Haute Vitrine

PHOTOGRAPHS by LESLIE HOSSACK

Charting Churchill: The Studio at Chartwell

Studio at Chartwell, Westerham 2014 by Leslie Hossack

The Studio at Chartwell, Westerham 2014

© Leslie Hossack

After his party lost the general election, Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister and became Leader of the Opposition on July 26th 1945. The following year, he determined that he must sell his beloved country home Chartwell. Fortunately, a group of friends purchased the estate and gave it to the National Trust, with the proviso that the Churchills could live there the rest of their lives.

From the time he acquired Chartwell in 1922, Churchill loved to paint there. Eventually, he had a studio, shown above. Churchill enjoyed painting en plein air, but he also worked in his studio, often from photographs of a scene that he had admired during his travels. Churchill painted from 1915 until 1959/60. When he wrote about painting, he said: “We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paintbox. For this, Audacity is the only ticket.”

During his lifetime, Churchill painted over 500 pictures, approximately 300 of them during the 1930s, his Wilderness Years. During World War II, he created only one painting, in January 1943 in Marrakech, following his meeting with President Roosevelt in Casablanca. He later gave the painting to the President. Churchill’s first painting after the war was completed in France between the election on July 5th 1945 and the announcement of the results on July 26th. No longer Prime Minister, he had time to devote himself once again to his favourite pastime.

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: 28 Hyde Park Gate, London

28 Hyde Park Gate, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

28 Hyde Park Gate, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

On May 8th 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a broadcast to the nation announcing Germany’s unconditional surrender. A few days later, the wartime coalition government broke up, and on May 23rd 1945 Churchill formed a caretaker government. That summer there was a general election in Great Britain and the Labour Party won a landslide victory. On July 26th, Churchill resigned as Prime Minister and became Leader of the Opposition.

It was time to leave the official residence at 10 Downing Street. Churchill purchased 28 Hyde Park Gate, shown above, where he and Clementine lived from 1945 until his death in 1965. In 1951, he became Prime Minister once again, and they lived at 10 Downing Street from 1951 to 1955, before returning to 28 Hyde Park Gate.

August 1945, the month following Churchill’s resignation as Prime Minister, saw cataclysmic events around the globe. The atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th and on Nagasaki on August 9th. Japan surrendered on August 15th, VJ Day, and World War II came to end six years after it had begun. Sir Winston Churchill will always be remembered as the resolute and inspirational individual who led Great Britain through that global conflict.

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

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL’S WAR YEARS

CHARTING CHURCHILL, 1874 – 1965

Part 5, The War Years, 1939 – 1945

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral. On November 30th 2014, Winston Churchill’s 140th birthday, Haute Vitrine started publishing images from the series THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS by Leslie Hossack.

The previous post marked the end of Part 5, The War Years, 1939 – 1945. During this time, Sir Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister from May 10th 1940 until the end of World War II. He led Great Britain through its darkest days and finest hour, in the fight against Nazi tyranny. Photographs featured in Part 5, The War Years can be reviewed below.

To view the photographs from Part 1, The Early Years, 1874 – 1892; Part 2, The Defining Years, 1892 – 1908; Part 3, The Political Years, 1908 – 1929; and Part 4, The War Years, 1939 – 1945, please see the Haute Vitrine posts of November 30th 2014 through January 16th 2015.

Leslie Hossack’s CHARTING CHURCHILL will continue through January 2015, the month that marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill, and into February with Part 6, The Later Years, 1945 – 1965.

Cabinet Room, The Cabinet War Rooms, Clive Steps, London 2014

Churchill's Office, Cabinet War Rooms, Clive Steps, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Churchill’s Office, The Cabinet War Rooms, Clive Steps, London 2014

10 Downing Street, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

10 Downing Street, London 2014

The Main House, Bletchley Park 2014 by Leslie Hossack

The Main House, Bletchley Park 2014

Hut 8, Bletchley Park 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Hut 8, Bletchley Park 2014

Main Entrance and House, Ditchley Park 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Main Entrance and House, Ditchley Park 2014

Garden Front and House, Ditchley Park 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Garden Front of House, Ditchley Park 2014

Prime Minister's Bathroom, Ditchley Park 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Prime Minister’s Bathroom, Ditchley Park 2014

Hoar Hall, Church House, Dean's Yard, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Hoar Memorial Hall, Church House, Dean’s Yard, London 2014

Buckingham Palace, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Buckingham Palace, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

The images featured above are part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack. She presents locations that chart Sir Winston Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. To read the stories behind these images, please see the previous posts here on Haute Vitrine.

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: Buckingham Palace, London

Buckingham Palace, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Buckingham Palace, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Winston Churchill was called to Buckingham Palace on May 10th 1940 by King George VI and asked to form a government. Five years later, on May 8th 1945, Prime Minister Churchill stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with King George, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret waving to the cheering crowds. Throughout the day and evening, the Royal Family made several appearances. The square in front of the Palace, shown above, was packed with people celebrating VE Day; Germany had surrendered unconditionally.

Churchill also greeted the massive crowds on Whitehall, from balcony of the Ministry of Health. Here he made two appearances, one during the day and another at 10:30 pm when he wore his famous siren suit. He proclaimed: “This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In our long history we have never seen a greater day than this…” At the conclusion of his brief remarks, the band played Land of Hope and Glory, and everyone joined in the singing, including Churchill.

On May 8th 1945, the Prime Minister also made a broadcast to the nation from the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street. Announcing Germany’s unconditional surrender, he said: “Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight tonight, but in the interests of saving lives the “Cease fire” began yesterday to be sounded all along the front, and our dear Channel Islands are also freed today.” He repeated the words of the broadcast in the House of Commons, with a paragraph added. Churchill then concluded by saying: “I therefore beg, Sir, with your permission to move: That this House do now attend at the Church of St. Margaret, Westminster, to give humble and reverent thanks to Almighty God for our deliverance from the threat of German domination.”

To learn more about events of 1945, please visit the BBC World War II Timeline. This BBC summary, prepared by Bruce Robinson, was last updated in 2011.

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: Church House, London

Hoar Hall, Church House, Dean's Yard, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Hoar Memorial Hall, Church House, Dean’s Yard, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

A panel in Hoar Memorial Hall, unveiled in 1948 by Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Winston Churchill, reads as follows.

THIS HALL OF CHURCH HOUSE WAS AS OCCASION REQUIRED DURING THE YEARS 1940 1941 & 1944 THE CHAMBER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. WITHIN ITS WALLS THE PRIME MINISTER WINSTON CHURCHILL IN THE DARKEST DAYS OF THE WAR SPOKE TO THE COMMONS AND TO THE NATION THE WORDS HERE RECORDED.

Today, in inaugurating the new Session of Parliament, we proclaim the depth and sincerity of our resolve to keep vital and active, even in the midst of our struggle for life, even under the fire of the enemy, those parliamentary institutions which have served us so well, which have proved themselves the most flexible instruments for securing ordered unceasing change and progress: which, while they throw open the portals of the future, carry forward also the traditions and glories of the past and which, at this solemn moment in the world’s history, are at once the proudest assertion of British freedom and an expression of an unconquerable national will.   21st November 1940

On May 24th 1941, Prime Minister Churchill took to the stage in Hoar Hall to announce the sinking of the Bismark. “Great as is our loss in the Hood, the Bismark must be regarded as the most powerful as she is the newest battleship in the world, and this striking of her from the German Navy is a very definite simplification of the task of maintaining the effective mastery of the Northern seas and the maintenance of the Northern blockade.”

Recalling 1941, Churchill addressed the House of Commons in October 1943. “On the night of May 10, 1941, with one of the last bombs of the last serious raid, our House of Commons was destroyed by the violence of the enemy, and we have now to consider whether we should build it up again, and how, and when. We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us. Having dwelt and served for more than forty years in the late Chamber, and having derived very great pleasure and advantage therefrom, I, naturally, should like to see it restored in all essentials to its old form, convenience and dignity.”

During World War II, Parliament met at Church House in November-December 1940; April-June 1941, when the House of Commons Chamber was destroyed; and June-August 1944, when London was threatened by V1 flying bombs.

To learn more about events of 1944, please visit the BBC World War II Timeline. This BBC summary, prepared by Bruce Robinson, was last updated in 2011.

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: Prime Minister’s Bathroom, Ditchley Park

Prime Minister's Bathroom, Ditchley Park 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Prime Minister’s Bathroom, Ditchley Park 2014

© Leslie Hossack

While he was Prime Minister during World War II, Winston Churchill followed his usual daily routine. Whether he was at 10 Downing Street, the Annexe, Chequers, Chartwell or Ditchley Park, he woke to breakfast in bed between 8:00 and 8:30. He then worked in bed all morning: reading the newspapers; dealing with government business delivered in his boxes; and dictating letters, directives and speeches to his personal secretaries, often Miss Elizabeth Layton. Around noon hour, Churchill’s valet Sawyers would draw a bath, ensuring that it was the desired temperature, and then help him dress just before luncheon.

Much later in the afternoon, Churchill always took a nap. He is quoted as saying: “Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces.” He also said: “You must sleep sometimes between lunch and dinner and no halfway measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed, that’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination.”

Following his afternoon nap, Churchill would take a second bath before dressing for dinner. The bathroom shown above is the one he used at Ditchley Park during the weekends he spent there in 1940 – 1942. Elizabeth Nel (née Layton) was the Prime Minister’s personal secretary from 1941 to 1945. In her book Winston Churchill by his Personal Secretary (2008), she described Ditchley Park as “the other place,” a heavily guarded secret. Although Churchill spent his last weekend there in 1942, Nel recalled a trip from Chequers to Ditchley Park, a drive of about 40 miles, on March 7th 1943. Churchill was recovering from pneumonia at Chequers, but he decided to go to Ditchley Park for a luncheon. As usual, he dictated to Miss Layton in the car all the way there and back.

To learn more about events of 1943, please visit the BBC World War II Timeline. This BBC summary, prepared by Bruce Robinson, was last updated in 2011.

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: Garden Front of House, Ditchley Park

Garden Front and House, Ditchley Park 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Garden Front of House, Ditchley Park 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s official country residence, Chequers, was considered too dangerous on moonlight nights during the Blitz. Having been advised not to visit Chequers when the moon was high, Churchill spent a dozen weekends at Ditchley Park during World War II.

When at Ditchley Park, Churchill slept in the second floor Yellow Bedroom on the garden side of the house, overlooking the lawns and lake; Mrs. Churchill had an adjoining room. Their windows can be seen in the centre of this photograph.

According to Ashley Jackson: “Busy days gave way to busy evenings at Ditchley, as the house adapted to the pace of life favoured by Churchill, interlacing work and leisure, office time, busy mealtimes, and late night films, conferences, and dictation.” (Winston Churchill, Oxfordshire, and Ditchley Park) In addition to his personal staff, Churchill had countless visitors at Ditchley Park. These included: Harry Hopkins, Averell Harriman, Lord Rothermere, General Henry “Hap” Arnold, Anthony Eden, Polish Prime Minister General Vlatislav Sikorski, Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Eduard Beneš, and even the actor David Niven.

For the Prime Minister, the business of running the war went on as usual. Various meetings at Ditchley were attended by General Sir Alan Brooke (Chief of the Imperial General Staff), Air Marshal Sir Charles Portal (Chief of the Air Staff), Admiral Sir Dudley Pound (First Sea Lord), General Sir Robert Haining (Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff), Vice Admiral Sir Tom Phillips (Vice Chief of the Naval Staff), General Sir Hastings ‘Pug’ Ismay (Deputy Secretary of the War Cabinet).

On May 11th 1941, the Duke of Hamilton visited Churchill at Ditchley Park to inform him about the arrival of Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s Deputy Führer. He had flown solo from Germany the previous day and parachuted into Scotland. His plan had been to meet with the Duke of Hamilton and through him bring Britain to the negotiating table. The walls at Ditchley Park could tell amazing tales.

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