Have a look at this month’s image from the archives, an illustrated letter sent from the Western Front during the First World War by Jack Churchill, who has already featured elsewhere on this blog (see August 2011).
Posts Tagged ‘Jack Churchill’
Here at the Archives Centre we are probably best known for having the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, but his archive is greatly enriched by being surrounded by the papers of his colleagues, secretaries and various members of his family, which we also hold.
One of the most exciting recent accessions to the Archives Centre has been the papers of Winston’s younger brother, Jack Churchill. Poor Jack has been largely forgotten; many people do not realise that Winston had a brother at all, but Jack, doomed to be the steady, sensible one out of the brilliant Churchill family, had his own part to play in supporting his famous brother, and his archive is a treasure in itself.
Jack (seated on right) and Winston Churchill with the Duke of Marlborough and Viscount Churchill at army camp, Blenheim, 1911. Reference: Randolph Churchill Papers, RDCH 9/1/2D pt 4
Jack’s papers were held by his younger son, Peregrine, who hoped to use them to write a new family history, bringing his father back to his rightful place in history. Upon Peregrine’s death in 2002, the biographers Celia and John Lee took on this task. Once they had finished with various sections of the archive, the papers arrived here for safe keeping, in small, tantalising increments over the last six years.
Gradually the extent of the archive became clear: first there came the family letters, including files of personal letters from Jack’s and Winston’s mother, the beautiful, brilliant (and extremely expensive) Lady Randolph Churchill, their father, Lord Randolph Churchill, the short-lived star of the Conservative Party in the 1880s, letters from Winston and a dozen files of Jack’s own family correspondence. Then there was a whole series of photograph albums, two amazing house books kept by Lady Randolph (featured elsewhere on this blog), and finally, arriving this July, a file of extremely touching letters to Jack from his old nurse, Elizabeth Everest, and Lady Randolph’s only known diary, from 1882.
Celia Lee with Lady Randolph’s diary
Find out more about Jack’s papers on the Janus webserver.