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1st Reply From: Robert Davison <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: RE: REPLY: Churchill's Drinking Habits () Date: March 3, 2010 5:19:26 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <email@example.com> I once saw a collection of Churchill's wine bills at the Churchill College Archives Centre. In 1909 for instance he was in hock to his wine merchant to the tune of 250 pounds. Yes, indeed, Walter Boyne is correct. At the time he was buying Pol Roger by the case lot. Robert L. Davison, Ph.D. Department of History Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 519-884-1970 ex. 3946 2nd Reply From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: REPLY: Churchill's Drinking Habits () Date: March 4, 2010 9:40:26 AM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Yesterday I just happened to read the obituary of Winston Churchill's grandson (also Winston S. Churchill) in the Washington Post. At the end of the first paragraph is a comment on his grandfather's drinking habit. The second paragraph has nothing to do with his drinking, but I include it because I thought it was funny. As suggested in previous posts, perhaps our current politicians need to drink more... and lay bricks for a couple hours a day. There are some brick sidewalks on Capitol Hill that could use some repair... [From the WP:] "I never knew my parents together, so their split meant nothing to me," Mr. Churchill said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in 2008. "But it did mean I got a great deal of grandparental sunlight." He recalled staying at Chartwell, his grandfather's home southeast of London, and finding the old man "wreathed in cigar smoke with a whisky and soda already on his table" in the morning. The drink, he added, was very weak. "Each afternoon, we'd spend a couple of hours together, laying bricks. If anyone had asked me what my grandfather did, I'd have said: He's a bricklayer,' " Mr. Churchill recalled. Cheers, Michelle Krowl Arlington, Virginia email@example.com 3rd Reply From: Charles Carlton <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: REPLY: Churchill's Drinking Habits () Date: March 3, 2010 4:44:04 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Cc: charles_carlton@ <email@example.com> > There is a story about Churchill being invited to give a lecture in the 1930s. Introducing him his hostess mentioned his fondness for a drink, and pointed out that it was said that if all the bottles of alcohol Mr Churchill has consumed were poured out into the lecture hall their contents would come up to a mark half way to the ceiling. Churchill rose to speak, looked at the halfway mark, and then the ceiling, and with a sad tone observed, `So much to do! So little time to do it!' Charles Carlton, Professor Emeritus, North Carolina State University. 4th Reply From: daniel spector <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: REPLY: Churchill's Drinking Habits () Date: March 3, 2010 4:46:29 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> Just a short comment as this thread of commentary peters out. Which would H-War subscribers prefer as a wartime leaders: Winston Churchill, who did drink a lot and suffered from severe depression, or a vegan and teetotaler like Adolf Hitler who needed more and more drugs to sleep and wake up as crises escalated? Best Dan Spedctor 5th Reply From: Antoine Capet <email@example.com> Subject: Churchill's Drinking Habits Date: March 3, 2010 5:01:10 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> See Churchill Centre page : http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/myths/myths/he-was-an-alcohol-abuser See also my entry in _Alcohol and temperance in modern history : an international encyclopedia_ by Jack S. Blocker, Jr., David M. Fahey, and Ian R. Tyrrell, editors (Santa Barbara, Calif. ABC-CLIO, 2003) : Winston Churchill's Temperant Intemperance Churchill (1874-1965), the archetypal Englishman in foreign eyes, never drank the archetypal English beverage, tea, which he execrated. Julian Critchley, MP, reports how towards the end of Churchill's career a young Conservative MP who asked him in the Smoking-Room of the House if he would like a cup of tea was rebuked with a thunderous: "No. Don't be a bloody fool. I want a large glass of whisky". Churchill himself provided a lengthy explanation for his acquired taste for whisky in My Early Life (1930): he had no real choice when joining the Malakand Field Force in India in 1897. The heat was unbearable and the water was undrinkable unless used for tea, with lime-juice or with whisky: "Until this time I had never been able to drink whisky. I disliked the flavour intensely. [.] By the end of those five days [in India] I had completely overcome my repugnance to the taste of whisky. Nor was this a momentary acquirement. On the contrary the ground gained in those days I have firmly entrenched and held throughout my whole life. Once one got the knack of it, the very repulsion from the flavour developed an attraction of its own; and to this day, although I have always practiced true temperance, I have never shrunk when occasion warranted it from the main basic refreshment of the white officer in the East". And he continues: "I had been brought up and trained [at Sandhurst] to have the utmost contempt for people who got drunk [.]. In those days I was very much against drunkards, prohibitionists and other weaklings of excess: but now I can measure more charitably the frailties of nature from which their extravagances originate". This was written in 1930, but probably sums up Churchill's approach to drinking for the rest of his life, viz. his dislike of militant teetotallers (Hitler never drank alcohol, Mussolini only drank milk because of his ulcers, and Churchill lost his Parliamentary seat in 1922 to E. Scrymgeour, the only Prohibitionist to have ever become a Member of the British Parliament), and his toleration of moderate drinking combined with his condemnation of drunkenness (which he believed had precipitated Asquith's fall). The enormous difficulty is that he never said where he drew the dividing line between drinking and getting drunk (apart perhaps from the celebrated boast "I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me") and the average person who reads about his daily schedule of drinking, with hock at breakfast, port, champagne and brandy at lunch and dinner and a continuous absorption of whisky outside meals (often, admittedly, in the form of a nip of Scotch drowned in water), cannot believe that he was not drunk every night, or even by lunchtime. That he was "alcohol-dependent" is in no doubt: as he himself said to Lord Boothby in 1948, "I find alcohol a great support in life"; that he was an "alcohol abuser" on most medical definitions of the word is also in no doubt, but it seems that he had a super-human capacity for absorbing hard liquor without getting intoxicated, and most aides and foreign statesmen have remarked in their war memoirs on how he could conduct the most momentous discussions on complicated strategic decisions in perfect lucidity after imbibing a quantity of drink which would have made most mortals lose their consciousness. There seems therefore to have been no contradiction between Churchill's averred love for the bottle and his "utmost contempt for people who got drunk", and if the primary criterion of Temperance is the avoidance of the effects of intoxication, Churchill perfectly met it. Antoine Capet, France Original Message: > Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 15:45:49 -0500 > From: hendsn1@GMAIL.COM > Subject: REPLY: Churchill's Drinking Habits () > To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU > > 1st Reply > > From: ROGER CHAPMAN <ROGER_CHAPMAN@pba.edu> > Subject: RE: QUERY: Churchill's Drinking Habits > Date: March 1, 2010 10:57:09 AM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > In the autobiography, _My Early Life_, specifically chapter X ("The Malakand Field Force"), Winston Churchill shares how he came to "overcome my repugnance to the taste of whisky." Therein, he devotes two pages to his drinking preferences and philosophies. > > Roger Chapman, Ph.D. > Assistant Professor of History > School of Arts and Sciences > Palm Beach Atlantic University > 901 S. Flagler Drive > Borbe Hall 219 > P.O. Box 24708 > West Palm Beach, FL 33416-4708 > > Phone: 561-803-2289 > > > 2nd Reply > > > From: LARRY GRANT <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Subject: RE: Churchill's Drinking Habits > Date: March 1, 2010 11:09:17 AM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > I am tempted to paraphrase Lincoln: > > "So Churchill gets drunk, does he? . . . Well, you needn't waste your time getting proof; you just find out, to oblige me, what brand of whiskey Churchill drinks, because I want to send a barrel of it to each one of my politicians." > > Larry A. GRANT > Naval historian, j.g. > > > 3rd Reply > > > From: Walter Boyne <email@example.com> > Subject: RE: QUERY: Churchill's Drinking Habits > Date: March 1, 2010 11:33:41 AM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > > I believe Pol Roger was his preferred champagne. > Walter Boyne > > P.S. Whatever he was drinking, we should send cases to everyone in > government. > > Walter J. Boyne > 20582 Rosewood Manor Square > Ashburn, VA 20147 > 703 729 8687 703 475 8985 cell > www.air-boyne.com > > > > 4th Reply > > > From: Sidney Allinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Subject: Re: QUERY: Churchill's Drinking Habits > Date: March 1, 2010 11:44:25 AM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > Martin Gilbert looked into the facts of Mr. Churchill's drinking habits. > According to several close associates and co-workers of WSC, he was > a quite moderate drinker. Several remarked that usually he would > just sip at water-diluted weak whiskey. > If Irving said Churchill was an alcoholic, well -- consider the source. > Irving's the same guy who grossly exaggerated the number of Germans > killed during the Dresden bombing raids. Wildly four times more than the > actual 27,000 dead officially reported by the Dresden chief of police at the > time; the same figure confirmed by the historical symposium inquiry sponsored > by the mayor of Dresden three years ago. > As for what historians think of Churchill, all the latter-day revisionism in > the world can never override the fact he provided leadership that profoundly > helped win WWII for the Allies. > > > -- Sidney Allinson. > > > > 5th Reply > > From: Bill & Kathleen Mero <email@example.com> > Subject: Re: QUERY: Churchill's Drinking Habits > Date: March 1, 2010 2:10:26 PM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > Perhaps regarding Churchill's drinking habits we should look to Abraham Lincoln when he encountered this complaint abut General Grant: "Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals." Abraham Lincoln Today the world may not need more Generals but we could surely use a statesman like Churchill, no matter what he drinks. > > K J Mero > John Marsh Historic Trust > > > > 6th Reply > > From: Adrien Ivan <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Subject: Re: QUERY: Churchill's Drinking Habits > Date: March 1, 2010 2:44:31 PM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > Check out Rick Atkinson's Day of Battle. He has a small section on Churchill and what he drank. According to Atkinson, one of his favorites was Johnny Walker Red. > > > > 7th Reply > > From: Matt Clark <email@example.com> > Subject: Re: REPLY: Churchill's Drinking Habits > Date: March 1, 2010 7:45:05 PM EST > To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> > > Palle Rasmussen wrote: > > It is important to not judge the past (too much) by today's > standards, but by its own. > > Everybody back then drank heavily. I heard that Mr Churchill > drank gin, but no matter what he was a great statesman. > > I agree completely. I was simply observing that views toward what constitutes alcoholism have changed considerably since the 1940s. Drinking, of spirits particularly, was much more prevalent then than it is now. And I agree, of course, that Churchill was a great leader who, as John Kuehn pointed out, seemed to keep his alcohol consumption well under control. > > Matt Clark > > > > > > -----Original Message----- > From: H-NET Military History Discussion List [mailto:H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU] On Behalf Of H-War Editor David Silbey > Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 10:40 AM > To: H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU > Subject: QUERY: Churchill's Drinking Habits > > From: "Matt Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Date: Monday, March 1, 2010 10:36:42 AM > Subject: COMMENT Bravo > > Exactly what were Churchill's drinking habits? Irving said he > was an alcoholic, and others have said the same. Many > references seem to occur about his use of alcoho. I recall > one member of anot her list saying he hated Champagne, but > drank cognac exclusively (which I don't buy). I've looked > into the indices of several biographies and find no reference > to "Churlchill--drunking habits of..." On the other hand, the > late military editor of the NY Times maintained that the > prime minister tossed off a highball on arising and knocked > off a bottle bubbly at lunch. And at night, brandy was his > drink. > > According to today's medical standards, anyone who takes a > drink daily is a candidate for Betty Ford's institution. So > what do historians think about Churchill? > > Matt Clark > > ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----