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Item - BSL - Churchill 1908







The Exemplar British Politician and the Face of Britain to much of the rest of the World in the Twentieth Century. As a politician, he made Lazarus look lazy, rising from the dead several times. Although controversial during World War I, without his drive the outcome may have been different. He found full stride in the Prime Ministership during the Second World War. His long life spanned many careers: soldier, journalist, historian, author, painter and politician, Churchill is regarded by many as one of the most important leaders in British and world history. He won the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature. A BBC poll in 2002 identifying the "100 Greatest Britons", found Churchill at the top of the list. Here is his signed campaign photo postcard from his first run for a Liberal seat in Dundee, Scotland in the by-election of 1908.  He was vigorously opposed by "an army of suffragettes" led by Emmeline Pankhurst who wanted to force Asquith's Liberal Government to approve the Women's Vote.

Historical Note

A descendant of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Winston's politician father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough; Winston's mother was Lady Randolph Churchill, daughter of American millionaire Leonard Jerome. Winston was born in Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. In a perhaps precursive bulldog style, he arrived unexpectedly early when his mother was attending a ball. Churchill attended Harrow with less than stellar results and then went to Sandhurst, the leading British Military Academy, where he graduated at the age of 20. He began his military career as a subaltern with the Queen's Own Hussars and was posted to India. Finding his unit primarily engaged in polo he sought and obtained leave to find active combat: visiting Cuba, transiting the US and finally getting reassigned to Lord Kitchener's Command (against Kitchener's wishes) in the Sudan. Churchill obtained a posting to the 21st Lancers and also served as a war correspondent for the Morning Post, at a rate of 15 per column. While in the Sudan, Churchill participated in what has been described as the last meaningful British cavalry charge in battle at the battle of Omdurman.

In 1898 Churchill returned to England and in 1899 stood, as a Conservative, for election as a Member of Parliament in Oldham coming in third in a two horse race. However, in October of 1899 the Anglo-Boer War broke out and Churchill, again as a correspondent for the Morning Post, set out.  His exploits and escapades, though considered controversial by some, led to his notoriety as a minor national hero. He returned to England and successfully ran for the seat in Oldham in 1900, the first of the "Khaki Elections". Rather than attend the opening of Parliament, Churchill embarked on a speaking tour throughout the UK and USA. While in the USA one of his speeches was introduced by Mark Twain, and he dined with the New York Governor and Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt. He returned to sit in Parliament in 1901 but by 1903 found he was having free trade issues with his party and crossed the floor to the Liberal side. In 1906 he was elected a Liberal Member from Manchester North West.

Churchill soon became one of the most prominent members in Parliament. When the Liberal, Herbert Henry Asquith, became Prime Minister in 1908, it came as little surprise that Churchill, then 33, was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade on April 8, 1908. Under the law at the time, a newly appointed Cabinet Minister was obliged to seek re-election at a by-election. Churchill lost his Manchester seat to the Conservative William Joynson-Hicks, but two weeks later was asked to seek the seat in Liberal Dundee. This "seat of convenience"  was supposed to be a formality. However, at the time, Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) - a suffragette organization that was notorious for their militant actions - was vehemently opposed to Asquith and the Liberals for their failure to grant women the right to vote. A resident of Manchester she had fought against Churchill's by-election in April and then moved on with great fanfare to Dundee with her army of the outraged, where she promised to defeat the Young Cabinet Minister. Churchill, however, had the support of the Liberal Association, free traders, mercantile and commercial interests and weathered the storm of protest. The young Liberal Minister polled 7,079 votes while the Conservative and Labour candidates split 8,384 votes between them. He remained MP for Dundee for over fourteen years, during which time he was almost continuously a Cabinet minister. This was also a turning point in Churchill's life on another front. He had just met his future wife, Clementine Hozier, at a dinner party of his mother's. In his typical bulldog style he pursued a courtship that found them married in September 1908.

Churchill went on to acclaim for his work in the Admiralty, getting the British Navy upgraded in anticipation of World War I, and approbation for his perceived failure in the Dardanelles fiasco - a claim he disputes in his own History of World War I. By the early 1920's with Asquith and the Liberals being shown the political door, Churchill was out of favour with his constituency. His election campaign was curtailed by a serious case of appendicitis limiting him to three active days on the stump, in a weakened state. He lost his seat of fourteen years. Following his loss he quipped that he was now: "without an office, without a seat, without a party and without an appendix." It was a time in the political wilderness.

He was rather famously recalled to office By King George, having presciently predicted the rise of Fascism, and led his nation through the difficult years of the Second World War being Prime Minster from 1940-1945 and then again as a Postwar Prime Minister from 1951-1955. Here is a marvelous autographed campaign photo postcard signed by Winston as he struggled to win his first liberal seat in Dundee against an unexpected resistance from women suffragettes whose rights ironically he ended up championing. Early signed Churchill material is difficult to find and this Extremely Fine Autographed Campaign Photo Postcard with a Young Churchill pictured would be a treasured addition to any Churchill Collection.

Reverse of Postcard

Document Specifications: This is a Genuine, Real Photo Postcard. Rotary Photo, E.C. #96A from their Photographic Series of Postcards. Signed in ink by "Winston S. Churchill" across the lower face of the postcard. Postcard measures 3.8" wide x 5.375" tall (87mm x 137mm). Card is Very Fine with very minor surface marks from mailing. Obverse, as shown, shows the Date Mailed as May 9, 1908 from Dundee to Miss Evelyn Henderson, Royal Bank House, Lochee, which was at that time a subsection of Dundee. Also has a penciled auction lotting number. A wonderful opportunity to add an early Churchill signed Campaign Photo Postcard from his first run in Dundee as a Liberal M.P.

 Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.

Official PayPal Seal
Item includes a written, signed & sealed lifetime guarantee of authenticity and is accompanied by a full color picture receipt for your insurance and inventory records. Item will be shipped fully insured and archivally packaged to your address. Please note that although we take great care in scanning our item images, monitor displayed colors may vary from original. Damage on delivery must be promptly reported. There is a seven day "no questions asked" return policy, but item must be returned in the same condition as sent and the return shipment cost and liability is the responsibility of the buyer. While shipping is free, certain shipments may require buyer to be accountable for all applicable sales taxes, duties, customs fees, excise taxes or VAT's.

End of Item - BSL - Churchill 1908

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