Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War
Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War

Menu for the twenty-sixth annual Balaclava Dinner, Dance, and Reunion of Members of the 4th 'Queen's Own' Hussars Regimental Association, Winston S. Churchill's first regiment, signed by Winston S. Churchill three weeks after the Munich Agreement, on the eve of the Second World War

London: 1938. This is an original menu for the 22 October 1938 reunion of Winston S. Churchill’s old regiment, the 4th “Queen’s Own” Hussars, on the eve of the Second World War in the wake of the Munich Agreement. Signed by Churchill, this menu encapsulates a poignant convergence of Churchill’s early glories and finest hours yet to come at the nadir of his political exile and pre-war anxiety for Britain. The menu measures 6 x 3.75 in. (15.24 x 9.53 cm) printed in blue on both sides of a single card, folded to form four panels. The front panel is decorated with a blue and gold stripe, regiment crest, and a list of WWI Battle Honours. Churchill’s signature in pencil spans the upper margin of the rear panel. Condition is very good, bright and complete with light overall soiling and a hint of wear to extremities. The menu is housed in a removable, archival mylar sleeve within a rigid, crimson cloth folder with satin ribbon stays. Fresh from Sandhurst, Lieutenant Winston Churchill joined the 4th Hussars at Aldershot in 1895 as the junior subaltern. The regiment would experience much of its most conspicuous glory during Churchill’s long life and then would cease to be in Churchill’s own twilight, just a few years after the end of his second and final premiership. It was as a 4th Hussar, in Cuba on his 21st birthday, that Churchill first heard “shots fired in anger and… bullets strike flesh or whistle though the air.” For this first experience of combat, Churchill along with his traveling companion, the future Major-General Sir Reginald Barnes, was recommended for the Cross of the Order of Military Merit. As the Menu records, Barnes was President of the 4th Hussars Association at the time of the 1938 reunion dinner he and Churchill attended. Churchill became honorary Colonel of the regiment in 1941. The 4th Hussars saw Second World War service in Greece and at the battle of El Alamein. As wartime Prime Minister, Churchill personally commended the regiment in January 1945 and in late 1945 "The Regiment had the honour of providing an Honorary A.D.C. and a personal guard" to Churchill at Lake Como. In 1958 the 4th Hussars ceased to be, amalgamated with the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars. In his Foreword to the 1959 history of the regiment, Churchill wrote: "I myself have happy memories of the circle in which I spent some of my early years... I cannot but regret that the individual traditions should be merged, and so come to an end. But I trust and believe... that nothing will be lost of the glories of the past." (4th Hussar, David Scott Daniell) The regiment’s reunion on 22 October 1938 took place only three weeks after Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich to announce that he had ceded Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland to Hitler in return for “peace in our time.” Churchill had spent five years opposing both his party and prevailing public sentiment by vigorously advocating rearmament and collective security. Munich worsened relations between Churchill and Chamberlain. Churchill now used his personal platform to appeal directly to both his own countrymen and the American people with strikingly blunt assaults on the moral and strategic infirmity of the Munich agreement and a clarion call for preparedness. In December of 1938 Churchill’s former companion in arms, Reginald Barnes, wrote him a warm Christmas message referencing the 4th Hussars reunion dinner: “It was such a joy to me seeing something of you in October… One thing is certain – that the belated moves we are now making in arming, are very largely due to the way you stuck to your guns! about it… Well dear old pal, this is to send my love, & to assure you that I myself - & many others – …believe in you.”(Gilbert, Documents Volume 13, p.1320) Barnes’s confidence and reassurance would be made manifest less than a year later; In September 1939, Churchill returned to the Admiralty and to war. In May 1940 he replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister. Item #004613

Price: $4,400.00

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