London: Published by The Daily Telegraph, provided by Sport & General Press Agency Limited, 1958. Photograph. This is an original press photograph of then-First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and his friend and fellow Cabinet member, then-Secretary of State for War Jack Seely, “watching the Review of the Brigade of Guards” in Hyde Park in 1913. The two friends would have a fraught and tumultuous First World War, becoming the only two men to serve both in the Cabinet and on the Front. The gelatin silver print on glossy photo paper measures 6 x 8 in (15.2 x 20.3 cm). Condition is very good, the paper clear and crisp with only minor edge wear to the corners and light scratches visible only under raking light. This press photo once belonged to the working archive of The Daily Telegraph and the verso bears their stamp dated “FEB 1958”, as well as the stamp of “Sport & General Press Agency Limited”. An original, typed caption is titled “INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF THE RT. HON WINSTON CHURCHILL.” The caption reads “9261. Rt Hon Winston Churchill with Col Seely, watching the Review of the Brigade of Guards in Hyde Park. 1913. S&G.”
John Edward Bernard Seely (1868-1947), 1st Baron Mottistone CB, CMG, DSO, PC, TD, was Churchill's close friend, comrade in arms, and political ally for nearly half a century. His life and career remarkably parallel and entwine Churchill's, with a particularly strong bond during the First World War, both in politics and on the Front. As boys, Seely and Churchill both attended Harrow. Both earned distinction in the Boer War and parlayed war records into election to Parliament in the "Khaki election" of 1900. Churchill and Seely quickly became political allies and confidantes. Both left the Conservative party, becoming Liberals in 1904. Both joined the Liberal Government Cabinet in 1908. In 1911 Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty and in 1912 Seely became Secretary of State for War – the positions they occupied when this image was captured. This joint ascendance would not survive the First World War. Both were forced out of the Cabinet - Seely for the Curragh Incident in 1914 and Churchill for the Dardanelles in 1915 - and both subsequently chose to serve on the Front. While on active service in Europe, the two friends arranged to see one another often and continued to correspond throughout the war. In 1916, Churchill wrote to Seely "Good luck to you my dear - count on me if the moment comes when I am worth anything again." Churchill was the first to be politically rehabilitated, returning to the Cabinet as Minister of Munitions in 1917. Seely would write from Flanders "I am so glad, not only for your sake who at last have an outlet for energies and talents, but even more for all of us who want so badly just what you can give."
While Seely continued to serve with gallant distinction, Churchill faithfully advocated for a Ministerial appointment for him. In 1918, after retiring from active military service, Seely campaigned for Churchill in Dundee. When Churchill became Secretary of State for Air and War in 1919, he brought in Seely as Under-Secretary for Air. Though Seely chafed at his failure to secure his own ministry and ultimately resigned in frustration, the friendship endured. Churchill wrote to Seely "I did whatever was in my power wh sincere & old friendship suggested to assist yr return from the military to the political arena. Had greater offices been in my sphere of influence, I wd have found one for you." In 1924, both Seely and Churchill rejoined the Conservative Party. Churchill became Chancellor of the Exchequer while In 1927 and Seely Chairman of the National Savings Commission, a post he held from 1926-1943. In 1933, Seely was created Baron Mottistone, Churchill having written to Stanley Baldwin urging that Seely be given a peerage. The two men differed radically over Hitler, Seely a steadfast appeaser who long advocated trusting Hitler, though Seely eventually denounced Hitler and the activities of the National Savings Committee became a vital part of the national war effort. Item #005991