London: P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd., 10 December 1958. Photograph. This is an original press photo of Winston S. Churchill leaving 10 Downing Street on 9 December 1958 following a lunch with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. This image measures 11.125 x 9.5 in (28.6 x 24.6 cm) on matte photo paper. Condition is good plus. The slightly irregularly trimmed paper is clean and crisp with some minor wear along the right edge, original crop markings, creasing to the lower right corner, and a series of parallel scratches in the upper right corner visible only under raking light.
The verso bears two copyright stamps of “P.A.-Reuter Photos Ltd.”, a published stamp of The Daily Telegraph from 10 December 1958, remnants of a typed caption, and a clipping of the caption as it appeared in print. The clipping reads: “A FRIENDLY HAND FOR SIR WINSTON. Mr. Macmillan taking Sir Winston Churchill’s arm as he left 10, Downing Street yesterday after he and Lady Churchill lunched with the Prime Minister and Lady Dorothy Macmillan.” This press photo once belonged to The Daily Telegraph’s working archive.
Prime Minister from 1957-1963, Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) was first elected a Conservative member of parliament in 1924. He spent much of the 1930s with his political career impeded by his advocacy of social reform and his anti-appeasement stance. As it did for Churchill, the outbreak of the Second World War proved his qualities and brought him into the government as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply. In 1942, he both became under-Secretary at the Colonial Office and was sworn of the privy council – “an unusual honour for a junior minister.” (ODNB) By the end of 1942, Churchill appointed Macmillan Minister Resident at allied forces HQ in Algiers, where Macmillan was to act as political advisor to Eisenhower and represent the British government in developing allied policy in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Significantly, Macmillan reported directly to Churchill. This role made Macmillan an important go-between. It also nearly cost him his life, when he was badly burnt in a plane crash in North Africa. In his crucial role as a wartime liaison, “On several occasions his diplomacy saved the day” and he was dubbed 'Viceroy of the Mediterranean’. (ODNB) Macmillan’s diplomacy and accommodations often both vexed and ably served Churchill. By war’s end, Macmillan had returned to Britain to join the Cabinet as secretary of state for air – just before for Labour won the General Election in July 1945. When the Conservatives returned to power in 1951, Macmillan served as minister of housing and then, in quick succession, minister of defence, foreign secretary, and chancellor of the exchequer under the premierships of Churchill and Eden.
When the Suez crisis forced Eden’s resignation, Macmillan became premier, remaining in office until Cabinet scandals and ill health forced his resignation in October 1963. When his old boss, Churchill, broke his hip in Monte Carlo in June 1962 and conveyed the message to 10 Downing Street ‘I want to die in England’, it was Prime Minister Macmillan who ordered an RAF Comet to ferry Churchill home. Macmillan’s grandfather had founded Macmillan publishers, who published Churchill’s 1906 biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, and reprinted several Churchill titles during the war. After resigning the premiership, Macmillan chaired his family’s firm. This original press photograph was taken in the twilight of Churchill’s remarkable life and career. Winston S. Churchill was 80 years old when he resigned his second and final premiership on 5 April 1955. For the last decade of his long life, Churchill passed "into a living national memorial" of the time he had lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he had served.
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 #005340