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"Churchill Days": George Allen's recollections of working for Sir Winston Churchill, 1970

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0014/GALN 1

Scope and Contents

Audio recording of Allen's account including observations on WSC and various encounters and discussions with WSC: meeting WSC; terms of employment, meetings at Hyde Park Gate; Chartwell and WSC’s hospitality and preferences for champagne and port or brandy, the cinema, WSC’s preferred walk after lunch to see the carp, swimming lake, black swans, butterfly house and tropical fish; detailed account of the organisation, process and methods of working on WSC’s memoirs including the roles of Allen himself, William Deakin and [Lieutenant-General Sir Henry] Pownall and WSC’s close involvement with the first two volumes, printed proofs and WSC’s preference for reading printed text; WSC’s relations with various members of staff; WSC’s methods of preparing speeches; WSC’s view and accounts of various events during the Second World War including strategic bombing of Germany, Dakar [Senegal], the fall of Singapore and the Malaya campaign, relations with [1st Lord] Alanbrooke, [earlier Sir Alan Brooke] and Dudley Pound; influence and amendment of WSC’s original drafts through tact and timing "ill considered judgements were watered down or eliminated from the book"; observations on CSC, Randolph Churchill and WSC’s other children; Samuel Morison’s history of the Second World War from a United States perspective and criticism of his view of combined operations including D Day; and WSC’s 80th birthday, BBC programmes and funeral.

Also includes handwritten note entitled "Churchill memoir: Intended additions to the record" in which Allen gives his verdict on WSC's history of the Second World War. He notes that WSC's involvement diminished after the first two volumes and that more of WSC's contemporary minutes were included in the later volumes (making the books less readable and also excluding replies on controversial details) and that there was a greater focus on political issues. He ends with his frequent disappointment that his drafts were cut out and that the Battle of the Atlantic and overall naval strategy were "less than adequately treated".

Dates

  • 1970

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Extent

1 file(s) : audio tape

1 reel(s)

Language of Materials

English

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.