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PHOTOGRAPHS by LESLIE HOSSACK

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Churchill’s Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman and Joe Wright visit National Churchill Library and Center
and Leslie Hossack’s exhibition Charting Churchill

Photo courtesy NCLC.

Darkest Hour star Gary Oldman and director Joe Wright recently visited the National Churchill Library and Center in Washington DC. While there, they took in Leslie Hossack’s exhibition Charting Churchill which features a selection of photographs by the award-winning Canadian photographer. All 60 photographs from Hossack’s Churchill series can be viewed in previous posts on this blog. Many of the locations seen in Darkest Hour are presented in these photographs.

Darkest Hour is expected by many to win Oscars in 2018. The Academy Award nomination list will be announced shortly.

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born November 30th 1874 at Blenheim Palace. He died 90 years later at his home in London, on January 24th 1965.

In Darkest Hour, Gary Oldman portrayed Winston Churchill when he became British Prime Minister in May 1940, ten months into World War Two. The film covers the few short weeks leading up to the Dunkirk evacuation.

Sir Winston Churchill – politician, parliamentarian, prime minister; cavalry officer, infantry man, military strategist; reporter, author, orator; statesman, Nobel laureate, Knight of the Garter; painter, brick layer, world traveller; husband, father, grandfather.

Sir Winston Churchill – the man who loved: dogs, cats and horses; exotic butterflies, ornamental fish and roses; Cuban cigars, fine food and Pol Roger champagne; afternoon naps, hot baths and late nights; Chartwell, Blenheim Palace and the Houses of Parliament; hats of all kinds, bespoke tailoring and polka dot bow ties; and the man many credit with saving the world from Nazi tyranny.

Leslie Hossack’s Churchill Photographs are part of her 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, buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War Two, the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, the Nazi-occupied Channel Islands, Freud’s pre-war Vienna and Mussolini’s Rome.

To view more photographs by Leslie Hossack, please visit lesliehossack.com

To preview her book Charting Churchill, visit ChartingChurchill.com

Charting Churchill: Saint Martin’s Churchyard, Bladon

Saint Martin's Churchyard, Bladon 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Saint Martin’s Churchyard, Bladon 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born November 30th 1874 at Blenheim Palace. He died 90 years later at his home in London, on January 24th 1965.

The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. After a state funeral in London, Sir Winston was buried on January 30th 1965 in the Churchill family plot in Saint Martin’s Churchyard in Bladon, just a mile from where he was born. On the day of his funeral, flowers arrived in the churchyard for the private family graveside service. In the pamphlet Sir Winston Churchill and the Bladon Connection, published by the Parish Church of St. Martin, Bladon, it is noted that the Queen’s flowers were white and exquisite, and written in her own hand were the words: “Winston Churchill, From the Nation and Commonwealth, In Grateful Remembrance, Elizabeth R.” Lady Churchill’s flowers are described as glorious red, accompanied by a note reading: “To Winston with all my love, Clemmie.”

And so, after a lifetime of pomp and circumstance, Winston was quietly laid to rest in a tiny plot behind Saint Martin’s Church. Here, Clemmie said goodbye to Winnie: husband, father, grandfather; cavalry officer, infantry man, military strategist; reporter, author, orator; politician, parliamentarian, prime minister; statesman, Nobel laureate, Knight of the Garter; painter, brick layer, world traveller. Here, in a country churchyard, Clementine bade farewell to Winston, the man who loved: dogs, cats and horses; exotic butterflies, ornamental fish and roses; Cuban cigars, fine food and Pol Roger champagne; afternoon naps, hot baths and late nights; Blenheim Palace, Chartwell Manor and the Houses of Parliament; hats of all kinds, bespoke tailoring and polka dot bow ties; and the man that many credit with saving the world from Nazi tyranny.

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

Charting Churchill: Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London

Saint Paul's Cathedral, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

The year 2015 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. In 1965, he died at the age of 90 at his home in London, on January 24th. This was the same day that his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had died 70 years earlier. Sir Winston was honoured with a State Funeral, and for three days his coffin lay in state in Westminster Hall. Then on January 30th at 9:45, the funeral cortege left Westminster Hall, and Sir Winston Churchill’s coffin was drawn through the crowded, silent streets of London to Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

The 11:00 funeral service was attended by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and other members of the royal family. Also present were dignitaries from around the world, including: President Charles de Gaulle of France, former President Dwight Eisenhower of the United States, and Prime Minister and Mrs. Lester Pearson of Canada. Plans for the funeral, code-named Operation Hope Not, had been years in the making. Churchill had not taken a very active part in the planning, but he did specify that he wanted military bands and soldiers.

Following the service, the funeral cortege left Saint Paul’s, arriving at Tower Hill at 12:25. There was a Royal Air Force Fly Past at 12:52. During the river cortege, as Sir Winston’s coffin passed by, the cranes along the Thames were lowered in final tribute. At 13:05 the river cortege arrived at Festival Hall Pier, and a motor cortege proceeded to Waterloo Station. From there a special train departed at 13:25, carrying Sir Winston Churchill on his final journey to Saint Martin’s Churchyard in Bladon, just a mile from Blenheim Palace where he was born.

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

Charting Churchill: Westminster Hall, London

Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

On November 30th 1954, Sir Winston Churchill celebrated his 80th birthday in Westminster Hall, shown above. At that time he was Prime Minister, and he continued to serve in that position until he resigned on April 5th 1955. He made his last political speech on March 1st 1955, advising: “Never flinch, never weary, never despair.” Certainly, Churchill himself did not seem to weary. In May 1955, he was once again elected to serve as Member of Parliament for Woodford, and the following year, he began publishing his opus A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (four volumes, 1956-1958).

Sir Winston Churchill won his final election in October 1959, and he represented Woodford until he retired in 1964. At that time, the House of Commons presented him with a Vote of Thanks for more than 60 years service as a Member of Parliament. October 1964 marked the first general election that he did not contest since first running for Parliament in 1895.

The year 2015 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. On January 24th 1965, he died at the age of 90 in his home on Hyde Park Gate, London. He was granted a State Funeral and his coffin lay in state in Westminster Hall, in the Houses of Parliament, on the exact spot from which the above photograph was taken. During a three-day period, more than 300,000 peopled filed past the catafalque to pay their respects to Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill.

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

Charting Churchill: Windsor Castle

Tower by King Henry VIII Gate, Windsor Castle, Windsor 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Tower Near King Henry VIII Gate, Windsor Castle, Windsor 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill received a vast number of honours, orders, decorations and medals. The highest honour for civil and military service in Britain is Knight of the Garter. Churchill was invested with the Garter on April 24th 1953 and installed at Windsor Castle on June 14th 1954. This knighthood takes precedence over all of his other titles: Sir Winston Churchill KG, OM, CH and so on. His wife Clementine accordingly became Lady Churchill.

The Order of the Garter, the oldest British Order of Chivalry, was founded by King Edward III in 1348. Knights of the Garter are personally selected by the Monarch, and membership is limited to 25 knights plus the Sovereign. It was Queen Elizabeth II who formally invested Sir Winston Churchill in the Throne Room at Windsor Castle. Then, after a luncheon, the knights processed in their full regalia to a service in St. George’s Chapel, located within the Castle walls.

This Garter ceremonial has taken place every year since 1948 when it was revived by King George VI. Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne upon the death of her father George VI on February 6th 1952. Winston Churchill was Queen Elizabeth’s first Prime Minister; she was 25 and he was 77. Sir Winston continued to serve as her Prime Minister until April 5th 1955 when he resigned from that position at age 80.

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

Charting Churchill: Lock & Co. Hatters, St. James’s Street, London

Lock & Co. Hatters, St. James's Street, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Lock & Co. Hatters, St. James’s Street, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Winston Churchill was a man of many hats, literally and figuratively. After several years as Leader of the Opposition, he once again became Prime Minister, on October 26th 1951. He left his painter’s smock and bricklayer’s overalls at Chartwell, his country home in Kent, and moved with Clementine back into Number 10 Downing Street. There they lived from December 1951 until April 1955, when he resigned as Prime Minister at the age of 80.

There are many press photographs showing Prime Minister Churchill going back and forth to Parliament from Downing Street. He is inevitably wearing a white shirt, dark suit, polka dot bow tie, and a black hat such as the one seen in the middle of the above photograph. Although many of his hats were by Scot & Co. of Old Bond Street, he also purchased hats from Lock & Co. founded in 1676.

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

Charting Churchill: Sir Martin Gilbert, Official Biographer

Sir Martin Gilbert, Hatchard's Booksellers, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Sir Martin Gilbert, Hatchard’s Booksellers, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Throughout his long life, Sir Winston Churchill published many books, and in 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Of course, many more books have been written about him, than by him. Sir Martin Gilbert, who became Churchill’s official biographer in 1968, passed away on February 3rd 2015. Shown above are just a few of Gilbert’s more than 80 books. He is remembered not only as an author but also as a revered historian. For more information about Sir Martin Gilbert and his work, please visit the Martin Gilbert website.

Seen in the above photograph are the eight volumes of Churchill’s biography, the last six written by Gilbert. The book covers read as follows.

TOP ROW: Winston S. Churchill by Randolph S. Churchill, Youth 1874-1900; Winston S. Churchill by Randolph S. Churchill, Young Statesman 1901-1914.

MIDDLE ROW: Winston S. Churchill by Martin Gilbert Volume III 1914-1916; Winston S. Churchill by Martin Gilbert Volume IV 1917-1922; Winston S. Churchill by Martin Gilbert Volume V 1922-1939.

BOTTOM ROW: Winston S. Churchill by Martin Gilbert Finest Hour 1939-1941; Winston S. Churchill by Martin Gilbert Volume VII Road to Victory 1941-1945; Winston S. Churchill by Martin Gilbert Volume VIII ‘Never Despair’ 1945-1965.

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