There is a big to- do about the new movie about Winston Churchill. Other than the makeup, there is nothing as wonderful about the man’s story as depicted by Gary Oldman.
The man in history has been given a makeover as a hero, but there are a lot of disturbing things about Sir Winston.
First, he was not a very good military tactician, and along with bumbling generals led to the tragedy of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 while he was First Lord of the Admiralty.
This produced a stain on his reputation to say the least. Thousands of military men from England, Australia and New Zealand were killed before the British gave the campaign up for a lost cause and withdrew the rest of the forces.
I have read several biographies and numerous other accounts of Churchill’s life.
I was most impressed with the Blenheim Palace on a trip through some of the great houses in 2006.
I saw the room where Churchill was born. It was a former cloak room and not too much bigger than an ordinary bedroom. Of course he was not supposed to be born in a palace, as his father was a second son and not entitled to the baronetcy or whatever title that goes with a huge pile of stone with tapestries and a two story library.
The original owner and founder of Blenheim Palace was a general that fought a little battle way back in the history of Battling Europe. It was Austria against the world, and the English won that one.
The rewards looked quite out of proportion to the job well done, with vast acreages, farms, pastures, and enough money to keep building for years.
On this same trip in 2006 I went to Cambridge and saw the Churchill library that recorded most of Winston Churchill’s writings. One curious display was an article that he had written on the problem of the populations of color. This was during war time, as the newspaper was colored pink in a cost saving measure.
In this rather long article he states that the populations of India and Africa were totally to be looked down upon, and not considered to have much intelligence or understanding of world affairs or economics.
He used the word “wogs” to refer to anyone of color, and it was not a compliment.
My estimation of the man sunk a bet lower after that.
Later, I visited the war time headquarters in London, where Churchill lived in a bunker and ran the war from his office and small bedroom. The bed was small and the room not much bigger than a prison cell.
This towering figure in history was not honored too much after he died. His grave is in a small church yard within sight of Blenheim Palace, and in the ten years after his death, became a littered forgotten forlorn little plot of land.
Now, the grave restoration people have cleaned it up and laid a plastic wreath there, but it is not an imposing awe inspiring place of rest.
The grave was not in any way defiled or vandalized, but suffered from neglect because people just forgot about the man and went on with their lives.