. The funeral was precisely 50 years ago today. I'm sure that I have heard that he liked Bing's version of "Now Is The Hour" and I'm scratching my head to try to call to mind where I heard this. Was it in an interview? I can almost hear Bing saying something about it. Please someone help these aged braincells. Or is it my imagination? 

I cannot help mentioning an event In which I had a direct but tiny involvement. In the 1960s I worked for an organisation which owned a number of investment properties in the City of London, I being involved with the management of the properties. We had an approach from the BBC to the effect that they wished to place TV cameras above the entrance portico to one of our buildings. This portico protruded out into the street so that good views could be had in both directions from a height of maybe 15 feet. They would not tell us when they wished to do this or why, merely that it was something that they were planning and that they would be able to give us 48 hours notice. This was probably not later than 1960/1.

Churchill died on 24 January 1965, a Sunday. On the Monday we had the call - "Can we now please have access under the agreement".  Their cameras captured very good views of the procession as it moved from St Paul's to the Tower.





30/1/2015 5:23 pm  #2

Re: Winston Churchill

I remember that I was in Sydney at the time Winnie died as a friend of mine, who was a hostie with PanAm. Just a remembrance that I have. And wasn't it "You Are My Sunshine" by Bing that he liked? Although I have a nagging thing saying it was another song.
I wonder if he liked Bing's "My Darling Clementine".


30/1/2015 6:55 pm  #3

Re: Winston Churchill

Ron Field wrote:

And wasn't it "You Are My Sunshine" by Bing that he liked? Although I have a nagging thing saying it was another song.
I wonder if he liked Bing's "My Darling Clementine".

Ron, your grey cells are in better state than mine. You are correct - with your cue I have found it. In introducing "You Are My Sunshine" on the Musical Autobiography,  Bing says he understands it was "quite a favourite of of Sir Winston Churchill at the outbreak of the last war  - the year was 1941 of course". The comment about the date is understandable from the American perspective. But the song was recorded in July 1941 by which time Britain - and Australia and others, had been immersed in the war for nearly two years.

I can't think why I had "Now Is The Hour" in mind.

     Thread Starter

31/1/2015 3:56 pm  #4

Re: Winston Churchill

I remember Churchill's death. American TV news interrupted much of its regular schedule to cover the funeral and much leading up to it. There was a great reservoir of respect and admiration for Churchill in the U.S., back when so many American adults (like my parents) lived through and may have been in military service during WWII.  Many Americans didn't quite understand why Churchill didn't get to continue as Prime Minister after the war.  Perhaps knowing that his mom was American also affected his likability here. National Geographic magazine put out an issue that devoted a lot of space to Churchill's life and his funeral not long afterward.  I believe it included one of those little floppy plastic records with audio of and about Churchill.  Not many years after I read his book, My Early Life, quite the adventure story!  While historically he is linked with Franklin Roosevelt, I think Winnie--as a singular forceful persona--has more in common with Teddy Roosevelt.  It's not hard to imagine them standing next to each other, Churchill flashing his V-for-victory sign, and T.R. hollering "Bully!" through a broad grin.  

Last edited by Steve Fay (31/1/2015 3:57 pm)


03/2/2015 6:15 pm  #5

Re: Winston Churchill

When I lived in Wembley Park with some Aussie mates we met a bloke at the pub and was invited back to his place (he had a son in Aus in Wee Waa, cotton country). He had been in the RAF during WWII. Anyway he had an LP of Churchill's speeches. I got all sentimental and John he had tears rolling down his cheeks.
Mum was said I should have been born in the Victorian era. Pomp & Circumstance by Elgar always churns me up.
I, too, was amazed when Churchill lost the election immediately after the war. I have heard that some of the young Brits don't know who Churchill is but there is a statue of him at Westminster.
He was not popular at one stage as he sent the ANZACS into Gallipoli, as they were only colonials.
He was a great orator and very inspiring during those war years. Australia's Robert Menzies was also a great orator - Menzies was Australia's longest serving PM, about 19 years.


04/2/2015 3:13 pm  #6

Re: Winston Churchill

Ron, what I have learned more recently suggests that the economic vision of Churchill's party didn't seem to answer what many people thought were the needs of created by England's wounds and devastation after the war.  One would like to think Winnie would have grasped those needs if given a chance, but who knows?  In the U.S. we went from F.D.R. (Democrat/WWII president) to Truman (Democrat/2 war president)  to Eisenhower (Republican/WWII top general), so perhaps on some kind of emotional level, if for know other reason, we may have had the expectation that England would do something like that. 


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