Letters from Lady Gwendeline ("Goonie") to Jack Churchill and Peregrine Churchill, 1914 - 1940
Scope and Contents
Subjects covered include: looking after Winston and Clementine Churchill's children while they were on holiday in Overstrand [Norfolk] and trouble with their French nurse as her family was in occupied territory; her fear of a German invasion and wish that Jack Churchill could be with her; her distress that the Oxfordshire Yeomanry were going to be sent to France; meeting Roger Keyes [Captain and Commodore in charge of the Submarine Service]; cheering reports of the army from Field Marshal 1st Lord Kitchener [Secretary of State for War]; German successes against the French; her work at All Saints Hospital, London; Jack's departure for Dunkirk; having to lay off domestic staff; going to live with Winston and Clementine at the Admiralty; her holiday in Cornwall with the children while Jack was sorting out Lady Randolph Churchill's estate; receiving some of Lady Randolph's pictures, ornaments and gloves; trying to help John G Churchill (Johnnie) and Peregrine with their schoolwork; Peregrine's good school reports from Summer Fields [Oxford] and Harrow and Johnnie's bad report; sympathising with Peregrine's chilblains, recalling her own depressing childhood and urging him not be sorry for himself; recommendations on studying engineering at Cambridge; her concern that Peregrine would follow other people rather than finding his own path; his coming of age; her anxiety about him during the war.
Also includes: a letter from Lady Gwendeline's father 7th Lord Abingdon, to Jack in 1914, praising his courage, assuring him that Goonie had decided to stay in Norfolk as the Churchill family were in the public eye and it would harm public confidence if she were to leave, and also complaining about the large number of naturalized Germans in Britain; a letter from Peregrine describing being caught in a bombing raid (1940).
Includes some typewritten transcripts of the letters prepared by Celia Lee, filed next to the originals.
- 1914 - 1940
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.
Language of Materials
Churchill, Lady Gwendeline Theresa Mary (1885-1941), wife of John S Churchill
Finding aid date