Map your history, make new connections and gain insights for family, local or special interest projects

Winston Churchill Doctor’s letter requiring alcohol for recovery

Winston Churchill Doctor’s letter requiring alcohol for recovery

In this letter Winston’s New York Doctor prescribes alcohol post accident as being part of his recovery programme. The letter gives a glimpse and insight that resonates with the intriguing nature of a complex and multi-talented human being.

We came across the letter after having recently viewed Prince Charles personal tribute to his Mother Queen Elizabeth, which also with some great personal footage reveals much for us all to muse upon. In the programme there is some footage of Lady Clemmie and Winston with the Royal Family at Balmoral. It is a short but brilliant insight. Charles himself draws the comparison with Lord Melbourne and Queen Victoria, when Elizabeth takes on the burden and duty at the very young age of 26 on the death of her father.

In our own projects we shouldn’t overlook the ephemera, the bits of cine footage or videos, the photographs where we don’t know all the answers. Seems to me, it’s like a drawing, the bits in between, the white spaces, between the marks on the paper are as important as the object themselves. White space gives time for thinking musing, projecting possibilities, inspiring us, creating the odd glimpse of insight and the inspiration to keep going. Yes these are extraordinary and intriguing families the Queen, Winston Churchill but it’s the small things that maybe really define us all. I am going to make sure I take another look at my own archives. From my Dipnall collections there is quite a bit. So easy to say I don’t know the context, so should I keep it? Whatever you do at least scan and catalogue before you either pack away or pass-on the original.

Don’t let the history slip through your fingertips, in each and every object there is a reason it was kept, it mean’t something to someone, so once you have found a way to digitally preserve it, who can benefit from having the original?

Recently I visited Bishop’s Waltham Palace and the related local history museum, there they have a great attitude and local history objects, pictures and ephemera are being collected from the general public. what a great job they are doing. Digitise and pass it on if you can.

Thanks to Winston and Prince Charles, I have learnt some new things by the glimpses revealed by a letter and a family video.

Freeze-framed for me was the images near the end of Charles tribute where, on return with the Duke by plane there is a shot of the young Queen calm and serene. You can see the depth and enormity of the responsibility she has had to assume overnight. In parallel Queen Elizabeth must have been dealing with her own personal and private grief. That moment would have been lost if it had not been for the reels of home movies the family has collected and been brave enough to share a little of  their life beyond the public persona, just a little, available on BBC iPlayer only untill 11 June  2012 grab it now.


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