The text in green are the editor's comments and were placed in this compilation of documents on
October 2nd 2004.
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Great Queen Street
I quote the text of an e mail I sent to your Librarian today.
Dear Martin Cherry.
Many thanks for your kind reply. I have copied the letter in an e mail to the Library.
I note that Freemasons Hall is Dedicated to the Memory of all those who lost their lives in the first Gt War.
I wonder whether you could draw the Secretary's attention to the Society's aim of building CHURCHILL HOUSE London and refer him to the URL pages listed below and also forward to him the enclosed PDF of those pages.
I am writing to him today seeking an interview with the Board members and also enclosing further leaflets and CDs
Please read and refer the Secretary to:-
(The reader does not need to look up these URLs for the text of them are paged lower down in this document.
With best wishes.
Norman Harvey Rogers
THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY
The Grand Master.
Great Queen Street
On February 19th 2004 this society wrote to Freemason's Hall upon behalf of the committee seeking an appointment.
We are surprised that to date we have had not even had an acknowledgement and the committee have asked me to write and enquire why?
Pamela Timms (Mrs).
______________________ May 16th 2004. There has been no reply to either of these letters to Freemason Hall. ____________________
THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY London
Great Queen Street
I write on behalf of the committee to say how very disappointed - indeed surprised that the enclosed (above) copy letter has never received an acknowledgement or reply and am instructed to write to you to enquire why?
Next year is the 60th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War and the society is anxious that the subject we sought the Mason's help for, ie a feasibility study to be set in hand to build Churchill House London, was put to your entire membership via your good selves.
The society is now also anxious that
THE CHURCHILL MUSIC.
Performed by Radio Prague and Czeske TV and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Valek and already broadcast in Prague three times, is performed in St Paul's Cathedral on
Churchill's Birthday 30th November
For more information please visit:-
http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/Review.html To keep the narrative flowing easily you can read these reviews further down this page. and follow the LINKS.
The work has never been performed in the UK. The reasons for this are as unknown.
If you are interested in helping I will send you another CD of the work.
We do hope that you will this time reply to these letters
Secretary to the Committee.
THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY London 30th August 2004.
HRH The Duke of Kent
Wondering why the society had not received replies to the letters sent to you personally (and also to the Secretary of the Freemasons at Freemason's Hall, London); and observing that we wrote originally on the 19th February and sent you a request for a reply on the 23rd April - all to no avail -I must ask you to kindly reply to the society.
At the request of the committee I have written to the Secretary again today and enclose a copy of that letter.(The letter above this one)
Knowing little myself about Freemasonry I looked up their web site and was astonished to read on-
that one of your over enthusiastic members has included Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) as a life time Freemason.
You may not know, but for a short period very early in his career, Churchill became a Freemason, but publicly resigned. He proved his independence of character by publishing his letter of resignation whatever the consequences to his future might be - something quite unheard of before or since (Churchill Archives Chartwell Papers.Churchill Archive Centre Cambridge).
I'm sure you will wish to have this claim amended and we now look forward to receiving a reply from you.
Norman Harvey Rogers.
HRH The Duke of Kent.
The society will page his reply when it arrives.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LETTER. ____________________
The Daily Telegraph
Re: Unsocial society
Date: 3 October 2004
Despite being hugely and patriotically English, I can only endorse the prescience of Kevin Myers in opting to live in Ireland.
What he says about us is completely accurate, and is tremendously dispiriting for those of us who can remember that other England, the one where care, courtesy, respect and manners were part of everyday life. Again quite correctly he identifies the culprits as the intelligentsia (although the noun is in many respects a misnomer), who have conducted a merciless and unrelenting assault on all those things that made us what we were.
Now, from the top down, we have a yobbish culture which prevails, and we have become a society motivated by spite, envy, greed, gloating, filth and voyeurism.
The England in which I was raised and educated, and for which I would gladly have laid down my life, has been stolen from us, and we are now an awful country, probably in terminal decline, ruled over by an elite who are self-serving, duplicitious and hugely incompetent.
It is time, I think, to summon back King Arthur, or bang Drake's Drum or whatever it is that we are supposed to do in time of peril.
From: Arthur Mead, Dereham, Norfolk.
_______________________ United Grand Lodge of England Freemason's Hall, Great Queen Street, London. WC2B 5AZ.
21 September 2004.
Grand Secretary's Office
Norman Harvey Rogers, Esq
The Churchill Society, London.
Ivy House, 18 Grove Lane.
Ipswich Suffolk IP4 1NR.
Dear Mr Rogers
I refer to your letter of 30th August addressed to HRH the Duke of Kent, evidently in his capacity as Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. As I am the Grand Master's Masonic Secretary, I am replying to that letter on his behalf. I must also in this letter refer to a letter sent on 30th August by Judith O'Hanlon directly to "The Secretary, Freemasons' Hall" which I assume is intended for me, although its opening of "Dear Sir or Madam" does appear to leave some room for doubt.
Out of the rather confusing mass of paper I have received, let me try to clarify the facts. Neither HRH the Duke of Kent nor I previously received letters from you dated 19th February or 23'd April. The letter enclosed by Ms O'Hanlon is an original, and as a letter is unsigned. The bulk of the letter consists of a copy of an email apparently sent to a Mr Cheny - and, oddly, this email bears an original signature in ink - who is a member of staff of the Library and Museum Charitable Trust also housed within Freemasons' Hall.
On 20'" February Mr Cheny sent to me an email he had received from you asking him to forward to me a "PDF" file concerning Rutherlyn's 'The Churchill Music'. That was the last we heard from The Churchill Society until the two letters dated 30th August.
Your letter to the HRH the Duke of Kent complains that we have published erroneous information on our web site concerning Winston Churchill's career as a Freemason. That is incorrect, as is also your claim that Churchill was a Mason only "for a short period early in his career". The fact is that he was a Mason for very many years although he rarely attended meetings. A more careful reading of what we actually published on our web site would have shown you that we did not claim that he was a "life-time Freemason" either, as you incredulously assert. We simply quoted the term of his very long life, 1874 - 1965, as indeed we did for every other person mentioned there. I enclose a copy of the relevant page so that you can check this.
I also enclose a copy of the third issue of our magazine MQ which contains a full and accurate account of Churchill's involvement in Freemasonry, from which you will also note that we also say that it did not seem to have had much influence upon him. There is no evidence to support your other statement that he "proved his independence of character by publishing his letter of resignation whatever the consequences to his future might be - something quite unheard of before or since", and I am afraid that this is just nonsensical.
Your letter of 19th February appears to request an interview with members of my Board, possibly to solicit funds to assist the Society in building 'Churchill House'. It is perfectly correct that Freemasons' Hall was built as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the First World War, and, as I have noted above, that Churchill was a Freemason. I am sorry to have to disappoint you, but I am afraid that I do not believe that either of these facts suggests that The Churchill Society ought to have any reason to believe that we would consider it appropriate to be involved with the Society or any of its projects.
THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY
Let us build wisely,
let us build surely,
let us build faithfully
let us build for the years that are to come,
and so establish here below
what we hope to find above -
a house of many mansions,
where there shall be room for all.
The Grand Secretary
United Lodge of England
Gt Queen Street
Dear Mr Morrow
Thank you for at last replying to our letter dated 19th February 2004. We are much distressed that our original letter of February 19th has led to this deeply unhappy state of affairs.
To digress for a moment.
Last year we e mailed the librarian at Freemason Hall asking to see a copy of Churchill's resignation letter from the Freemasons. She replied that Freemasons Hall library had no records of Churchill's membership and it would have been unlikely for them to have been kept as he was little known at the youthful age he joined.
You now produce the Freemasons Members Journal No 3 dated 2002, the cover page of which is a blatant piece of cheap PR hack work using a life size image of Churchill's face in the late 1940's with him wearing a homburg hat and with the specious title:-
The art work for this cover page was deliberately done to create the impression that Churchill was a Freemason in the 1930's and on through the war, when in fact he had publicly resigned from the Freemasons long before the First World War. The photograph of Churchill is one taken during the war and his homburg had clearly gives a fashion date from 1938 onwards.
The inclusion of Churchill's date of birth and death so prominently on your web site is again - we suspect - meant to imply that he was a lifelong freemason.
Both inferences are deliberately dishonest.
The plausible text in the magazine about his membership, when read by people who know the history of that period, proves that Churchill quickly became disillusioned with freemasonry long before the First World War.
We note that in that article you publish a facsimile of the receipt to him which is in your library, of his joining and first year's subscription fees. If you possess that in your library then you will also possess his letter of resignation and documentation of when he ceased to pay his annual subscriptions. Again in the article you have been selective in your quotations from the Churchill Archive Papers by failing to publish his letter of resignation.
We are much surprised that the duke lends his name to such inferences and that he has not ordered this to be changed to ensure that readers know that Churchill quickly became disillusioned with freemasonry and resigned from it.
Sadly, the above facts now bring into question the truthfulness of the Freemason's claims about other famous men named on your web site.
Churchill was a libertarian, He had many lifelong friends who were masons. His written support for the formation of munition factory workers' Lodges does not justify you in claiming he was a freemason at the time. You know he was not.
His support for the munitions workers' application for a Freemason Lodge near the factory was part of his great achievement, when having been urgently appointed Minister of Munitions to solve the very serious shortage of shells in the Gt War, he met the strike leaders in London, heard and agreed with their genuine complaints and immediately resolved all the strikes within the industry by increasing pay, and - unlike freemasonry still today - gave the women factory workers the respect that all women are entitled to - with equal conditions and pay with the men.
From that moment onwards there were no shortages of ammunition.
Because you allege that the papers we sent you were - as you so say - 'a confusing mass' - we have reproduced them here in the precise order in which you and the duke received them on the 19th February this year; when both you and he decided without reference to your board to ignore them - that is - until you were forced to respond because we paged the letters as being unanswered on our web site.
We must say that we find it extraordinary that you both decided without consulting anyone in your organisation to deny your members knowledge of the contents of our original letter.
We are dismayed that in spite of Freemason's Hall having been built to the memory of all who suffered and died in the Great War - you do not even bother to consult your members as to whether they would like to help us in 2006 in honouring Churchill and his comrade's in arms who lost their lives leaving widows and orphans, and those who suffered appalling injuries in WW II.
The outcome of our original letter of the 19th February this year with Freemason Hall has come as a great shock to the committee of this society. We understood many distinguished men of achievement including many High Court judges were amongst your members, and that freemasonry was a society of men of great integrity.
It is clear from this correspondence and the cover and text of your journal No 3 that Churchill was clearly right to resign from the Freemason's. Were he alive today you would not dare to make such claims.
Surely every aspect of our correspondence should now be examined by senior judges in the Freemasonry movement so that the good name of Freemasonry can be redeemed.
On behalf of the Chairman and Committee.
Norman Harvey Rogers.
The contents of this letter and the PDF file sent to you, are paged below to enable our nearly 4 million annual internet readers to follow this correspondence. They are paged exactly as sent in the PDF to you and proves that the papers we sent to you were not. as you write above. 'a confusing mass of paper'.
We have however added additional pages to this web site page explaining to our readers exactly what our committee wanted to propose to the committee members at Freemasons Hall London. We have had to do this in the light of the above correspondence.
over the Reich stag in Berlin
Winston Churchill 24th November 1951
I have read that the Prince of Wales's new Institute of Architecture has been thinking of taking up the challenge of designing and building a new public building. The 50th anniversary of the Ending of the Second World War in 1995 presents them and the nation with the perfect opportunity.
CHURCHILL HOUSE should be a living War Memorial.
If its running is devoted to Commemorating the War Dead and Churchill's achievements in a visionary way, it cannot fail to be of great inspirational and practical value - especially to young people.
I hope that by the 50th anniversary of the Ending of the Second World War - VJ Day August 1995 - the society's constitution and committee would be in place, so that the aims of the society - especially its ideas regarding CHURCHILL HOUSE could be widely publicised in that very special year.
A sub committee of architects and laymen should establish what facilities will be required in CHURCHILL HOUSE then recommend sites.
A possible site could be on that now occupied by the former admiralty blockhouse on the left side of the Horse Guards Parade Ground.
CHURCHILL HOUSE would then complete the third side of the square.
On the left of the pictures above is the hideous Second World War bunker on the Mall side of Horse Guards Parade Ground Whitehall.
Churchill called it "That vast monstrosity which weighs on the Horse Guards Parade"
It is astonishing - and perhaps fortuitous - that after over 50 years it still exists! For the site - if handled with great sensitivity in a classical style - is perfect for Churchill House.
It was built 1940-41 as an operations centre for the Admiralty. The foundations are nine metres deep, and a six metre thick concrete roof protects the principal rooms. It remains a gaunt reminder of the Second World War. In an attempt to disguise the original function of the building, it is now covered with Russian vine and the roof is grassed over, and is cut twice a year.
The site (and its clearance) for CHURCHILL HOUSE, could be provided by the government and/or funded from a world wide appeal.
and English oak, and all the building work and manufacture of component parts should be by technical college final year City and Guilds students as part of their final examinations and all done under the supervision of their tutors, who in turn would be expected to meet the architects specifications.
Technical Colleges from all over the world would be invited to participate, with either the building trade construction companies supplying building materials free (in return for advertising entitlements), or the purchase of them being funded by the Colleges with money given by THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY from that collected from the main appeal
Upon each piece of work delivered on site on time and up to specification; the student/s would be entitled to sign his or her work, be it a window casement, a door and door case, a section of, or a complete plaster ornament or cornice - a carved section of joinery, some piece of specially designed and made furniture, carpets, or soft furnishings etc. Whatever is needed - students must build, make, and install it and as the years go by maintain or replace it.
The sense of purpose and pride in craftsmanship that such a project will generate will enable the scale of the project to become truly worthwhile Memorial to the appalling sacrifices our fathers had to make in the awesome wars of this century - and the end result will delight everyone.
Upon completion of CHURCHILL HOUSE, a leather bound book (made by a student bookbinder) should be upon open and permanent display in the entrance to CHURCHILL HOUSE, listing the names of the students, their technical colleges and all their suppliers, who from the laying of the foundation stone to completion, laid the brick courses, quarried the stone, made the tiles and laid the roof and lead flashings; laid all the marble and wooden inlaid floors and made and carved all the internal joinery etc. The book should name all those who supplied - and the students who installed - the plumbing and electrical installations including the in-house Recording, Radio, TV studios. It should also list the names of all those who laid out and planted the gardens and who in turn, maintain them. Likewise the Hotel and Catering College students each month, year upon year, alternate and organise and run on a proper commercial basis, the CHURCHILL HOUSE catering facilities.
The Churchill Society is still at an embryonic stage. It needs the support not only of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust but of the many influential and good people in this and other countries who do not as yet know of the Society's ideas.
There is an army of people who today have been forced into idleness, unemployment or early retirement and who would be delighted to help the Society.
These ideas, if presented properly to the people, will not daunt them, but inspire and fire their imaginations far more than the Channel Tunnel - for the building of CHURCHILL HOUSE will touch the very deepest chords within us all.
The project can be turned into a marvellous revival - not only of civic architecture - but a revival of national self confidence and pride in our country.
At the composer's suggestion she placed the orchestral score into the care of the Trust, where it lay unknown for 19 years.
The composer also presented Churchill College Cambridge with an identically bound edition in 1974.
In 1994 the composer took the gift and copyrights back and presented Lady Churchill's leather and gilt bound orchestral score, complete with the copyright in perpetuity, to
THE CHURCHILL SOCIETY
It was the Cambridge College edition which the composer took back after 19 years of neglect and which he sent to the Prague Conservatoire of Music in 1993. The quality of the work was immediately recognised and led to the work's first performance by the Czech National Orchestra in conjunction with Radio Prague and Cszeke TV on VE Day 1995 in Prague.
The composer believes that the Trust and the Society should merge. . . . and will do so . . . in years to come.
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra
1. CRADLE DAYS. . . . subtitled "A tribute to Mrs Everest". A musical portrayal of Blenheim Palace, where Churchill was born, and of an awakening child taken into the care of his nanny, Mrs Everest, to whom Churchill remained devoted all her life. The music ends with a lullaby and the child falling asleep.
2. NURSERY DAYS. At Little Lodge Dublin. (January 1877 - February 1880) A musical portrayal of the boy Churchill, playing with his toy soldiers and dreaming of the day when he would be a great General like his ancestor.
3. SAD DAYS AT ST GEORGE'S SCHOOL. A short piece portraying his hatred of this preparatory school and the unhappy times he spent there. (He was sent there in 1882 just before his eighth birthday - he left in the summer of 1884)
4.HARROW. (He commenced at the school in April 1888 and left in 1893) A re-harmonised and choral arrangement of the Harrow School Song. Soloist Sylva Kroupova.
5. PEERING AT LIFE AROUND A CORNER. A short piece depicting his mood during his convalescence after a youthful accident. "For a year I peered at life around a corner". My Early Life by WSC page 33.
6. THE CHURCHILL MARCH. (He went to Sandhurst on the lst September 1893) An ORCHESTRAL MARCH commemorating his cadetship at Sandhurst College.
7. THE MALAKAND FIELD FORCE. Subtitled "Men and Mountains". (September 1897). The music portrays the punitive expedition awakening to Reveille on the North West Frontier.
8. THE BATTLE OF OMDURMAN. (September 1898) Cavalry charge and the young Churchill's grief at the plight of the injured.
9. THE ARMOURED TRAIN. (December 1899) Incident in the South African Boer War. N.B. This piece has never been performed and is not included on the CDs and Tape Cassettes. (10.17 minute movement).
10.THE BLENHEIM ROMANCE. (August 1908) Winston proposes to Clementine Hozier in the classical pavilion by the lakeside in Blenheim Park.
11. SEASCAPE Subtitled . . The Lord of the Admiralty at the Spithead Review. (1911).
12. THE FIRST WORLD WAR. (August 4th 1914 until November 11th 1918) A 3.5 minute excerpt from the end of this tragic movement. 540K. Download time 3 minutes.
(August 4th 1914 until November 11th 1918) THE SOLDIER'S PRAYER: Soloist Vladimir Okenko My God, to Thee do I implore;
Oh, take away my fear.
That in this night of terror and fright;
I beg, I pray, You keep near to me:
God, hear my prayer.
Forgive me Lord, for sins long past,
For deeds of hurt and thoughtlessness:
If Thou should'st spare me yet to live,
I will love Thee.
In this the hour of my despair,
Oh, come and give me strength.
That in the agony of this war,
I'll feel and know Thy presence,
Steel my heart to bravely endure,
These days of sorrow and nights of fear;
Nor let me an act of cowardice do,
And I'll love Thee.
THE CHARTWELL SUITE.
Four pieces for Orchestra.
- 13. 'Spring Dawn'.
- 14. 'Summer's Day'.
- 15. 'Autumn Mists'.
- 16. 'Winter's Night'.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
(September 3rd 1939 to VE & VJ Day 1945).
17. 'In Defeat Defiance'.
18. 'In War Resolution'.
19. 'In Victory, Magnanimity'.
20. 'In Peace Goodwill'.*
The composer marked the score . . . . "After the last fanfares have sounded from high in the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, the congregation will stand in memory of the 60 million people who died, and then remain standing until the end of the work.
The first performance on VE Day 1995 in Prague was televised by Czeske TV. There are CDs available to members.
It was also broadcast later by Radio Prague. It has been broadcast in Europe three times since and excerpts have been performed in the USA and Canada but no performance or broadcast has taken place Churchill's own country. (2004)
*The beautiful Czeske TV video of the occasion is available from the society.
THE CHURCHILL MUSIC.
subtitled 'A Legend in Music of the Life and Times of Sir Winston Churchill'. by Norman Harvey Rutherlyn. These are not selected reviews - they are the only reviews to date. (May 2004). _____________ A REVIEW by THE BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC SOCIETY.
How many times have we heard that the BBC is not interested in tuneful contemporary music?
Well here comes another example - but this time with a sting in the tail.
The composer Norman Harvey Rutherlyn was so moved by Churchill's funeral in 1965 that he vowed to commemorate his life in music by composing a large orchestral and choral work for performance in St Paul's Cathedral to mark Churchill's Centenary in 1974. Eight years and 20 movements later the work was complete and in 1972 was offered to various noteworthy and officially patriotic concerns but nobody was interested. Why not? Probably because it was melodic!
Twenty years later in 1993, in sheer desperation, the composer turned to the Czech Republic. We should be glad that he did so, because a live performance was recorded in by Czseke TV and Radio Prague in 1995 by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of VE Day, and the resulting double CD is a bargain 90 minutes worth of sheer delight.
Among its 20 movements are such pieces such as the lovely opening movement 'Cradledays' (a tribute to his Nanny Mrs Everest at Blenheim Palace), a piece called 'Nurserydays' (portraying the boy Churchill playing with his many toy soldiers): a choral and orchestral arrangement of the 'Harrow School Song': a majestic military march entitled:- 'The Churchill March' (commemorating his time at Sandhurst): followed by:-
'The Malakand Field Force' (India) 'The Boer War',
'The Blenheim Romance',
'Seascape' (subtitled, Lord of the Admiralty at the Spithead Review): followed by the dramatic and sorrowful centre piece of the work:-
The Great War.
(Interval) followed by
The Chartwell Suite:
Four movements entitled:-
'Spring Dawn', 'Summer's Day',
'Autumn Mists', 'Winter's Night'.
and the last four majestic movements entitled
The Second World War.
'In Defeat Defiance'.
'In War Resolution'.
'In Victory Magnanimity'.
'In Peace Goodwill'.
If you like deeply moving music then you will be glad you bought this double CD knowing that any small profits go towards the educational work of the society. But what a disgrace and total irony that it took a former Communist music loving country to perform and produce one of the most patriotic pieces of British music ever composed.
In 1995 and after the first performance organised by the society, the composer with his wife and daughter, gave the copyright and Lady Churchill's leather and gilt bound presentation edition of the orchestral score to the Society.
_______________________________ Review after the first Prague 1995 VE Day performance.
'I am astounded - it is nothing less than a phenomenon - there are passages in it that tower among and rub shoulders with the great symphonic masters'.
______________________________ The British Music Society Promoters of the British Musical Heritage (Registered Charity 1043838)
Dr Richard Arnell, Sir Malcolm Arnold CBE, Dame Janet Baker DBE CH, Richard Baker OBE, Jennifer Bate, Lady Bliss, Sir Colin Davis CBE, Giles Easterbrook, Lewis Foreman, Dr Vernon Handley, Peter Middleton (Founder Chairman), Sir Simon Rattle CBE, Malcolm Smith, Basil Tschaikov, Dr Malcolm Williamson CBE AO (Master of the Queen's Music), Dr Thomas Wilson CBE ________________ CD Review 23rd September 2002. THE CHURCHILL MUSIC. Composed by NORMAN HARVEY RUTHERLYN. 'CHURCHILL'. A Legend in Music of the
Life and Times of Sir Winston. (1974).
Orchestrated by Derek John Barnes. Czech National Symphony Orchestra. c. Vladimir Valek. 2 CDs totalling c. 90 minutes. Also a shortened alternative version with added sound effects. Obtainable from The Secretary, The Churchill Society, 18 Grove Lane, IPSWICH. IP4 1NR. UK
This CD arrived by post unexpectedly from The Churchill Society.
I was amazed to discover a highly ambitious work written by this self-taught composer, whose original aim was to have it performed at St Paul's Cathedral for the Churchill Centenary in 1974.
Written under truly difficult conditions, it is a startling example of single-mindedness, dedication and determination - and a living example in the honourable tradition of English eccentricity.
When Rutherlyn had completed the piece, needless to say nobody was interested in performing it, and it sat with the Churchill Memorial Trust for 18 years utterly forgotten.
The first glimmer came in 1985 when Margaret Thatcher selected one movement, The Churchill March, to be performed in Westminster Abbey for the 40th Anniversary Commemoration of the Ending of the War. Then with the Iron Curtain removed, Rutherlyn, cogniscant of the musical heritage of the Czech people, made an approach.
It was performed at a Gala Inaugural Concert given in Prague on the 50th anniversary of VE Day, 1995. by The Churchill Society and sponsored and broadcast by Radio Prague in conjunction with Czeske TV . This led to the present recording.
The description of the work in programmatic terms is pretty accurate. The 19 individual movements cover Churchill's childhood, Harrow, Sandhurst, India, Omdurman, First Lord, the Great War, Chartwell and WWII. (There is also a piece for the Boer War never performed). The only questionable omission is reference to Gallipoli, which does not feature in the Great War scenario. Of course Churchill was not the prime villain of that fiasco, indeed his strategic concept has strong argument for it. It was the actual execution that was so bad, with Hamilton and de Roebeck out of their depths, and Stopforth's incompetence breathtaking. But Gallipoli always hung over Churchill's repute, and still does.
As for the music, a review by Peter Worsley of the British Light Music Society perhaps gives the hint. It is unashamedly tuneful and much of it is light. It does not attempt to be "monumental", avoids bombast, and the bloodier moments are treated with reflective reserve rather than as a Hollywood action drama.. There are a variety of musical quotations, but the shadows of notable composers who have specialised in patriotic or historical music do not lie over it.
The episodes covering Mrs. Everest (his nanny), the nursery, Harrow and Sandhurst are effectively high quality light music and most enjoyable at that. A few other pieces are less successful, but the setting at Blenheim when he proposes marriage is charming, and the scenes at Chartwell between the wars have natural beauty lavished upon them but not without reflection on the storms gathering. The invigorating Seascape, including a Review of the Fleet, is of some substance.
Central to the Great War music is the singing of "The Soldier's Prayer" (poet not named) to a haunting and beautiful tune which, pleasant though it is, left me slightly uneasy as to whether it was the right approach. WWII has some good tunes and ends to an acceptably buoyant climax, though without actually quite hitting the emotional heights. Nevertheless it is successful.
To complicate matters, an alternative, shorter version has been issued with more added sound effects (two were already in place). Some pieces improve, notably the Omdurman episode and the already fine Seascape, others are neither here nor there. The final number, which tries to create the ambiance of St Paul's Cathedral, as if it had actually been performed there, does not really succeed. It seems distinctly disjointed and I preferred the "straight" version.
To sum up, there is scope in this friendly music for selection by Classic FM, and for use as a complete entity in a variety of ways geared to popular entertainment. If the BBC did not manage the Proms I would have added that it would be suitable for a Saturday night, but an organisation that fears Sullivan's Festival Te Deum or a semi-staged version of Maxwell Davies "Resurrection" is unlikely to take heed.
As for the CD, I can recommend it in one or both versions to anybody with a liking for unpretentious, tuneful fare with the occasional sharp and disturbing edges. But for BMS members there is more to it than that. Normally such a composer would appear in due course in a future edition of Gerald Leach's Profiles book, with his name read but his music unheard. Thanks to this CD we have the opportunity actually to hear what Rutherlyn has achieved, and to form our own judgment on this extraordinary, unorthodox piece.
All will admire the motives behind it, and the industry and determination involved in its creation - to say nothing of the sheer neck of the whole endeavour.
THE CHURCHILL MUSIC has been broadcast three times in Europe to date and excerpts have been performed in Canada and the USA; but not a single note of it has been performed in the United Kingdom!
Shortly after the British Music Society's Review was published, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust placed (for the first time) the following notice in the BMS Journal.
During the existence of THE CHURCHILL MUSIC the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has given more the 500 travelling scholarships for musicians.
The composer of THE CHURCHILL MUSIC applied for a travelling Scholarship in 1975 for the purpose of seeking sponsors for a performance of the work.
He was refused.
In the intervening twenty eight years he visited the Trust upon many occasions appealing to them to seek sponsorship but they declined.
In 1988 the Churchill family and their friends in the Winston Memorial Trust promoted a West End Musical with 'Winnie' singing in his bath!
After three performances it was taken off.
It was reputed to have lost them £3 million pounds and was described by a Buckingham Palace courtier as
"just done for
money, money, money,
vulgar, vulgar, vulgar!"
The Churchill Society
Tyranny is our foe
whatever trappings or disguise it wears,
whatever language it speaks,
be it external or internal,
we must forever be on our guard,
always ready to spring at its throat.
A narrator should announce each piece of music, so the public can follow it in their programmes.
The boys in school uniform from Harrow, with the Orchestra, and the Organist and Choir of St. Paul's to perform the Harrow School Song.
Director of Music and musicians of the British Army joins the orchestra and conducts movement number 6, "Churchill March".
Director of Music, Royal Marines and his musicians join the orchestra and he conducts the movement, "SEASCAPE", subtitled "Lord of the Admiralty at the Spithead Review".
Director of Music, R.A.F, likewise conducts "IN DEFEAT DEFIANCE".
A Prayer of THANKSGIVING at the end and as the Public leave, a Collection for the CHURCHILL MEMORIAL FUND.
The Cathedral to be lit with candles - each candle to represent so many who lost their lives in the wars of this century.
From the end of the concert to midnight there be a war time blackout to let children see just how dark the blackout was.
There should be an Air Raid sirens. Old wartime search lights should then scan the sky and catch the Cathedral's Cross and bombers drone overhead.
The City of London should have 'explosions' and buildings appear to have been bombed by setting them 'ablaze' by means of copious smoke and son-et-luminaie and upon the stroke of mid-night the 'All Clear' should sound and then after a short pause, all the City of London Church Bells should ring joyously and a there be a great Fire Work display.
________________________________________ In our letter of the 19th February 2004 to The Secretary to the Duke of Kent at Freemason's Hall
we enclosed not only CDs of
THE CHURCHILL MUSIC
but also a CD recording of the late Rt Hon Enoch Powell's historic speech to the Society.
Text of his speech is below.
My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen
The philosopher Aristotle in defining tragedy stated, you may perhaps think surprisingly, that it must have mekos or "length".
The phenomenon of Winston Churchill would have been impossible, whatever his other qualities, without the exceptional length of his public life and experience.
Between the battle of Omdurman with the classic last cavalry charge in British military history to Britain's acquisition of the hydrogen bomb as a member of the American alliance there was a stretch of fifty-seven years, a period which covered both the culmination and the dissolution of the British Empire, the transformation of British society and politics by extension of the franchise to include all adults, and a technological transformation of life in Britain at least as extensive as the first Industrial Revolution.
I have reckoned the span of time to Churchill's resignation as Prime Minister in 1955 at the age of 5O, because, despite president Johnson's ill-judged obituary tribute, the public life which we are honouring tonight was at an end ten years before its physical termination.
Science and the progress of civilisation have created incalculably powerful resources for recording and preserving information; but information is not the same thing as experience, and the individual human mind and memory have retained their primacy undiminished.
When the man who was Asquith's President of the Board of Trade sat in the central seat at the Cabinet table - the very same Cabinet table - half a century later, it was not a filing cabinet or a computer which sat there. The life of Britain itself experienced to the full through three generations of men was present with all its memories and emotions and with the recollection of past expectations and their outcome.
By 1955 it was given to Winston Churchill to have become the living embodiment of his nation through the accumulation of its past in his own individual person. This would not have been so had Churchill been a pedantically consistent exponent of opinions once formed. He had the ability to change with the times and to share the vicissitudes of opinion. He could change from a Conservative of the Salisbury era to a Liberal of the Asquith era; and when the day of liberalism, of Lloyd George and of the National Coalition was done, he could change again into a Conservative who would hold high office under Baldwin in the 1920's and would not have refused it from Neville Chamberlain in the later 1930's. Thus he shared the afterglow of Britain's devotion to free trade; but when opinion deserted it at last, he moved with the movement of events, unhampered by the scruples or the impracticality of a doctrinaire. He shared the triumphalist imperialism of Britain's Wembley Exhibition years which followed the victories and conquests of the First World War, and he tested to breaking point the destructibility of the Indian Raj; but the wartime leader who refused to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire found it possible, along with his fellow countrymen, to do just that and to do it upon the whole with dignity and without dishonour in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Never perhaps was there a statesman who built up such an accumulation of damaging quotes against himself; but a genial English common sense and an eye for the main chance enabled him to soar gleefully above them.
Churchill was always a man of his time. While Lloyd George was 'robbing the hen roosts', Churchill kept cave for him. When a Liberal government became dependent upon Irish votes, Churchill would crush Ulster's resistance to home rule. He never fell foul of Bismarck's great dictum that, if there is anything more dangerous than a very short-sighted politician, it is a very far-sighted politician.
Churchill's warning's of German aggressive intention after 1934 which reinforced his personal authority when he was called to the helm in l94O, have caused to be misunderstood the true sense in which he was prophetic.
It was not so much the triumph of distant deductive reasoning as the long vista of historical and personal memory which, when others were still blind, revealed to him the nature and inevitable outcome of the resurgent German empire. He was a man who thought with his memory.
The climax which came to Churchill's life in 1940 was, like the Battle of Waterloo, a "damned close-run thing". He was rising 66. A year or two longer, and the consummation of that vast political life would have been no more than a might-have-been. It is easy now to underestimate how close we came to that catastrophe.
I used to possess a work entitled The tragedy of Winston Churchill by a gentleman of the name of Germains which was published in 1931. Its theme was the career of a man dogged by repeated failure, whose high promise had been belied over and over again. That was a thesis not capable of being maintained without special pleading; but it would have seemed a plausible theme for biographers if the final span had not turned all that went before into an almost preordained prelude and preparation for the climax.
As in all human affairs, there was a big element of chance. But chance is powerless without a quality in the human beings whose lives it rules that is anything but fortuitous. Churchill never contracted out. In the great lottery of life, he never rose from the gaming-table. After the collapse of the Lloyd George Coalition it would have been a perfectly acceptable option for an ex-Home Secretary, ex-First Lord of the Admiralty, ex-Colonial Secretary, ex-Cabinet Minister of fifteen years standing to make the honoured and dignified exit traditionally appropriate to such a career. The House of Lords is littered - more than ever since the invention life peerages - with those who chose that option.
In Churchill there was a force, which is under described if it is called ambition, that drove him into the fray again to force his return
reluctant political party and fight his way to the top level there. Even then, there was no stopping, After 1929 the Elysian Fields might have beckoned a former Chancellor of the Exchequer; but new controversies, new causes, new antagonisms were irresistible. It was because Churchill irrepressibly returned ever and again to the battle front that he enjoyed that enormous span of public life which made him at the end of it an incarnation of the British people.
Comparative lives are tempting but often misleading and fallacious. I am minded nevertheless to use two comparative lives to assist in assessing the dimensions of the Churchill portent. The nearest political life to Churchill's in terms of length was that of Gladstone. Gladstone sat in Parliament for sixty-three years, almost exactly identical with Churchill's sixty-four, though perhaps the last ten of Churchill's years ought not to be counted. On the other hand Gladstone first became Prime Minister at the age of 58 as compared with Churchill at 66. At 75 Gladstone attempted retirement but events and his own personality drew him back into the lead and he formed his last government at 82 years of age, as against Churchill's 77. Both men thus brought into the public life and government of their later years a span of experience and a historic vision that was out of the ordinary. If there was a difference between them, it is to be found in the almost demonic compulsion of an inner logic which propelled Gladstone from one party into another and from High Toryism into principled radicalism. To this there was no counterpart in the life of the later statesman.
The other life which I evoke is that of F. E. Smith, who entered Parliament in 1905 at the age of 33 against Churchill's 26 and found himself raised by his coruscating parliamentary brilliance into the front ranks of' the Conservative Party by the time the war came in 1914. Yet before it was over he had, for all his political talents and ambition, preferred office and eventually the Woolsack to greater dangers and opportunities. Winston Churchill and F. E. Smith were friends as well as rivals; but the Earl of Birkenhead * sets off like a foil the imperishable inheritance which the sheer undaunted persistence of Churchill enabled him to leave behind in the political life of Britain.
This Society has given itself the task of maintaining, commemorating and enlarging the life and work of Winston Churchill. That is not a task which can be performed from one angle or one point of view. It is three dimensional and you must walk right round and keep on walking as long as you live. Tonight availing myself of the privilege with which you endowed me, I have drawn your attention to but one dimension, the dimension of time: and I have sought to assist evaluation of that unique achievement in terms of time. It is but one aspect; but one angle out of many, but from many angles - inexhaustibly - Churchill will be studied: and from many angles, unwearingly,he will be honoured and admired.
*(F.E.Smith became the Earl of Birkenhead)