Churchill – A Nation’s Farewell
On 24 January 1965, Winston Churchill died nine days after suffering a severe stroke. Operation Hope Not, the plan to give Britain’s war leader the grandest of send-offs, swung into action. Just six days later, Churchill’s state funeral was held at St Paul’s Cathedral, a venue chosen because it was also where national heroes Nelson and Wellington were commemorated. Queen Elizabeth II, who doesn’t usually attend the funerals of ‘commoners’, was among the mourners.
In a documentary to mark 50 years since the event, Jeremy Paxman looks back at a day when a million people thronged the streets of the capital to pay their respects. Paxman meets those who were involved in the events of that day, including soldiers who carried the coffin and members of Churchill’s own family.
Winston Churchill’s state funeral on 30 January 1965
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