Saturday, January 24, 2015

Churchill's funeral train leaves Waterloo

Winston Churchill died 50 years ago today. His funeral is one of my earliest memories: I thought that there was a funeral on television every time someone died.

This video shows his funeral train leaving London Waterloo en route for Hanborough in Oxfordshire. That is the station for Blenheim Palace and for the village of Bladon where he was to be buried.

The natural station from which to leave London for Bladon is Paddington. This apparent anomaly has given rise to the pleasing story that Churchill, who played an enthusiastic part in the arrangements for his own funeral, chose a different route so that Charles De Gaulle would be obliged to visit Waterloo.

Featured on Liberal Democrat VoiceBeachcombing's Bizarre History Blog has looked at the evidence and judged that it is not true.

But when the legend becomes fact...

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