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Winston Churchill

From the 1900s, he was a member of Parliament. He served as First Lord of the Admiralty (1911-15), Secretary of State for War and Air (1918–1921), Secretary of State for the Colonies (1921–1922). After 1929, he was in political isolation, wrote and published books.

Winston Churchill

From the 1900s, he was a member of Parliament. He served as First Lord of the Admiralty (1911-15), Secretary of State for War and Air (1918–1921), Secretary of State for the Colonies (1921–1922). After 1929, he was in political isolation, wrote and published books.

Poland has been again overrun by two of the great powers which held her in bondage for 150 years but were unable to quench the spirit of the Polish nation. The heroic defense of Warsaw shows that the soul of Poland is indestructible, and that she will rise again like a rock which may for a spell be submerged by a tidal wave but which remains a rock.

What is the second event of this first month? It is, of course, the assertion of the power of Russia. Russia has pursued a cold policy of self-interest. We could have wished that the Russian Armies should be standing on their present line as the friends and allies of Poland, instead of as invaders. But that the Russian Armies should stand on this line was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace.

The war at sea opened with some intensity. All our ships were going about the world in the ordinary way, when they were set upon by lurking U-boats, carefully posted beforehand. First, we set in motion the convoy system. This could be very quickly done for all outgoing ships, but it took a fortnight to organise from the other end the convoys of homeward-bound ships. 

Our second reply to the U-boat attack is to arm all our merchant vessels and fast liners with defensive armament against both the U-boat and the aeroplane. For a fortnight past armed ships have been continually leaving the harbours of this island in large numbers. Some go in convoy, some go independently. 

Our third reply is, of course, the British attack upon the U-boats. This is being delivered with the utmost vigour and intensity. It is a strange experience to me to sit at the Admiralty again, after a quarter of a century, and to find myself moving over the same course, against the same enemy, and in the same months of the year — the sort of thing that one would hardly expect to happen.

On Sunday, 17th September, His Majesty's Ship "Courageous" was torpedoed and sunk by an enemy submarine. The submarine was immediately attacked by one of the screening vessels and there is every reason to believe that she was destroyed. His Majesty's Ship "Courageous" had on board 1,202 officers and men; this was somewhat less than her full complement, as she had embarked a reduced number of aircraft. A large number of survivors have been picked up by destroyers and merchant ships, amounting in all to 687 officers and men. The Commanding Officer, Captain Makeig-Jones, went down with his ship. The names of the survivors are being issued through the Ministry of Information as soon as they become available.

The public have already learnt from survivors the graphic story of the gallantry of the ship's company. I should like to express on behalf of His Majesty's Government and the Board of Admiralty their profound sympathy with those who have been bereaved.



I regret to inform the House that the disaster may prove to be of greater magnitude than was indicated by earlier reports. As far as can be ascertained there were on board 1,418 persons, of whom 315 were crew and 1,103 were passengers, some 800 of whom possessed British or European passports, and over 300 possessed passports of the United States of America.

It is now clearly established that the disaster was due to an attack, without warning, by a submarine. At 7.45 p.m. local time on the night of Sunday, 3rd September, a torpedo struck the ship abaft the engine room on the port side when she was 250 miles north-west of the coast of Ireland. Soon after the torpedo struck the ship the submarine came to the surface and fired a shell which exploded on "C" deck. The submarine cruised around the sinking ship and was seen by numerous persons, including American survivors, a considerable number of whom—I think 12 or more—have given affidavits to this effect.

I regret to inform the House that a signal was received in the Admiralty at about 11 p.m. last night giving the information that the steamship "Athenia" had been torpedoed in a position about 200 miles north-west of Ireland at 8.59 p.m. Orders had already been given by local Commanders for destroyers to proceed to her assistance, and by shortly after midnight four destroyers were proceeding at high speed towards the position. They should have been near the position by about 10 a.m. this morning. A further signal was received from the Master of the ''Athenia'' at about 1 a.m. this morning stating that there were 1,400 passengers, some of whom were still on board, and that the ship was sinking fast. See more

Becomes First Lord of the Admiralty

15:17

11:25

This is not a question of fighting for Danzig or fighting for Poland. We are fighting to save the whole world from the pestilence of Nazi tyranny and in defense of all that is most sacred to man. This is no war of domination or imperial aggrandizement or material gain; no war to shut any country out of its sunlight and means of progress. It is a war, viewed in its inherent quality, to establish, on impregnable rocks, the rights of the individual, and it is a war to establish and revive the stature of man. Perhaps it might seem a paradox that a war undertaken in the name of liberty and right should require, as a necessary part of its processes, the surrender for the time being of so many of the dearly valued liberties and rights. In these last few days the House of Commons has been voting dozens of Bills which hand over to the executive our most dearly valued traditional liberties. We are sure that these liberties will be in hands which will not abuse them, which will use them for no class or party interests, which will cherish and guard them, and we look forward to the day, surely and confidently we look forward to the day, when our liberties and rights will be restored to us, and when we shall be able to share them with the peoples to whom such blessings are unknown.

I am, as you know, concentrating every minute of my spare life and strength upon completing our contract. It is a relief in times like these to be able to escape into other centuries. Happily there are good hopes that Chamberlain will stand firm.

This is the last picture we shall paint in peace for a very long time.

is painting at the Chateau St Georges Motel

Remember that we are faced with a new weapon, armour in great strength, on which the Germans are no doubt concentrating, and that forests will be particularly tempting to such forces since they will offer concealment from the air.

moves to Paris
is watching Fighter aeroplane exercises

There is a hush over all Europe, nay, over all the world, broken only by the dull thud of Japanese bombs falling on Chinese cities, on Chinese Universities or near British and American ships. But then, China is a long way off, so why worry? The Chinese are fighting for what the founders of the American Constitution in their stately language called: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And they seem to be fighting very well. Many good judges think they are going to win. Anyhow, let’s wish them luck! See more