Item #005276 "PRIME MINISTER ATTENDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SIR KINGSLEY WOOD" - An original Second World War press photograph of British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and his wife, Clementine, at the Memorial Service for Sir Kingsley Wood on 24 September 1943
"PRIME MINISTER ATTENDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SIR KINGSLEY WOOD" - An original Second World War press photograph of British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and his wife, Clementine, at the Memorial Service for Sir Kingsley Wood on 24 September 1943

"PRIME MINISTER ATTENDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SIR KINGSLEY WOOD" - An original Second World War press photograph of British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and his wife, Clementine, at the Memorial Service for Sir Kingsley Wood on 24 September 1943

London: Published by Evening Standard, supplied by Keystone Press Agency Ltd., 1943. Photograph. This is an original Second World War press photograph of British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and his wife, Clementine, at the Memorial Service for Sir Kingsley Wood on 24 September 1943.

The gelatin silver print on heavy glossy photo paper measures 6 x 8 inches (15.24 x 20.32 cm). Condition is very good, the image clean and crisp despite a mild sepia tone. Wear is trivial and confined to the white edge margins, the corners remaining sharp. In the image, Clementine regards the camera and Churchill looks down, both striding forward, both countenances set and serious, befitting the occasion and the war which had just added Wood to its grim tally.

The verso of the photograph tells the story of its origin. A red ink stamp indicates that the photograph was supplied by “KEYSTONE PRESS AGENCY LTD.” A black ink stamp testifies that this print was “RECEIVED” on “24 SEP 1943” by the “EVENING STANDARD”, a London daily newspaper. The original, typed, Keystone caption remains tipped onto the verso. The caption is titled: “PRIME MINISTER ATTENDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR SIR KINGSLEY WOOD. 24.9.43.” The caption text reads: “Mr. and Mrs. Churchill attended a memorial service for Sir Kingsley Wood held at St. Margarets, Westminster today. PHOTO SHOWS: Mr. and Mrs. Churchill arriving for the memorial service at St. Margarets, Westminster this afternoon HD/J. Keystone. 473333.”

When war broke out in September 1939, Sir Kingsley Wood (1881-1943) was serving as Secretary of State for Air. Months later, he played a pivotal role in Winston Churchill's May 1940 ascendance to the premiership. At dawn on 10 May Germany invaded Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium. A Cabinet meeting was called and Chamberlain concluded that the situation was dire enough to necessitate delaying his resignation. Sir Kingsley Wood argued that the seriousness of the German threat should accelerate Chamberlain’s resignation and encouraged Churchill to become Prime Minister. A third War Cabinet was summoned for four-thirty that afternoon. “Once again, Churchill crossed the Horse Guards Parade to where his colleagues and their advisers were assembled.” It was at this meeting, as the fifth item on the War Cabinet’s agenda, that Chamberlain announced he would “at once tender his resignation to The King.” By that night, Churchill was prime minister. Sir Kingsley Wood was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, serving until his death in 1943.

This image once belonged to the working archive of Evening Standard. 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 #005276

Price: $120.00

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