Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Churchill Series – Aug. 1, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Readers Note: Prompted by a readers thoughtful comments and question concerning Churchill and King Edward VIII, I'll post on their early relationship before the Prince of Wales became King, the abdication crisis and their subsequent relationship.

Now to today's post - - -

Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector Walter Thompson, Churchiill’s principal bodyguard for many years, including all of WW II, tells us:

Mr. Churchill did not always respect the rules created for his own protection. One of my duties was to ensure that photographs were not taken of him with landmarks in the background that could be recognized

[During WW II while] he was [still] at the Admiralty, we were walking over one day to 10 Downing Street when a press photographer intercepted us. This was not a suitable place for a photograph and I waved the pressman aside.

Winston, however, had other ideas. He called to the cameraman, “Do you want to take a photograph?”

“Yes, please, sir," was the reply.

The photograph was taken and I was not pleased. I turned to Churchill and said, “I thought that photographs were forbidden here, sir?”

“Ah, well,” came the answer, with that irresistible boyish grin. “After all, he is one of God’s children, Thompson.”

By then he saw that I was not mollified, and in the garden of No. 10 he returned to the subject. “They have to do something to get a little copy, you know.”
Churchill had his share of faults, as do we all. But at his core he was just what one of his secretaries told an historian he was: "such a nice man."

I hope you all have a very pleasant weekend.

Ex-Detective Inspector Walter Thompson, Beside the Bulldog:The Intimate Memoirs of Chrchil’s Bodyguard. (pg. 83)