Churchill only used to smoke half of each cigar but kept the butts. According to his valet Norman McGowan:
‘He used to leave about half in the ash-tray. But those cigar-ends were never wasted. I had special orders about them. No matter where we went - anywhere in the world - I had to collect all the butts and put them in a special box. That box was brought back to Chartwell and the butts were handed to Kearns, one of the gardeners, who used to smoke them in his pipe.’
Churchill is said to have prepared for difficult negotiations by sticking a hatpin into a cigar, then later lighting and smoking the cigar until the attention of the entire audience was on the impossibly long ash (wondering when it would fall off) and not on any of the points his opponent was trying to make.
Churchill once remarked to Stanley Baldwin in the House of Commons. ‘History will say that the right honourable gentleman was wrong. I know it will, because I shall write the history.’
To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.
Winston Churchill watched the film Bambi during the Second World War to keep his morale up.
By the age of 26, Churchill had written five books, seen armed conflict on three continents, won four medals and a seat in parliament. His daring escape from a Boer prison camp in 1899 had made him famous. When the guards turned their back, he climbed over the prison wall and made his escape, wearing a brown flannel suit and armed with £75 and four slabs of chocolate.
He wrote under the name ‘Winston S. Churchill’ (his full surname being Spencer-Churchill) because at the time he started writing, he was not the most famous Winston Churchill in the world. That position was held by a successful American novelist of the same name. The American wrote 12 novels, the most successful being Richard Carvel (1899), The Crisis (1901), and The Crossing (1904). Winston S. Churchill, on the other hand, only wrote one work of fiction, the novel Savrola (1899), though he did win the Nobel for Literature in 1953.
The two Churchills did meet and had various things in common: service as army officers, standing for political office, respectable reputations as amateur artists. There’s a nice exchange of letters between them on the subject of what names to use. Winston S. Churchill wrote to Winston Churchill in 1899 that:
‘He has no doubt that Mr Winston Churchill will recognise from this letter that there is grave danger of his works being mistaken for those of Mr Winston Churchill. He feels sure that Mr Winston Churchill desires this as little as he does himself. In future to avoid mistakes as far as possible, Mr Winston Churchill has decided to sign all published articles, stories, or other works, “Winston Spencer Churchill”, and not “Winston Churchill” as formerly. He trusts that this arrangement will commend itself to Mr Winston Churchill.’ The other Winston replied: ‘Mr Winston Churchill appreciates the courtesy of Mr Winston Churchill in adopting the name of “Winston Spencer Churchill” in his books, articles, etc. Mr Winston Churchill makes haste to add that, had he possessed any other names, he would certainly have adopted one of them.’
My education was interrupted only by my schooling.
Winston Churchill was a member of the Ancient Order of Druids.
As a boy at Harrow Churchill hated his lisp and would practise saying ‘The Spanish ships I cannot see for they are sheltered’ to try to get rid of it.
By the time Churchill needed dentures, however, he realized that his lisp was his trademark and ordered his dentist to make a special plate which saliva could flow under to preserve the impediment.
Winston Churchill's plan, should England be occupied by the Nazis, was a last gun-blazing stand on Whitehall.
In 1942, Churchill held a meeting with Stalin, which turned into a raucous drinking party going on until 3am.