This jug was gifted to Winston Churchill on the occasion of his birthday in 1942. The inscription ‘Egypt 1942’ refers to the Battle of Alamein which took place in the autumn of 1942, near the Egyptian coastal city of El Alamein. This battle was the first victory for the Allies in the region and marked a significant turning point in World War II, turning the tide in the North African Campaign. Prior to this point Eirwin Rommel had been pushing back the Allied Forces into Egypt and was threatening to take control of the Suez Canal. Frustrated by the situation, Churchill made a week-long trip to Egypt in August during which time he placed General Montogomery in command of the Eighth Army. This victory turned the tide in the North African Campaign reducing the threat to Egypt and the Suez Canal. Churchill wrote ‘It may almost be said … before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat’ (Mary Soames, Clementine Churchill, New York, 1979, p. 355). Summing up the battle at the Lord Mayor’s luncheon at the Mansion house Churchill famously said ‘Now is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning’. After the victory, Churchill wanted to have all the Church bells rung as a sign of celebration (they had been silent since the beginning of the war) but on Clementine’s suggestion waited until Sunday 15th November by which time the enemy forces in French North Africa had surrendered and the British Army had once again entered Tobruk.