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The Churchill Society

What is the use of living
if it be not to strive for noble causes
and to make this muddled world a better place
for those who will live in it after we are gone?

Winston Churchill
Dundee, October 9th, 1908.






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Sir Winston Churchill.

Order of Merit

Knight of the Garter

Companion of Honour

Privy Councillor

Fellow of The Royal Society.


The text and music on the following pages were written in 1995
(and then updated in 1998)

by the Founder of


for the first performance in Prague

by the

Czech National Symphony Orchestra



You know how it is in life; some questions have short answers; and others have such long answers that it needs may pages upon which to write it all down.

I will tell you the story of the life and times of Sir Winston Churchill in both words - and in orchestral music - from his birth to his death.

To tell you everything about this remarkable man Sir Winston Churchill in a short space is impossible

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace.

Blenheim Palace

The bedroom where Winston was born suddenly and prematurely.

There is a locket of his hair in a case hanging from the brass bed rails.

Blenhiem Palace

Blenheim Palace.

; it has already taken biographers many years to write it all down in many different books.

I will tell you briefly here, a few of the most important things about Sir Winston Churchill. But before I do so I want you to know about the world he was born into.

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on the 30th November 1874 at


Now 1874 seems a long long time ago to young people. Life in those days was totally different from the way it is today. There were no aeroplanes, no radio & TV - not even any telephones - there were no computers, calculators, or even hospitals (as we know them) and no automobiles. Railways were new and developing fast but local travel was at the pace of the horse and so slow and difficult that most ordinary working people stayed in the place where they were born all their lives and never met foreigners.

But everyone of course had heard about 'The Empire' and knew how 'great' it was!

Map available from International Art Editions
Cheltenham Gloucestershire

In reality few people actually knew much about the Empire, for it was so vast and disparate that only those men and women living and working in each colony could be said to really know each country.

There was never any British plan to acquire an empire, it came about more by accident than design, and like Topsy, it never seemed to stop growing!

The cause of this was and the new factories requiring both raw materials from overseas and an overseas market in which to sell the manufactured products.

Traders had been buying and selling in a multitude of different tribal lands all over the globe for years previously. The natives of these countries had no knowledge of manufacturing and often no use for the raw materials traded from them. But as the demand in Britain grew for raw materials, so did the need for law and order, both on the high seas and in those countries.

To establish and maintain law and order in these primitive countries, traders often found it necessary to enlist local mercenaries. This did not work and in the end the traders sought help from the British Army and Navy. That of course required the permission of Parliament. Politicians having no personal experience of these countries had to rely on the information they were supplied by the traders and so believed what they were told - that the natives were heathen savages.

The government in London tried many different ideas but found that the best method in the end was simply to annex the countries or place them under some form of protectorate status and send out a minor official to supervise local affairs and act as a consul.

Ist Sir Winston Churchill


Duke of Marlbarough

The first Sir Winston Churchill

Father of the 1st Duke


The Duke of Marlborough . . Mr Churchill's ancestor - who was given Blenheim Palace for the great services he rendered to the country


Today that sounds preposterous - but it was not perceived to be so then. The natives were lawless - and often no better than savages . . so the British assured themselves.

As time went by, a colonial policy gradually evolved. Young British men heard about these new lands and explorers went to map them and study the natives. A new class of English person sprang up; they were the younger sons (and some daughters also) from Victorian upper and middle class English families, who being adventurous, made life long careers serving either in the Army overseas, or in the Colonial Civil Service or Colonial Police Forces.

The source of England's great wealth and power by the end of the Victorian era was the unplanned collaboration between inventors and businessmen which took place during the 19th century. This coupled with dirt cheap raw materials from the colonies fuelled the industrial revolution, which in turn created - unwittingly - the Empire.

In short, a mere handful of inventors, in showing businessmen in England how to make things quicker and cheaper, had stumbled across a way of ruling a huge part of the world without trying. The British did not even realise this fact until Germany and France saw what had happened and quickly copied them and threatened British industrial, financial and commercial supremacy.

But whilst all this was slowly unfolding, those in the Colonial Service - to their great credit - governed the colonies very well - and in the process formed deep attachments to the new countries and their peoples.

Thousands of missionaries saw the opportunities also to expand their interests, and so went out to the colonies to 'convert the heathen'. In this effort they also educated and brought medicine to many people, often greatly improving locally the natives' circumstances.

But there was never any British political planning involved in acquiring an Empire - it happened because of the Industrial Revolution.

No-one is quite sure of the date when the British realised they possessed a vast Empire. It dawned upon them slowly. The Colonial Service, also like Topsy, grew from the control of trading company's mercenaries into eventually a Department of State called The Colonial Service. This oversaw from London the establishment and maintenance of law and order in the colonies.

But as the Empire grew ever bigger, British politicians and ruling classes became arrogant and haughty and by the end of the century deceived themselves by boasting plaintively that the governance of the colonies was 'the white man's burden'! - a preposterous statement.

What we call The Industrial Revolution, we see now as a new vibrant, thrusting and exploitative period in British history. It was engendered by new inventions and ideas. The era was one of curiosity. This curiosity combined with the search for new minerals, caused hundreds of explorers to travel over and map thousands of miles of the remotest parts of all the globe.

As the century came towards its end, inevitably the industrial revolution spread to other countries, and with it their demand for cheap raw materials. There followed a world wide scramble for colonies and markets.

Therein lay the root cause of the wars of the next century in which Churchill was to be such a dominant figure.

When studying the past it is essential (though almost impossible) to judge correctly the perceptions, actions and attitudes of past generations. We have the benefit of hindsight when reading about the past today. But while these events were happening, no-one had any idea how things would eventually evolve - any more than we today can foresee the future.

It has become fashionable to deplore the Empire. It is interesting to note that this view is not held by the peoples in the former colonies. Today, because of their cruel dictators, many inhabitants of former British African colonies long for a return to the days of their governance by the British. Looking back over the whole Victorian era it cannot be denied that British rule was vastly superior to the lack of law and order in these colonies before the British arrived. So much so, that when the British eventually had no remaining colonies (by the 1970s), all the previous colonies had kept the British language and system of government and had joined The Commonwealth and accepted the Queen as its Head.

Winston's negligent mother, Jennie.

Nanny Everest.

Winston Aged 7 Years.

Lord Randolph

Lord Randolph, his austere father.

Many injustices and cruelties were perpetuated by greedy traders and there were some very ugly riots, all put down by force of arms. But rarely were there any acts of serious injustice or cruelty by colonial administrators. British Colonial District Commissioners took pride in their responsibilities and frequently lived their entire adult lives and retired and died in the colonies. Many became experts in their flora and fauna and history. The entire sub-continent of India with its teeming millions of souls was governed by for over 60 years by a mere handful of British administrators and soldiers. That would have been impossible without the consent of the governed.

The Industrial Revolution began in England; for a few decades it made England the most powerful nation on earth and British money - Sterling - the most stable and universally used currency in the world.

From the above you now know the world into which Winston Churchill was born.

Winston HIS MOTHER Jack

Winston HIS MOTHER Jack

The story Who was Churchill? is also the story of how England gave up the Empire. It is a story of terrible wars and suffering but in which the young people in Britain and the Commonwealth and our Allies can take pride.

You will only understand the terrible events that took place during the adult life of Winston Churchill, if you remember that English people those days did not have the modern communications that we possess today. Because of this - in spite of having the Empire - they, and also many politicians, were ignorant about the changes that were happening in the world. Because of this they were easily misled - twice! - into the most appalling wars the world has ever known.

It is a sad event when a person, or a country, makes the same mistake twice!

The reason your school has asked you to study the life of Winston Churchill is so that you will know about the tragic events that happened to millions of people twice during Churchill's lifetime (1874 - 1963) so that you can learn from them and try to avoid them happening again in your lifetime.

At the time of Churchill's childhood and youth - the most formative years of anyone's life, the British Empire was nearing the pinnacle of its power, prestige and majesty. By his death in 1963, that great Empire 'upon which the sun never set' had vanished, and both England and the world was a totally different place to live in. The pace and nature of the changes that took place between 1874 and 1984 were breathtaking: from soldiers fighting on horseback with swords and guns, to aeroplanes dropping hydrogen bombs: men landing on the moon and rockets radioing back scientific reports from millions of miles in outer space.

Queen Empress Victoria was in the thirty seventh year of her reign when Churchill was born. Her husband, Prince Albert, had been dead 13 years. A remarkable Jew, Benjamin Disraeli, was the Prime Minister and new laws had just been passed restricting working hours to 56 per week. It was to be six years later before it became compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 11 years years to go to school.

Winston's mother, Jennie Jerome, a noted beauty, was the daughter of a New York financier and horse racing enthusiast, Leonard W. Jerome, but she badly neglected him and he was very unhappy. But he dearly loved his nanny - Mrs Everest.


His beloved Nanny Everest.

Nanny Everest




"A tribute to Mrs Everest".
It is the opening movement of


As a boy he had a large collection of toy soldiers. These he loved to arrange in battlefield order in his play room whilst pretending to be a great general like his ancestor John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough.

Listen carefully to Nurserydays on your CD (Movement No 2) of THE CHURCHILL MUSIC. This movement depicts not only these playful occasions, but hints musically at the forthcoming calamitous events in his future life and which are portrayed in the THE CHURCHILL MUSIC.

The boy Winston just before his eighth birthday, was then sent a long way from home to board at a preparatory school called St George's - it still exists. Listen to the CD movement:-


Here he was cruelly beaten and made deeply unhappy. He frequently wrote home begging his parents to help him. His parents just ignored him. But his Nanny did not. "How I hated that school" he wrote later in life. She reported his lonely plight but for a long time to no avail. His father Lord Randolph Churchill (English people love titles and think them important!) then sent him to board at another school in Brighton at which he was happier. But both his parents thereafter paid little attention to the lad.

Harrow School

Harrow School


Harrow School Hall

Harrow School


Listen to the orchestral arrangement of the famous Harrow School Song. Movement No 4. in THE CHURCHILL MUSIC. Each year in the School Hall (pictured above) the Harrow School Songs are sung.

After 1944 Mr Churchill went back to the school every year, until age prevented him, to listen to the boys singing the Harrow school songs.

Winston did not do well at this school, so when he eventually left his father sent him into the army. His father was cold towards him and never gave him any time; and his mother - who was an rich American - was both idle and feckless.

But it was only after his third attempt to pass the entrance examination that he succeeded in entering.


Royal Academy Sandhurst

The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.



'Days at Sandhurst'.
(Movement No 6)

is an orchestral march.

Orchestral marches are not military marches. Unmusical soldiers find this difficult to understand.

During the early and middle years of the 20th century orchestral marches became (via the pens' of Elgar and Walton) an almost unique English musical idiom.

(Movement No 8 in THE CHURCHILL MUSIC) - is Rutherlyn's musical idea - for not only commemorating Churchill's youthful period at Sandhurst - but for enabling him to develop and use the big tune in it again (in the form of a majestic reverie) in the grand finale of THE CHURCHILL MUSIC. In this way the tune satisfactorily spans - both musically and militarily - Churchill's career. There are many other examples in the THE CHURCHILL MUSIC of this treatment of its core musical themes. This treatment of musical ideas is essential in a large work if the composition is to have a proper sense of musical cohesion.

CHURCHILL MARCH is (mostly) in a marching rhythm; but sections are at different tempi to heighten dramatic musical effect and of course to prevent monotony.



Overseas readers may not know that Harrow School is for Boys only, and is - after Eton College - one of the most prestigious fee paying school in the UK.
You may wonder why then the Harrow School song is sung on the CD by the girls of Prague?
The boys were invited to Prague on VE Day 1995 to sing at THE CHURCHILL MUSIC concert in the Cathedral - but no-one came. A Prague girl's choir stepped in at the last moment for them.


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