Charting Churchill: Sundial at Chartwell, Westerham

Sundial at Chartwell, Westerham 2014 by Leslie Hossack

Sundial at Chartwell, Westerham 2014

© Leslie Hossack

Winston Churchill spent a great deal of time at Chartwell, his country home, during the 1930s. By 1933, it had become his base for gathering intelligence about German rearmament and about Britain’s lack of preparation for war. Many senior individuals, both British and foreign, came to Chartwell to share information with Churchill, often at great risk to their careers and reputations.

Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist Party came to power in January 1933. In March, Churchill made his first speech in Parliament warning of the need to build up air defences in Britain. That same spring, Albert Einstein visited Chartwell to ask Churchill for assistance moving Jewish scientists from Germany to Britain. Einstein visited Chartwell again in 1939, and posed for a picture with Churchill in the garden, not far from the sundial shown above.

In the 1930’s, Clementine Churchill had gone without Winston on a lengthy trip aboard Lord Moyne’s yacht to several exotic islands. She brought back a dove from Bali, and when it died she buried it under the sundial in the garden. The inscription on the base of the sundial reads: HERE LIES THE BALI DOVE.

The image featured above is 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. 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.