London: The Associated Press Ltd., August 1962. Photograph. Here we offer an original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill being carried out of Middlesex Hospital on 21 August 1962, cigar in hand, after his recovery from his broken hip. This image measures 11.125 x 9.5 in (28.9 x 24.1 cm) on glossy photo paper. Condition is very good. The image is clean with some edge wear, creased corners, and light scuffing visible only under raking light. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “The Associated Press Ltd.”, a purple received stamp of The Daily Telegraph from August 1962, and a typed caption. On the morning of 28 June 1962 while on holiday in Monte Carlo Winston Churchill slipped off the edge of his bed and broke his hip. At Monaco Hospital he was fitted with a plaster cast “enclosing his left leg, his stomach and his lower chest.”
Churchill’s private secretary Montague Browne later recalled, “he sent everyone out of the room and said to me, ‘I want to die in England.’ I relayed this to No. 10. Harold Macmillan sent an RAF Comet to pick him up in Nice. The Monte Carlo doctors were furious and said that I was killing him.” (Gilbert, Vol VIII, p. 1335) When he arrived in London Churchill was carried from the plane, giving the V sign while flat on a stretcher. Churchill’s hip was successfully pinned, and he remained in the hospital for his recovery. Each evening his doctor joined him for cigars and brandy. The day before this photograph was taken, Churchill’s visitors included Eisenhower and Macmillan. On 21 August he was finally well enough to leave the hospital. Gilbert notes that on the following day Churchill signed a letter of thanks to the ambulance driver and his assistant for “the skill and care with which they brought me home”. (Gilbert, Vol. VIII, 1337) In this photograph we see those very two men carrying Churchill out of the hospital.
This press photo once belonged to The Daily Telegraph’s working archive. 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.
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. The day after Churchill died, on 25 January 1965, the Queen sent a message to Parliament announcing: "Confident in the support of Parliament for the due acknowledgement of our debt of gratitude and in thanksgiving for the life and example of a national hero" and concluded "I have directed that Sir Winston's body shall lie in State in Westminster Hall and that thereafter the funeral service shall be held in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.” Churchill's state funeral was attended by the Queen herself, other members of the royal family, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. It was the first time in a century that a British monarch attended a commoner’s funeral. Item #005366