In this final extract from the archives commemorating the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral (“Operation Hope Not”) on 30 January, we show one simple letter from Churchill’s daughter Mary, which sums up, better than anything else, Churchill’s place in our history.

Mary, who was married to the diplomat Christopher Soames, and was to become a notable author (and DBE) in her own right, wrote this letter some seven months before her father’s death, in the summer of 1964. It is a moving farewell to “a loving, generous father”, in contrast to all the grandeur of the state occasion which was to come.

Mary Soames letter to Churchill, 1964

Mary Soames’s letter to Churchill, 8 June 1964. Reference: Churchill Papers, CHUR 1/136/235.


For more information on Churchill in 2015, take a look at the new Churchill Central website.

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