Churchill's ties to Scotland falling 'out of public knowledge', warns great grandson

Sir Winston Churchill’s great-grandson has backed a campaign for greater recognition of the former prime minister’s ties to Scotland, stressing that contemporary political debates should have “no bearing on an objective view of history.”
Winston Churchill during an election visit to Glasgow in 1951. (Picture: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Winston Churchill during an election visit to Glasgow in 1951. (Picture: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Winston Churchill during an election visit to Glasgow in 1951. (Picture: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The former war leader’s reputation and legacy has been subject to spirited and controversial debate in recent years, with Ross Greer, the Scottish Greens MSP, denouncing him as a “white supremacist" and a "mass murderer,” a reference to the Bengal famine of 1943, and Labour’s John McDonnell describing him as a “villain.”

Others, however, celebrate the man who led Britain to victory in World War II. The Conservative party marked last year’s anniversary of his death by paying tribute to a man who was, for many, it said, “the greatest Briton to have ever lived.”

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Now ahead of the anniversary of Churchill’s birthday, Randolph Churchill has lent his support to the International Churchill Society’s calls for increased awareness of the former Tory MP’s Scottish links.

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From Churchill’s close friendship with Andrew Dewar Gibb, a former leader of the SNP, to his command of the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1916, the society said the politician’s connections north of the border were plentiful.

Mr Churchill, 55, said that some of the stories about his great grandfather’s ties with Scotland had been forgotten.

He explained: “The Churchill family is delighted that efforts are being made to bring together my great-grandfather's relationship with Scotland. He not only had great admiration for Scotland but considered many Scots among his friends.

"Churchill had immense respect for the men under his command. This story is one of the many about Scotland that has fallen out of public knowledge.

"Whatever the political debates of today, they have no bearing on an objective view of history. My great-grandfather had a plethora of connections to Scotland, her politicians, her institutions, and her people. He was quite correct when he said he owed Scotland his wife, his constituency and his regiment."

The society, founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill’s death, recently documented his bonds with Scotland in its journal, Finest Hour, which features a foreword by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

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