London: British Official Photograph issued by Photographic News Agencies, Ltd., published by The Daily Telegraph, 12 August 1943. Photograph. This original press photograph captures Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and his daughter, Mary, at Thompson’s Point at Niagara Falls on 12 August 1943 while the two were in North America for the First Quebec Conference with President Roosevelt. The gelatin silver print on matte photo paper measures 6.5 x 8.5 inches (16.5 x 21.6 cm). A tattered, original typed caption affixed to the verso extends 0.5 inch below the bottom edge. Condition is very good minus. The paper is clean and free of scuffing with some light edge wear, minor cockling, pin holes to the four corners, and a small loss to the lower left corner.
This press photo was once a part of the working archives of The Daily Telegraph and features their Art Department’s original hand-applied retouching to the river’s rapids. The verso bears a copyright stamp reading “British Official Photograph No. BH 20686 issued by Photographic News Agencies, Ltd.”, a published stamp of The Daily Telegraph dated 27 AUG 1943, and handwritten notations. The legible portion of the caption reads, “Prime Minister with daughter Mary admiring the magnificent”.
Churchill’s First Quebec conference with Roosevelt in August 1943 was code-named “Quadrant”. Churchill was accompanied by his wife, daughter Mary, and a “formidable team” of two hundred, most of whom set sail aboard the Queen Mary in the afternoon of 5 August. En route, Churchill and his Chiefs of Staff discussed every aspect of the war, including the twice-postponed and much awaited cross-Channel invasion, “Overlord”. “It was Churchill’s first opportunity… to learn from his advisers the full details of the ‘Overlord’ plan…” (Gilbert, VII, p.462) While in Quebec, Churchill and Roosevelt both lived at the Citadel, the summer residence of the Governor-General, the upstairs floor of which was prepared for Roosevelt “with ramps fitted wherever necessary for his wheelchair.” (Gilbert, Vol. VII, p.468)
Following their short stay in Quebec, Churchill was invited to Hyde Park, President Roosevelt’s home on the Hudson River. Churchill made a detour to Niagara so that his daughter could see the famous falls. Churchill’s official biographer records an amusing anecdote: “Asked by a journalist what he thought of the Falls, Churchill replied: ‘I saw them before you were born. I came here first in 1900.’ ‘Do they look the same?’ he was asked. ‘Well,’ he replied, ‘the principle seems the same. The water still keeps falling over.’” (Gilbert, VII, p.469)
Churchill’s and Roosevelt’s discussions at both Hyde Park (12-14 August) and in Quebec (17-24 August), included the recent overthrow of Mussolini and battle to subjugate Italy, command of the forthcoming cross-Channel invasion (Churchill conceded to FDR’s choice of Eisenhower, passing over Brooke, to whom command had already been promised), command in South-East Asia, sharing of information on development of the atomic bomb, and relations with Stalin.
Churchill’s youngest daughter, Mary, celebrated her twenty-first birthday on board the HMS Renown during the return journey to Britain. Baroness Mary Soames, nee Mary Spencer-Churchill (1922-2014) was the youngest and longest-lived of Winston and Clementine's five children. She was raised at Chartwell. During the Second World War, Mary joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service, serving in anti-aircraft batteries. Later in the war, Mary accompanied her father on several of his journeys abroad, including this journey to Quebec and the Potsdam summit with Truman and Stalin. She demobilized in 1946 and in February 1947 Winston walked Mary up the aisle when she married Arthur Christopher John Soames. The HMS Reknown’s Captain Edward Parry marked the occasion of Mary’s twenty-first birthday with the spectacle of gunnery practice. Item #005581