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The Papers of Grace Hamblin

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HAMB

Scope and Contents

This small collection of papers comprises Grace Hamblin's notes for speeches about her work for Sir Winston Churchill and his family. She recalls getting her position as secretary and what it was like to work for Churchill. Churchill Archives Centre also owns Grace Hamblin's OBE which is on permanent loan to the National Trust, Chartwell.


  • 1974 - 1997

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers at Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the collection must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Grace Hamblin was born in London on 1 January 1908 and brought up near Chartwell in Kent. She attended Crockham Hill Church of England School and left at 14 for secretarial college.

At the age of 24, Hamblin was taken on at Sir Winston Churchill's home at Chartwell as a secretary. During the 1930s she worked with WSC on his history of the life of the 1st Duke of Marlborough and then became personal secretary to Clementine Churchill (CSC) in 1939. She accompanied CSC to the first Quebec (Canada) conference in 1943 and in 1945 to Russia (CSC was head of the Red Cross Aid to Russia Fund). After the end of the Second World War, Hamblin was based at Chartwell where she had responsibility for the accounts. In 1965, Hamblin was awarded the OBE and also became the first administrator of Chartwell for the National Trust, which had been handed over to the Trust after Churchill's death. She prepared the house for being opened to the public. In 1973, Hamblin retired but remained an invaluable source of information about the Churchills until her death on October 15 2002.


1 archive box(es)



Other Finding Aids

The collection has been catalogued and copies of the catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, at the National Register of Archives in London and on the Janus website />.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was deposited at Churchill Archives Centre by Grace Hamblin in 2000.

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre holds the papers of Sir Winston Churchill (references GBR/014/CHAR and GBR/014/CHUR) plus a range of related archive collections. These include the papers of Churchill's wife, Clementine Spencer-Churchill, press photographs, press cuttings, and the Broadwater Collection of Churchill family photographs and albums. Grace Hamblin also recorded an oral history interview, at GBR/0014/CHOH 1.

Churchill Archives Centre also has a microfilm copy of Churchill's Prime Ministerial Office papers, 1940-1945 (Public Record Office classes PREM 3 and PREM 4) and holds the papers of several people whose careers were closely linked with Churchill, such as Sir John Colville, Sir George Harvie-Watt, and Sir John Martin. A list of these collections is available at: Catalogues to these collections are being added to the Janus website.


This catalogue was compiled by Natalie Adams at Churchill Archives Centre in July 2005. Biographical information was obtained from Grace Hamblin's obituary in the Times, 17 October 2002.


Hamblin, Grace, 1908-2002, secretary to Sir Winston Churchill
2005-07-06 13:54:18+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087

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