Item #006699 An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill. 16th Duke of Norfolk Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, Earl Marshal of England.
An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill
An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill
An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill
An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill
An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill
An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill
An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill

An archive of nine documents from the 30th January 1965 state funeral of Winston S. Churchill

London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office & The Earl Marshal of England, 1965. This is a small archive of nine documents from the 30 January 1965 state funeral of Sir Winston S. Churchill. Individual items from Churchill’s funeral are not uncommon, but it is quite unusual to find a coherent set of so many items, particularly original invitations to both the funeral and the Lying in State, accompanied by the ancillary invitation, instructional, and transport documents.

Four of nine documents are on stationery printed or embossed with the seal of the Earl Marshal of England – a hereditary office of the Duke of Norfolk whose duties include organizing major ceremonial state occasions, such as coronations and state funerals. These four documents are: a formal invitation to attend the State Funeral; the “Reply Form”; the ticket to admit “Miss Jennings” to “Block H” in the Nave of the “Cathedral Church of St. Paul in London”; and the “General Instructions”, specifying the items provided, dress, as well as transport to and entry time and location for the Cathedral. Also included is ticket “No. 49” to the “LYING IN STATE” of Churchill admitting “Miss Jennings… to the position in NEW PALACE YARD allocated to the wives of Peers and Members and to Staff of the Palace at 9:00 a. m. on 30th January 1965”, the name, time, and date hand written. Two other documents relate to transportation arrangements – a “Traffic Control” document providing instructions and a car label “to be affixed to the windscreen”. The final two documents were available at the funeral itself – a pair of booklets that detail the elaborate funeral proceedings for Winston Churchill. These are The Ceremonial to be Observed at the Funeral of The Right Honourable Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill and The Order of Service for the Funeral of The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill.

We acquired these documents from the original recipient’s niece. The General Instructions, Invitation, Reply Form, and funeral ticket are all tipped onto card, ostensibly by Miss Jennings, who wrote on the card bearing the ticket “One of the most impressive days of my life” The funeral ticket, General Instructions, Reply Form, Lying in State ticket, invitation, and Traffic Control documents each have two old cello tape stains at their edges. The documents are otherwise in excellent condition.

On Sunday, 24 January 1965, Winston Churchill died at the age of 90. He had already become “a living national memorial" of the time he had lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he had served. His death completed his transformation into a national icon.

The next day, on 25 January, 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.” This was in accord with longstanding plans; twelve years before, in 1953, at Queen Elizabeth II’s direction, planning for Churchill’s eventual state funeral had begun. The elaborate plans, running to hundreds of pages, came to be called "Operation Hopenot".

Churchill's full state funeral at the Cathedral of St. Paul in London was attended by the Queen, other members of the royal family, Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. Churchill was interred in St. Martin’s churchyard, Bladon, Oxfordshire. It was the first time in a century that a British monarch attended a commoner’s funeral.

The outpouring of national and international regard - from friends and foes, sympathizers and opponents alike - was both remarkable and effusive. Before the service in St. Paul’s Cathedral, Churchill’s coffin had passed through the countryside on a train. The Oxford don, Dr. A. L. Rowse, recorded “The Western sky filled with the lurid glow of winter sunset; the sun setting on the British Empire.”. Item #006699

Price: $1,750.00