For our 39th time (which seems in itself a Churchillian feat of longevity), we commemorate with you the anniversary of Winston Churchill’s passing on January 24, 1965. Churchill died at home in London at 28 Hyde Park Gate on a Sunday morning, shortly after eight o’clock, at the age of 90. Extraordinarily, it was exactly seventy years to the day of his father’s death.
Churchill’s State Funeral on January 30 was one of the largest and most poignant in British history. Over the years, we have handled some evocative artifacts from that indelible day, including originals of “The Order of Service” and “Ceremonial To Be Observed” — sumptuously printed program booklets produced by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office for the funeral attendees. There was a beautiful signed First Edition of The State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill: A Sketchbook by Charles Mozley — an evocative album of his eye-witness drawings, signed by that acclaimed British artist. (We do still offer a contemporary replica edition HERE.)
One of the more intriguing items that we currently have is an original 8-millimeter film, still in its canister, of “Homage to a Great Man: Sir Winston Churchill,“ a tribute that aired on BBC1 at 8:30 the morning of his funeral. An ‘anthology’ of pictures, poetry and prose, narrated by Richard Dimbleby, the film tells the story of Churchill’s life and work with expert assistance from actors including Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Jack Hawkins.
We have scoured YouTube and the like for a viewing, to no avail. The BBC Archives website does have a page for the film but it appears to be currently unplayable (at least here in the U.S.). Which leads to the question, should we have our copy transferred and offer it digitally to our customers?
Something to consider.
In the meantime we wish you safety and health,
and the sustenance of Winston Churchill’s memory in these ever-trying times.