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15 October 2014
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Never Mention Winston Churchill!

by threecountiesaction

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Contributed by 
threecountiesaction
People in story: 
Wendy Bylis
Article ID: 
A4543201
Contributed on: 
25 July 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War Site by Sabrina Parkar, for Three Counties Action, on behalf of Wendy Bylis, and has been added to the site with his permissions. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.
I was seven years old in 1945 and remember friend’s fathers coming back from the war, (I can’t remember any bonding with these stranger’s). Some men would want to talk about experiences all the time, beginning sentences with ‘ When I was in Poona-Poona’ and nobody wanted to listen. Most men never mentioned the war, they just shut it completely off. I do remember going in friend’s houses and being told ‘never mention Winston Churchill in the house.’ It was like swearing he was so hated, rightly or wrongly. I do remember men saying while Churchill was in England he was sending men to unnecessary deaths. These men wanted a new Britain and got Churchill out of power at the end of the war. I mention this as we see film clips of Churchill being cheered and praised, yet I remember the hatred many felt at the time and I think this should be noted too.
Just a comment on the times. When I was five I went to stay with my aunt in Lancashire (as I lived in Enfield near the Royal Small Arms where arms were made). My mother took me to London and put me on my own train where I went to Lancashire on my own. I suppose my aunt met me, I don’t remember I know if I had a problem I should find a ‘nice old gentleman’ and ask him! How times have changed!

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Message 1 - Re: Never Mention Winston Churchill!

Posted on: 25 July 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Wendy

I read your story with interest.

However, the Tories lost the 1945 election because of memories of the slump and unemployment in the 1930s, not because of Churchill's conduct of the war. The general consensus then and since, was and is, that he was 'the right man for the job'.

In any event, Churchill headed a war-time coalition government with Clem Attlee, the Leader of the Labour party, as deputy PM. Eminent left wing Labour Party members, such as Morrison and Bevin, held key ministerial positions in Churchill's administration. Churchill didn't send men "to unnecessary deaths", there was a very strong COS Committee, on which were the Chiefs of Staff of all three services, for all major decisions, thrashed out after often very lengthy discussion. Nothing was rubber stamped.

Regards,
Peter

 

Message 2 - Re: Never Mention Winston Churchill!

Posted on: 25 July 2005 by Ron Goldstein

Dear Wendy

I have to go completely go along with what Peter has to say on this subject.

I was one who voted Churchill out after the war, but purely for political reasons.

There was never any doubt in my mind and, I would venture to suggest, all of my generation, that Churchill was the right man at the right time.

Regards

Ron

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