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CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Photograph signed (‘Winston S. Churchill’), taken aboard HMS Prince of Wales, [9 August 1941].
CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Photograph signed (‘Winston S. Churchill’), taken aboard HMS Prince of Wales, [9 August 1941].

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CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965). Photograph signed (‘Winston S. Churchill’), taken aboard HMS Prince of Wales, [9 August 1941].

142 x 176mm. The photograph showing, left to right, Sir John Dill, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Winston Churchill, Harry Hopkins (F. D. Roosevelt’s unofficial emissary to Churchill during the war), Sir Dudley Pound, Admiral of the Fleet, and Wilfred Rhodes Freeman, Vice-Chief of the Air Staff: all have signed the photograph except Harry Hopkins.

A wartime photograph signed by Churchill on the historic first day of the Atlantic Conference: co-signed by three of the other attendees.

Provenance: Apparently by descent from the photographer.

The photograph captures Churchill en route to the first of his eleven wartime meetings with Franklin D. Roosevelt (at which he famously greeted him with the words: ‘At long last, Mr President’) on the occasion of the Atlantic Conference: the resulting agreement between Britain and America, the Atlantic Charter, which enshrined the shared goals of the Allies for the post-war world, was signed on 14 August 1941. Both Churchill and Roosevelt travelled in secret to the Conference: only a handful of people not in attendance were aware Churchill had left the country, and Roosevelt was officially on a fishing trip. On 9 August, HMS Prince of Wales sailed into Placentia Bay, Newfoundland to meet USS Augusta, where Roosevelt was waiting: the present photograph shows Churchill and his delegation walking towards the Augusta. The photographer may be Bernard Howell (d.1978), a decorated naval officer who survived the sinking of the same ship four months later.

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Robert Tyrwhitt
Robert Tyrwhitt

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