London: P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd., 5 June 1959. Photograph. This is an original press photo of Lady Clementine Churchill and Field Marshal Montgomery on 4 June 1959 at a showing of The Diary of Anne Frank accompanied by the film’s star, Millie Perkins. This press photo once belonged to The Daily Telegraph’s working archive. The image measures 8 x 10 in (20.3 x 25.4 cm) on glossy photo paper. Condition is very good minus, the photo’s chief flaw being some cockling to the paper. This image features original, hand-applied retouching the figures’ faces, clothes, and hair. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “P.A.-Reuter Photos Ltd.”, a received stamp of The Daily Telegraph from June 1959, a published stamp of The Daily Telegraph from 5 June 1959, remnants of a typed caption, handwritten printing notations, and a clipping of the caption as it was printed in the newspaper. The caption on the verso of this photograph indicates that the event depicted is a showing of the 1959 film adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank organized by a committee chaired by Lady Churchill in aid of Anglo-Jewish organizations.
Lady Clementine Spencer-Churchill married Winston Churchill in 1908 and, until his death in 1965, “Marriage was her vocation”. (The Times, 13 December 1977). No small part of Clementine's long public life was spent in aid of humanitarian causes. During the Second World War she served as president of the YWCA Wartime Fund, organizing hostels for service women. In 1941 she became chair of the Red Cross Aid to Russia Fund and undertook a massive fund-raising effort. “Mrs Churchill’s Fund” raised £6.7 million of the £9 million collected for the USSR in Britain.
While Soviet Russia had been an important wartime ally, her husband and twice Prime Minister, Sir Winston, was a vehement anti-bolshevist and the alliance had barely survived profligate Soviet duplicity, bracketed by the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the post-war descent of the Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe. Winston must have greeted Clementine's support for Anglo-Jewish organizations with considerably more comfort; he had been a longtime and steadfast supporter of the Zionist cause. Among the many qualities that made her marriage to Winston an effective and intimate partnership, Clementine commanded “a shrewd political intelligence”. (ODNB)
The same could certainly not be said of Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (1887-1976), "the outstanding British field commander of the twentieth century”. Montgomery is visibly less charitable in the image than Clementine, as he could fairly be said to be in overall character. Montgomery had retired in 1958 as deputy commander of NATO’s European forces. Arrogant, outspoken, and politically inept, Montgomery seldom missed either controversy or opportunity for self-promotion. As if to demonstrate the point, Winston Churchill had traveled to America just a month before, in May, the guest of President Eisenhower, who had taken the opportunity to point out “more than once” to how wounded he had been by Montgomery. (Gilbert, Vol. VIII, p.1294)
Montgomery’s uncharitable accusations in his postwar memoirs lost him the friendship of Eisenhower and forced Montgomery to publicly apologize to a fellow Field Marshal whom – ironically – he accused of being too slow to fight. Montgomery would earn still further criticism for declaring support for Apartheid and praising communist Chinese leadership. Nonetheless, he and the Churchills maintained a personal friendship. The third figure in the image, Millie Perkins (1938), is an American film actress who made her debut as Anne Frank in the first film adaptation of Frank’s diary. Item #005411