Saint Margaret’s Church, Parliament Square, London 2014
© Leslie Hossack
On September 12th, 1908, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, age 33, married Clementine Ogilvy Hozier, age 23, in Saint Margaret’s Church, shown above. Saint Margaret’s, located right beside Westminster Abbey, is the Anglican parish church of the House of Commons. At the time of their marriage, Winston was a member of the Cabinet. The press had reported his engagement to Clementine a month earlier, and newspapers published a photograph of the newlyweds on their wedding day, en route to their reception at Lady St. Helier’s.
And so began a marriage that lasted 56 years, four months and 12 days. It is surely one of the most documented and examined relationships of all time, due to the volume of personal correspondence that survives. From the beginning, Winston and Clementine wrote letters to each constantly. Immediately after their engagement at Blenheim Palace, Clementine sent a note through the corridors to Winston. She signed off with the words: “Je t’aime passionément – I feel less shy in French. Clementine” It is difficult to know how many of the 20,589 days of their marriage the Churchills spent under the same roof; they were apart a great deal. However, they wrote to each other whether at home or away. Their notes often contained sketches of a pug dog and a pussy kat, referencing their pet names for each other.
Winston Churchill himself would later write, as the last line of his book My Early Life, “I married and lived happily ever afterwards.”
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