January was very busy with commemorative events.
On the 24th, the anniversary of his death, the family got together for a beautiful service at Bladon followed by lunch at Blenheim.
This was the only private event.
On the morning of the 30th, the anniversary of the State Funeral, my cousin Randolph and I laid a wreath on the Statue in Parliament Square.
There was a service in the chapel at the Houses of Parliament and a wreath laying ceremony in the Central Lobby of the House of Commons.
Later that day Havengore recreated the journey from Tower Pier to Waterloo Station that took Winston Churchill from St Paul’s Cathedral to the train which would carry him to Bladon for the the burial service.
There were three of us who had made that journey fifty years before, the officer who had been in charge of the bearer party, one of the pallbearers and me. It brought back memories of that day to us all.
As we sailed up the Thames we were amazed and extremely moved to see crowds lining the embankment and the bridges all the way as well as in all the windows that overlooked the river.
Havengore moored opposite Parliament where we found members of both houses had gathered on the terraces. There we had a short service and a wreath was placed in the river outside the Mother of Parliaments where my grandfather had spent so much of his life.
It was an emotional experience to see how Winston Churchill is so well respected not just by those who remember him from the war years but also by so many who were born long after his death.