View full screen - View 1 of Lot 51. Winston S. Churchill | Typed letter signed ("Winston Churchill"), to Arthur Paul Bossier, January 1940.
51

Winston S. Churchill | Typed letter signed ("Winston Churchill"), to Arthur Paul Bossier, January 1940

Estimate:

6,000

to
- 8,000 USD

Winston S. Churchill | Typed letter signed ("Winston Churchill"), to Arthur Paul Bossier, January 1940

Winston S. Churchill | Typed letter signed ("Winston Churchill"), to Arthur Paul Bossier, January 1940

Estimate:

6,000

to
- 8,000 USD

Lot sold:

7,500

USD

Winston S. Churchill

Typed letter signed ("Winston Churchill"), as First Lord of the Admiralty, to Arthur Paul Bossier, the headmaster of Harrow School, Churchill's alma mater, January 1940


1 page (7 1/4 x 9 1/4 in.; 184 x 235) on embossed Admiralty stationery, dated January 1949; old fold.


WRITTEN JUST FOUR MONTHS AFTER CHURCHILL’S RETURN TO GOVERNMENT AS FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY, AND FOUR MONTHS BEFORE HE WOULD REPLACE CHAMBERLAIN AS PRIME MINISTER


"I am most grateful for your kind letter of greetings. It is good to receive such a message of encouragement from Harrow,” Churchill wrote to Arthur Paul Boissier, the Headmaster of Harrow School, his alma mater.


Nine months after this letter was penned, during the Blitz of September 1940, Harrow School was hit by incendiary bombs. In a single night some three hundred bombs fell among the buildings or in the grounds, though this was apparently not by intent. German bombers involved in a raid over London had dumped the remainder of their bomb load to save fuel on their flight home, with the majority falling on Harrow. It was Churchill’s private secretary, John Colville (another alumnus), who told him of the tragedy. Until that moment Churchill had never mentioned Harrow to Colville, “except,” according to Colville, “with dislike.” Boissier had, in fact, written repeatedly inviting Churchill to visit Harrow, to no avail. Now, however, Churchill observed to Colville that Harrow was “courageous to remain on the Hill and not to emigrate to more peaceful pastures.” He went on to dictate a telegram to Head Master Boissier: “I am sorry to hear that Harrow has been bombed and hope that the damage is not serious. You have all my sympathy. Stick it. Winston S. Churchill.” On December 18, 1940 Churchill did visit Harrow and, as Colville later noted, “thoroughly enjoyed himself.” Old Harrow songs were sung and the Prime Minister quietly blinked back tears. Boissier wrote at the time of having been told that, "on occasions when affairs looked overblack, Mr. Churchill . . . would sing an appropriate verse or two from one of the [Harrow] songs and then get back to business."

The letter is in excellent condition, with the standard fold marks.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE.