The British remember Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) as the steadfast leader of the nation through the testing times of the Second World War. He is perhaps less well-known for his other war hero credentials, earned many years before in South Africa.
While researching for a display on the second Boer War, my attention was directed to a tiny cigarette card in the Photographs Collection. Cigarette cards were issued in series to be collected, and featured popular figures such as sportsmen, actors and military heroes. This card shows a group of mostly moustachioed men in hats, among whom sits, rather conspicuously, a serious, clean-shaven young chap with slicked-back hair in a pinstripe suit. This is Winston Churchill, aged twenty-six. Below the image is an inscription: ‘Home from the War. A group of interesting persons returning from S.Africa, including Lieut.-Gen. Colvile and Mr. Winston Churchill.’
15 May 2014