Item #005445 "MR. CHURCHILL WATCHES FLYING DEMONSTRATION" - An original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill watching a flying demonstration on 19 October 1943 with Air Minister Sir Archibald Sinclair
"MR. CHURCHILL WATCHES FLYING DEMONSTRATION" - An original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill watching a flying demonstration on 19 October 1943 with Air Minister Sir Archibald Sinclair

"MR. CHURCHILL WATCHES FLYING DEMONSTRATION" - An original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill watching a flying demonstration on 19 October 1943 with Air Minister Sir Archibald Sinclair

London: The Daily Telegraph, BIPPA Press Agency, 27 October 1943. Photograph. This is an original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill watching a flying demonstration on 19 October 1943 with Air Minister Sir Archibald Sinclair. Churchill, seated and holding a lit cigar in his right hand, looks out while listening to his Air Minister, also seated, who leans toward Churchill, gesturing. Standing behind Churchill are various unidentified military and civilian figures.

The gelatin silver print on glossy photo paper measures 6 x 8 in (15.24 x 20.32 cm). Condition is very good, the image clean, clear, and unfaded with minimal wear confined to the corners. Minor image imperfections are embedded in the negative, not a result of wear. The verso of the photograph testifies to its origins. A purple ink stamp identifies the image as a “British Official Photograph Crown Copyright Reserved Supplied by BIPPA”. A second, oval ink stamp states that this print was “RECEIVED” on “27 OCT 1943” by “The Daily Telegraph ART DEPARTMENT”. The original, typed caption remains tipped onto the verso. The caption begins with an embargo notification: “NOT TO BE PUBLISHED BEFORE THE EVENING PAPERS, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19th.” The photograph is identified as “BRITISH OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH NO. BH 21518 (WP) (War Office photograph: Crown Copyright reserved).” The caption is titled “MR CHURCHILL WATCHES FLYING DEMONSTRATION” and reads “Mr. Churchill watched a flying display by different types of aircraft at an aerodrome in Southern England recently. PHOTO SHOWS:- Mr. Churchill watching the flying demonstration with Sir Archibald Sinclair, Air Minister. (Picture issued October 1943). PN”. The caption slip concludes by repeating the embargo “NOT TO BE PUBLISHED BEFORE THE EVENING PAPERS, TUESDAY OCTOBER 19th.”

When Churchill ascended to the premiership in 1940, he and Archibald Henry Macdonald Sinclair, first Viscount Thurso (1890-1970) already had a long, established friendship. Their friendship had formed when “Sinclair in his early twenties was turning towards politics and ready to trust in an older man as his guiding star; Churchill in his late thirties was already a curiously paternal figure delighted to discover a young disciple. The letters which he and Sinclair exchanged during the First World War are remarkable on both sides for their expression of private feeling, and read like those of a mutually devoted father and son. Sinclair could write to Churchill in April 1916 of 'my keen longing to serve you in politics—more humbly but more energetically than I have been able to in war'” (ODNB and Gilbert, 1494). When Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940, he appointed Sinclair Secretary of State for Air, a post Sinclair retained until May 1945.

This press photo once belonged to the working archive of The Daily Telegraph. 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 #005445

Price: $120.00

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