An original press photograph of Winston S. Churchill campaigning in March 1924 during a by-election which he lost, his last Parliamentary defeat before returning to Parliament and the Conservative Party after two decades as a Liberal
An original press photograph of Winston S. Churchill campaigning in March 1924 during a by-election which he lost, his last Parliamentary defeat before returning to Parliament and the Conservative Party after two decades as a Liberal

An original press photograph of Winston S. Churchill campaigning in March 1924 during a by-election which he lost, his last Parliamentary defeat before returning to Parliament and the Conservative Party after two decades as a Liberal

London: Copyright Topical Press Agency, 1924. Photograph. This original press photo captures Winston S. Churchill giving a speech during the 1924 Westminster Abbey by-election – his last Parliamentary defeat before returning to Parliament and to the Conservative Party after two decades as a Liberal. The gelatin silver print on glossy photo paper measures 8 x 10 in (20.3 x 25.4 cm). Condition is good. The paper is crisp with some minor scratching and bruising, significant edge wear, and original crop markings. Some losses along the edges could be matted without affecting the image. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “Topical Press Agency” and several handwritten notations including the year the photo was taken, 1924, and an additional date of 29/12/1938. This is a striking original press photo of Winston Churchill on the hustings at the time of his defeat in the March 1924 by-election in the Abbey Division of Westminster – the last of three electoral defeats he suffered in an 18-month period as he made the transition back to the Conservative Party after two decades as a Liberal. In 1904, Churchill had quit the Conservative Party and joined the Liberals, beginning a dynamic chapter in his political career that saw him champion progressive causes and be branded a traitor to his class. In 1922, Churchill lost his seat in a 6-way contest, in which he placed 4th.  His party was decisively beaten at the polls and cripplingly marginalized.  Running as a Liberal Free-Trader, Churchill lost a West Leicester by-election in December 1923. By the time of the March 1924 Abbey Division of Westminster by-election, Conservative Party leaders were courting Churchill’s return to the fold. Nonetheless, the local Westminster Conservative Association chose a different candidate, leaving Churchill to stand as an Anti-Socialist Independent. The hard-fought race commanded national attention and divided Conservatives. On March 18, Churchill addressed his final meeting, in the Victoria Palace, during which, The Times reported, “The candidate was subjected to much interruption”. Polling took place on March 19. Initially, Churchill was reported as the winner, but after a recount he had lost by a margin of 43 votes. Not until 29 October did Churchill finally win his way back to the House of Commons, winning as a “Constitutionalist” the constituency he would hold for the next 40 years. On 7 November Churchill was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in Stanley Baldwin’s Conservative government, returning to the Conservative party he would, at turns, vehemently oppose (India, appeasement, etc.), be ostracized by, serve as party leader for more than a decade, and twice lead as Prime Minister. This press photo one belonged to the Topical Press Agency. During the first half of the twentieth century, photojournalism grew as a practice, fundamentally changing the way the public interacted with current events. Newspapers assembled expansive archives, including physical copies of all photographs published or deemed useful for potential future use, their versos typically marked with ink stamps and notes providing provenance and captions. Photo departments would often take brush, paint, pencil, and marker to the surface of photographs themselves to edit them before publication. Today these photographs exist as repositories of historical memory, technological artifacts, and often striking pieces of vernacular art. Item #005242

Price: $300.00

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