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Black Dog

Churchill as First Lord

(Broadwater Collection)

As Prime Minister, Churchill’s mood and manner were often considered sour by his subordinates. His own Private Secretary, Jack Colville, wrote, “he is very inconsiderate with his staff”. Later, Churchill’s wife Clementine warned him that he might become disliked by colleagues because of his sarcastic manner.

After he lost power in the 1945, Churchill grew frustrated and bored, and would fly into thunderous bad moods. His family would describe him as having ‘black dog.’ To escape, he threw himself into writing his ‘War Memoirs’.

At the end of his life, Churchill felt a failure, in spite of everything that he had achieved, because of the decline of the British Empire and the beginning of the Cold War.

In his latter years especially, Churchill had a stormy relationship with his son, Randolph, and their meetings would, more often than not, end in arguments. For example, at a dinner to celebrate Winston and Clemmie’s 50th wedding anniversary, there was bitter acrimony, and Randolph even became abusive. In some ways this was a repeat of Churchill’s own relationship with his father, who was often distant and extremely critical of his son.

Churchill The Man
Churchill as First Lord
Broadwater Collection
Churchill's World

See the global influence on Churchill's personal, political and military lives.

Broadwater Collection
Churchill's Lifetime

Review Churchill's lifetime events and achievements.

(Churchill Archives Centre, Baroness Spencer-Churchill Papers, CSCT 5/2)