London: Planet News Ltd., 25 October 1960. Photograph. This is an original press photograph of Sir Winston and Lady Clementine Churchill on 25 October 1960 in their car en route from London Airport to their Hyde Park Gate home having just returned from holiday in the south of France. This image measures 10 x 8.125 in (25.4 x 20.6 cm) on glossy photo paper. Condition is very good minus. The paper is crisp and clean with only some very slight bruising to the corners and some slight scuffing visible only under raking light. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “Planet News Ltd.”, a received stamp of The Daily Telegraph from October 1960, and a typed caption. The original caption is titled “COMING HOME TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME” and reads in full “LONDON AIRPORT: SIR WINSTON & LADY CHURCHILL flew into London Airport this evening from Nice where they have been holidaying. Here they are in their car bound for their home in Hyde park Gate, London where a week end thief broke in though a window and stole £10 in cash from an office drawer. 25th October, 1960”.
On 28 September 1960 Churchill, along with Clementine and his private secretary, Montague Browne, left for holiday at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, owned by Churchill’s friend, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. There his spirits were revived with days spent painting. On 22 October he called on President de Gaulle in Nice where the two spent half an hour discussing world politics. 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.
During 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.
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. Item #005393