Handwritten condolence letter from Winston Churchill on display in Saint Andrews

Handwritten condolence letter from Winston Churchill on display in Saint Andrews

Winston Churchill is among the most recognizable names of the twentieth century. 

Through the Second World Battle, Churchill led Britain from the brink of defeat, by way of rousing and oft-quoted speeches, to the Allied victory in opposition to Nazi Germany. 

His godfather, Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook and commonly known as Lord Beaverbrook, was a Canadian-born newspaper writer whose philanthropic deeds dwell on in New Brunswick, the place he grew up. 

On this present day in 1964, the New York Instances ran this headline about Beaverbrook’s demise, “Lord Beaverbrook Useless at 85; Founding father of Newspaper Empire; Member of Churchill’s Battle Cupboard Guided Britain’s Plane Manufacturing.”

So a handwritten letter of condolence from Churchill to Girl Beaverbrook is a giant deal.

That letter is now on show in Saint Andrews, defined Barry Murray, the previous president of the Saint Andrews Civic Belief. 

A photo of a two-page hand-written letter. Signed simply with Winston.
A handwritten condolence letter from Winston Churchill to Girl Beaverbrook, on the demise of Max Aitken in 1964, will likely be on show on the Ross Museum in Saint Andrews. (Submitted by Saint Andrews Civic Belief)

It’s half of a big assortment of Churchill memorabilia that was given to the belief by Doug Younger, a former provincial and federal Liberal politician who as soon as served as federal fisheries minister. 

Younger purchased the gathering from the property of Dalton Camp, a New Brunswick-born journalist, political strategist and commentator. 

Murray stated Younger initially referred to as him about placing the letter on show for New Brunswickers to see, however by the point he confirmed up in Saint Andrews to drop off the letter, he determined to donate your entire assortment of greater than 100 gadgets. 

“Doug and his spouse opened the again of the SUV and stated, ‘We want assist.’ And we obtained bins and bins and bins of stuff. … I used to be overwhelmed, to be fairly sincere,” stated Murray. 

He stated there have been dozens of letters from Churchill, in addition to signed images, a commemorative tea set and cash along with his likeness, audio recordings of a few of his speeches and numerous different gadgets linked to him. 

Younger needed the gadgets to be placed on show in reminiscence of a former colleague, Fred Drummie, who had lived in Saint Andrews and died in 2018.

Sir Winston Churchill raises his arm in the air holding a hat while Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King walks beside him, leaving the House of Commons.
Winston Churchill and Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, leaving the Home of Commons throughout a 1941 go to. Churchill was long-time mates with Max Aitken, commonly known as Lord Beaverbrook. (The Canadian Press/ Nationwide Archives of Canada C-015132)

The letter was unveiled by the belief throughout an open home, not too long ago, and will likely be on show on the Ross Memorial Museum in Saint Andrews for the summer time. A number of the different gadgets may even be included in a newly created part on Winston Churchill. 

Murray stated they’re nonetheless “determining what to do with with all of this stuff.”

He stated the belief has had a lot of the artifacts “professionally replicated,” whereas the originals are being stored in a temperature- and light-controlled vault. 

The letter of condolence to Girl Beaverbrook is among the gadgets that was replicated. The unique was written double-sided on one piece of paper, however the replicated model is on two items and framed. It additionally incorporates Churchill’s distinctive spelling of Beaverbrook’s properties —Cherkley in England and La Capponcina in France.

The hand-written letter is dated July 2, 1964 — greater than three weeks after Lord Beaverbrook’s demise. It reads: 

Pricey Girl Beaverbrook, 

Please forgive me for being so sluggish in writing to you to say how unhappy I used to be to listen to of Lord Beaverbrook’s demise. He was a most exceptional man and to me he was all the time an excellent and most beneficiant godfather. With him there was by no means a boring second — there was all the time some enjoyable or mischief afoot. His homes, Cherkeley and the Caponchina, I bear in mind from my early childhood as having all the time been stuffed with daylight and laughter. 

I ship you my deepest sympathy in your bereavement; nevertheless it should be a comfort that he died whereas he was nonetheless absolutely lively in thoughts and physique. His speech at his eighty-fifth birthday dinner was a most exceptional efficiency and will likely be lengthy remembered. 

Yours sincerely, Winston

‘Plenty of buzz on the town’

James Geneau, a volunteer with the Saint Andrews Civic Belief, stated the group is usually given gadgets associated to the city’s historical past. 

“However to obtain one thing like that’s fairly substantial,” he stated, particularly since lots of the letters have been from Churchill to “Girl Beaverbrook and colleagues and mates who resided right here at one time.”

Earlier than her marriage to Max Aitken, Girl Beaverbrook had been Girl Dunn, and he or she and her husband, the rich New Brunswick-born financier and industrialist James Hamet Dunn, had a residence in Saint Andrews.

Man standing in front of an older heritage home.
James Geneau, a volunteer with the Saint Andrews Civic Belief, in entrance of his 149-year-old heritage house in Saint Andrews. (Submitted by James Geneau)

Geneau stated there’s been “a lot of pleasure and plenty of buzz on the town” concerning the Churchill condolence letter because it was unveiled at an open home final weekend.

“The society was fairly excited and stunned that such an artifact could be A, in existence and B, that any person would wish to donate it to the belief,” stated Geneau.

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