To celebrate Father’s Day, we thought we shed some light on a couple of noteworthy father-son relationships, and it would be a struggle to have the article without mentioning the Churchills!
Winston & Randolph Churchill
Randolph Churchill was the only son of the late British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine. The two had a very close relationship, but it wasn’t without its bumps.
Winston was known to encourage and spoil his son greatly, a fact that many others – including his own wife – lamented. Randolph was disliked by many surrounding his father, and he was said to be critical of authority, dreadful, explosive, and a heavy drinker. Although they argued a lot, Winston was severely protective of his son.
Whilst not serving in the army at the same time as his son, Winston was undoubtedly still serving his country as Prime Minister, which he became in 1940. Randolph, at this time, was serving in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, his father’s old regiment.
The claims he lived in his father’s shadow are particularly accurate in regards to his political career. Despite having never finished his education, he remained ambitious, and made several attempts to be elected into parliament. Only one, where he faced no opposition, was successful. His father continued to angrily defend Randolph against criticism in parliament.
Winston’s health declined from then on, and he retired as PM in 1955. He was offered a Dukedom by the Queen, but declined with his son’s future title in mind. Sadly, despite the adoration Winston felt for his only son, the love-hate relationship between them was never quite repaired.
"One’s children are like a lot of live bombs. One never knows when they will go off, or in what direction." - Winston Churchill
The story of Henry Webber
On a brighter note, let’s talk about the admirable Henry Webber. By no stretch as famous as the Churchills, but nonetheless deserving of a mention.
Mr Webber was 67 years old when he died during WWI on the Western Front. In a passionate bid to serve alongside his three sons during the First World War, he was repeatedly denied permission to go, despite volunteering to serve in any way and anywhere he possibly could. One year later, he was in France with the 7th South Lancs battalion. Did he lie about his age, or was it due to his relentless persistence?
Henry helped prepare for the Somme offensive in 1916, and helped in the capture of La Boiselle that same year. Unfortunately, he was the only one in the family who didn’t survive the war. His three sons, at the time a Colonel and two Majors, all lived. A shell hit his camp and he died of his wounds shortly after his 67th birthday, and four days after he had written a letter home enthusing about his wellness and detailing his contributions to the war effort as 1st Line Transport Officer.
How was your Father's Day? We hope you had a great time however you spent it. If your family has any interesting historical tidbits, or if your father figure has any achievements you’d like to proudly show off, feel free to do so in the forums!