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Sir Winston Churchill's letters to Lady Churchill, 1916-01 - 1916-05

Reference Code: GBR/0014/CSCT 2/9

Scope and Contents

Subjects include: Churchill’s frustration with the direction of the war; the importance of Clementine keeping up relations with David Lloyd George [Minister of Munitions]; Churchill’s new battalion, the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers, with ‘Archie’ [Archibald Sinclair, later 1st Lord Thurso] as his second in command; Churchill’s disillusionment with Herbert Asquith [Prime Minister, later 1st Lord Oxford and Asquith]; slow progress on ‘the caterpillars’ [tanks] recommended by Churchill in his paper [Variants of the Offensive] for Field Marshal 1st Lord Haig [Commander-in-Chief]; Churchill’s regret at the departure of Field Marshal Sir John French [later 1st Lord Ypres]; Churchill's determination to justify his actions over the Dardanelles; Churchill's sympathy for Sir John Simon following his resignation from the Cabinet and his view of Lloyd George's isolation and Asquith's change of heart on conscription; his relief at the successful withdrawal of the Allied forces from the Dardanelles; the success of a battalion concert and sports, January 1916; the loss of Allied air superiority and maltreatment of the Naval Air Service since Churchill's departure; a lecture on the failures of the Battle of Loos from Churchill's friend [Arthur] Tom Holland; Churchill's frustration at not being able to make his opinions known and anxiety for Clementine to keep up relations with his friends and allies; preparing to go into the front line with the Royal Scots; Churchill's decision that he would be better resuming his political and Parliamentary duties rather than stay with the army (March 1916); a battalion dinner, January 1916; a note for the Cabinet on the war situation; a statement by Enver Pasha [Turkish Minister of War, also Ismail Enver] on the state of the Turkish defences at the Dardanelles at the time of the Allied withdrawal, and Churchill's wish to be friends with him after the war; Churchill's good spirits and satisfaction with his battalion's progress; a meeting with F E Smith [Attorney-General, later 1st Lord Birkenhead], Andrew Bonar Law [Secretary of State for the Colonies] and Lloyd George, and F E Smith's arrest for not having proper papers, January-February 1916; Churchill's fears of the consequences if Admiral 1st Lord Fisher were brought back to the Admiralty; a narrow escape from a shell; Churchill's scheme for improving the defences; a visit from 1st Lord Curzon [Lord Privy Seal]; Churchill's pride in Clementine's work [in setting up YMCA canteens for munitions workers]; news of the miraculous performance of Churchill's 'caterpillars' [tanks] in tests, February 1916; having temporary command of the whole brigade; meeting Churchill's old friend Brigadier-General [Henry] Hugh Tudor; chances of Churchill becoming Secretary of State for Air; Churchill's view of Fisher's folly; plans for Churchill's March leave; Churchill's friendship with Archie Sinclair; Churchill's request that Clementine should send on a letter from [Eustace Tennyson-D’Eyncourt, Director of Naval Construction and Chief Technical Adviser to the Admiralty, on the first tank trials] to Asquith; the loss of HMS Arethusa, February 1916; a threat of [Arthur Balfour, First Lord of the Admiralty] abolishing the Naval Division; a recommendation from Brigadier-General William Furse that Churchill should be given a brigade; Churchill's decision to leave the army and return to the House of Commons, March 1916; his views on the future conduct of the war, April 1916; Churchill's concern for Archie Sinclair; the end of Churchill's command [on the amalgamation of his battalion with others].

Also includes a letter from Sir Arthur Markham to Churchill advising him to return to politics to help form an effective Opposition to the Government, April 1916, and a letter from Herbert Asquith assuring him that no obstacle would be put in the way of his return to public life, March 1916.


  • Creation: 1916-01 - 1916-05

Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

With the exception of the staff wages books in CSCT 9/1, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.


2 file(s)

Language of Materials