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Souvenir menu for the 14 August 1946 luncheon given to celebrate the formal Installation of Winston S. Churchill as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, signed by 25 luncheon attendees including Churchill, his wife Clementine, his brother Jack, his fist cousin Oswald and Oswald's wife Lena, and his wartime Chancellor of the Exchequer John Anderson
Dover, 1946. From 1941 to his death in 1965, Winston S. Churchill served as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. This menu from the luncheon following his formal Installation on 14 August 1946 is signed in pencil by 25 of the individuals present, including Winston S. Churchill and four members of his family - his wife, Clementine (1885-1977), Churchill's brother John Strange “Jack” Spencer Churchill (1880-1947) who died just six months later, Churchill's first cousin and career naval officer Oswald Moreton Frewen (1887-1958), and Oswald's wife, Lena Frewen (1902-1988). The balance of the signatures are a mix of identified and unidentified local and ministerial officials, ranging from the Sheriff of Kent to John Anderson (1882-1958), Churchill's wartime Chancellor of the Exchequer who Churchill told the King should become wartime Prime Minister if Churchill and Eden were to die during the war (ODNB), and who became 1st Viscount Waverly in 1952 during Churchill's second premiership. The menu measures 8 x 5 inches and is four pages printed in blue on a single folded sheet of heavy ivory card stock. The second page of the menu - amusingly to a modern ear - terminates with a course selection of “Fromage Camembert ou Bleu Danois | Biscuits | Café | Cigarettes”. The third page is a Programme of Music played by a band of the Royal Marines and the final page is a Toast List. The signatures of Clementine, Winston, and John Anderson are on the front cover with fourteen signatures on the Menu page and the final eight signatures on the final page bearing the Toast List, the last signature being Oswald's with the additional notation “cum humilitas.” Condition of the menu is very good, complete with minor wear to the corners and light soiling and spotting. At the top of the front cover in heavy blue ink are the words “Castle Hill”. “Constable of the Castle of Dover” was part of Churchill's appointment as Lord Warden and the reference is certainly to the massive Castle of Dover, founded in 1180 and strategically vital for centuries, commanding the shortest sea crossing between England and the Continent. The Lord Warden is a Royal appointment dating back to the 12th century associated with defense of the realm. The Cinque Ports comprise Dover, Sandwich, New Romney, Hastings, and Hythe, to which Rye and Winchelsea were later added. Although the post was largely ceremonial by the time Churchill was appointed the 158th Lord Warden in 1941, Churchill was then consumed with distinctly non-ceremonial duties as wartime Prime Minister. This explains why the elaborate formal Installation ceremony did not take place until 14 August 1946. As Churchill said in his remarks during the Installation, eliciting laughter from his amused audience: “…I took a keen interest in my duties which at the time were by no means ceremonial…” On 14 August, before the luncheon at which this menu was signed, Churchill rode through cheering crowds, dressed in his elaborate Lord Warden regalia and flashing his famous V sign, to the Court of Shepway for the formal Installation ceremony. Upon Churchill's appointment in 1941 The Times had written: “To this august tradition of Keeper of the Gates of England and Watcher of the English Seas, Mr. Churchill now succeeds. As First Lord in two wars he has fully qualified to preside in this ancient shrine of the seafaring tradition. As the dauntless leader of the Nation in the moment of its greatest peril he can wear the symbolic dignity as no other man can do.” The August 1946 Installation must have been bittersweet for Churchill; although Churchill had done perhaps more during the Second World War to protect the Realm than perhaps any preceding Lord Warden, less than a year earlier, in the General Election of 1945, Churchill had lost his premiership to Labour in the General Election of July 1945. The Lord Warden would remain Leader of the Opposition until his second and final premiership following the General Election of October 1951.
      [Bookseller: Churchill Book Collector]
Last Found On: 2017-11-22           Check availability:      Biblio    

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