Charting Churchill: The House at Chartwell

by Leslie Hossack

The House at Chartwell, Westerham, Kent 2014 by Leslie Hossack

The House at Chartwell, Westerham, Kent 2014

© Leslie Hossack

The ten years from 1919 to 1929 were a roller coaster ride for Winston Churchill, both politically and personally. After being reelected in Dundee in December 1918, he lost three elections in a row in various ridings, on November 16th 1922, December 6th 1923, and March 19th 1924. From the time of his first election to the House of Commons in 1900, these were his only defeats. On October 29th 1924, he was elected in Epping and went on to win eight consecutive elections before retiring on October 14th 1964.

Winston’s personal life was equally chaotic. From 1915, when the Churchills moved out of Admiralty House, until 1924 when they moved into 11 Downing Street, the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the family lived in approximately ten different London homes, several of which were loaned to them by friends or shared with other family members. Also during that time, Winston bought and sold his first country home, Lullenden.

Personal tragedy struck in August 1921, when the Churchills’ two-year-old daughter, Marigold, died of an infection. A year later in September 1922, Mary was born, Winston and Clementine’s last child. Much later, Mary described herself as “the child of consolation.” That same month that she was born, Churchill purchased a country home, Chartwell, shown above. For the rest of his long life, both Mary and Chartwell would bring him great comfort and joy. Mary lived until 2014, when she died at age 91, a daughter of history.

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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