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Winston Churchill and Charlie – a story

Winston and Charlie

We have received another lovely article from Anne Woods which was prompted by reading one of our recent articles about a parrot and 2 cats.  Anne says: I remembered last Christmas we were given our homework which had to include a Christmas theme to be read after our Christmas lunch. I had been listening to a wonderful story about Winston Churchill and his parrots on Radlo 4, evidently he had many, some of which were talkers. And whilst he was practicing his speeches for parliament during the war, his parrots would mimic certain phrases and keep repeating them. One in Macaw 2particular was called Charlie.  And one of his favorite lines was :- ‘ We will fight on the beaches, we will fight in the air, we will never surrender’ followed by F..k Hitler, F..k Hitler ! It got so bad that Charlie was banned from the dining room at Chartwell, particularly when Winston and Mrs Churchill were entertaining Heads of State.  Charlie was not impressed!

Anne has written her own version of something that perhaps could have occurred when Winston Churchill was acquiring a new parrot.

Winston and Charlie

By Anne Woods….

Mr Churchill Sir,  Is it the usual route tonight sir or are we making a detour to your favourite place? I am having one of my Black Dog days Harry so it has to be my favourite. I need cheering up Harry. OK Sir, favourite it is. We’ll turn left at the Admiralty, right at Big Ben, across the River into S. London and then down into Croydon and finally to Chartwell and home. OK Sir? Winston replied with his customary nod.  But Mr Churchill Sir, you know what Lady Churchill Winston Churchillsaid “you are not to take another one home!” Oh, don’t take any notice of Lady Churchill. I don’t.  But Sir………. Harry had learned it was not worth arguing with his employer. He thought the world of Mr. Churchill but he just would not do what he was told.

It was Christmas time, but you would never know it. There were no lights showing on the streets of London or anywhere else. Even the curtains had to be black.  And cars and buses were creeping along at a snail’s pace.

They reached Croydon in good time even though it was rush hour. Harry never liked rush hour, that’s when his boss, he felt, was at greater risk. Winston refused to have a bodyguard, so anything could happen. So, Harry had decided to take a firearms training course with the Metropolitan Police without telling Winston, and always carried a revolver just in case.

Winston had recently been made Lord of the Admiralty and was looking very pensive with this huge responsibility, but he not only had the look of a Bull Dog, he was THE Bull Dog and he was exactly what Britain and free Europe needed in these troubled times. So what difference does having one more of our feathered friends make!!!

Harry looked around the quiet, unassuming side street to see if anyone was lurking in the shadows. He was always uneasy at a time like this you could never really be sure. His hand went straight to his revolver in case he needed a quick reaction.  I won’t be a minute Mr Churchill. I will just lock the door of the Bentley, (which was armoured plated) I will just buy the usual and then we can be gone.  No, No, No,  I‘m coming with you Harry. Harry knew it was pointless to argue. The shop was nice and warm and cosy. Nice to see you Mr Churchill says Jim.  Now Jim, what have you got to show me. Here he is sir, isn’t he a beauty!  So, tell me all about him, Jim. Macaw 1 Well ,he’s a Blue Macaw and talks ten to the dozen, and he’s the best bird I’ve ever had. He’s about 80 yrs old, had 2 owners both deceased. Oh well, says Churchill he’ll last me out. Harry gave a long sigh, but he decided to say nothing as it was pointless. Since it was Christmas, Jim tied a beautiful red ribbon on the top of the cage. He had a lot of respect for the old man and knew that his favourite parrot was going to the best of homes. ‘Let me know how you get on with him Sir.’ ‘I will indeed Jim.’   ‘But what do you call him Jim?’  ‘I was told he goes by the name of Charlie, Sir.’ ‘Charlie it is, Jim’

It was quite late when all three of them arrived at Chartwell and far off in the distance they both noticed, at the same time, a menacing red glow in the sky towards London. ‘It’s London again Sir.’ ‘Yes Harry, and that’s why we have to beat the Bastards and, have no doubt about it. We will beat them! And suddenly they both heard coming from the inside of the cage. The Bastards! We will beat em!  ‘You see I told you Harry he was the bird for me!!!’