Charting Churchill: 2 Connaught Place, London

by Leslie Hossack

2 Connaught Place, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

2 Connaught Place, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

In 1882, at the age of eight, Winston and his younger brother Jack moved with their parents, Lord & Lady Randolph Churchill, to a townhouse at 2 Connaught Place in London. This was to be their family home for ten years. It backed onto Hyde Park, and this photograph shows the rear of those townhouses today. Winston, Jack and their nanny, Mrs. Everest, were ensconced on the top floor and would have looked out over the back garden and wall onto Hyde Park. Winston enjoyed this house, and later wrote to his mother: “I look back with regret to the old days at Connaught Place when fortune smiled.”

While at Connaught Place, Winston’s collection of toy soldiers grew to nearly 1500. In My Early Life, he describes an event that took place while playing with the soldiers. “The day came when my father himself paid a formal visit of inspection. All the troops were arranged in the correct formation of attack. He spent twenty minutes studying the scene – which was really impressive – with a keen eye and captivating smile. At the end he asked me if I would like to go into the Army. I thought it would be splendid to command an Army, so I said ‘Yes’ at once: and immediately I was taken at my word… the toy soldiers turned the current of my life. Henceforward all my education was directed to passing into Sandhurst, and afterwards to the technical details of the profession of arms.”

The image featured above is part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. She presents locations that chart Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS are part of Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, Stalinist structures in Moscow, contested sites in Jerusalem, a Cold War bunker in Ottawa, NATO’s Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, and buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

To view more photographs, please visit Leslie’s website.  lesliehossack.com

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