Churchill’s Final Farewell: The State And Private Funeral
of Sir Winston Churchill
Rodney J. Croft
Churchill’s Final Farewell: The State And Private Funeral Of Sir Winston Churchill
By Rodney J. Croft
oreword By Andrew Roberts
Published by Croft Publishing 2014: 155 pp.
No surprise that 2015 is chockablock with World War II- themed materials, marking as it does the 70th anniversary of the end of that significant historical event.
And no surprise that scarcely any corner of this conflict attracts aficionados, as well as professional historians, to mine some neglected area of interest or study.
Rodney J. Croft, a semi-retired British surgeon, has turned his attention to ‘Operation Hope Not’ the codename for the
State and private funerals of Sir Winston Churchill, the first book ever written with this its sole subject, perhaps arc
ane to some, yet one that no doubt will find an audience among worldwide Anglophiles, Churchillians and amateur historians particularly intrigued by the British affinity for, and expertise, in pomp and ceremony.
State funerals, usually reserved for the British monarch, have been provided to certain distinguished commoners, such as Sir Isaac Newton, The Viscount Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, and William Gladstone, who served as prime minister.
Queen Elizabeth II had actually decided to provide a state funeral for Churchill shortly after her own coronation in 1953. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral, which took place on January 30, 1965, following his death on January 24. And it’s no surprise either that Churchill had provided detailed instructions for his burial--it wasn’t as if he were someone to leave anything to chance. As Croft writes, “Everything was planned just like a full military exercise, down to the last minute and in some cases seconds.”
Beyond the granular detail that Croft provides in this volume about the State funeral and Churchill’s burial, he also includes commentary from British and world leaders after Churchill’s death (including then-president Lyndon Johnson). There are excerpts from some of Churchill’s most memorable speeches--such as the still stirring “ we shall never surrender”--and a thorough bibliography and poems from Churchill’s daughter, Sarah, that offer other dimensions to this tightly focused work, which provides a highly interesting read. #
From Dr. Herman Rosen:
I so enjoyed reading this book, Churchill’s Final Farewell. The book is very engaging and has meticulous details, which, to me, as a physician sound “evidence-based” and I find fascinating. Congratulations on a tour de force.
I am sure Rodney Croft is very proud of this splendid work.
Herman Rosen, MD, FACP, FASN
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Weill Cornell Medical College
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