Gibraltar: International Magazine Service, 1958. Photograph. This vintage press photo shows Winston S. Churchill and Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975) with the “Barbary apes” of Gibraltar. Gibraltar's "apes” are actually Barbary macaque monkeys, whose arrival on the Rock preceded capture of the stronghold by the British Royal Navy in 1704. Legend holds that if the Apes disappear from Gibraltar so will the British, which is why, during the Second World War with the numbers dwindling, Winston Churchill sent to North Africa for replacements.
During the early days of the Second World War, learning that the population was down to seven, Churchill gave instructions to have five females brought in quickly from Morocco, named Daisy, Beatrice, Jane, Kathleen, and Madeline. On 2 September 1944 Churchill followed up with a directive to the Colonial Secretary: “The establishment of the apes on Gibraltar should be twenty-four, and every effort should be made to reach this number as soon as possible and maintain it thereafter.”
In 1958, Churchill, on a Mediterranean cruise with his friend Aristotle Onassis aboard Onassis' yacht Christina, stopped in Gibraltar to visit the apes. Churchill wrote to his friend Beaverbrook on October 10 "We were very well received by everybody, including the apes." While this photo is undated, it almost certainly dates from this 1958 visit. The black and white photo measures 7.25 x 9.5 inches (18.2 x 24cm) with a 5/8 inch blank margin on the bottom. The verso bears the purple copyright ink stamp of "International Magazine Service" of Sweden above a blue ink stamp of "Photos Match" of Paris. Pencil notation reads: "Churchill: Gibraltar".
The photo is in good condition with no surface markings or scratches save two white lines which appear to be artefacts of the original wire transfer. Item #003627