British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott KCMG; Churchill’s great grandson Duncan Sandys and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will honor world statesman Sir Winston Churchill on the 50th anniversary of his death with “America’s Service of Remembrance” at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, January 24, on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO.
America’s Service of Remembrance will be held in Westminster College’s own Christopher Wren Church, the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. The order of the service is drawn from Churchill’s funeral service originally held at architect Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The service is free and open to the public.
Missouri First Lady Georganne Nixon; Stephen Bridges, British Consul General in Chicago; and the Right Honorable Lord Watson of Richmond, Chairman of CTN Communications and Chairman of Havas Media UK; will also be in attendance.
“We hope those who attend America’s Service of Remembrance will feel the historical connection to Churchill and be inspired by his life and achievements,” says Dr. Jim Williams, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum. “The service will offer many moments of Thanksgiving and reflections on Churchill’s life.”
A reception will be held following the service in the Museum.
Attendees will also be able to enjoy ”Churchill Through the Lens,” a special exhibit in the Museum opening the same day which features over 20 photographs from a collection donated by Richard J. Mahoney of St. Louis that offer a glimpse of Churchill’s professional and private life.
“Coinciding with the anniversary of Churchill’s death, this exhibit is a celebration of Churchill’s life,” says Dr. Williams. “The photographs will allow visitors to get to know this dynamic leader.”
America’s Service of Remembrance is one of the first in a series of events around the world entitled Churchill 2015 to commemorate the life, work and achievements of Churchill on the 50th anniversary of his death and to celebrate and advance his living legacy. A host of educational and cultural Churchill-related activity will be planned throughout the year as a part of this unique celebration.
In conjunction with Churchill 2015, a Churchill Central website, www.churchillcentral.com, has been launched that will be a hub to allow Churchill-related organizations to contribute and share content and inform about events that will extend the Churchill world.
British Ambassador Westmacott spent most of his professional career working in diplomatic service in the non-Arab Middle East (Iran and Turkey), Western Europe and the Americas before becoming Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United States on January 18, 2012.
From 1990 to 1993 he was Deputy Private Secretary to HRH The Prince of Wales.
Duncan Sandys is an experienced public relations and communication professional from Atlanta, GA who has created, organized, funded and delivered “Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting,” North America’s largest exhibition of Churchill’s paintings in 50 years. Described as a “wholly new view in prospect of Churchill and his paintings,” the exhibition has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Sandys was formerly a partner in the higher education consultancy, Boussole Partners.
Lord Watson of Richmond advises many major UK and international companies on their communications strategies. For five years he was Head of Media at the European Commission. He is a former BBC broadcaster and Chairman and Fellow of the Royal Television Society. His most recent book is “The Queen and the USA.”
Upon Churchill’s death, his body lay in state for three days in the Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of the two houses of Parliament, before the state funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral. His coffin passed down the Thames River from Town Pier to Festival Pier before being taken to Waterloo Station and loaded on a specially prepared and painted carriage as a part of the funeral train. The Royal Artillery fired a 19-gun salute and the RAF staged a fly-by of sixteen fighter planes.
The funeral train of Pullman coaches carrying family members was hauled by the “Winston Churchill” steam locomotive to Bladon while thousands paid their respects along the route.
Churchill was buried in the family plot at St. Martin’s Church, not far from his birthplace at Blenheim Palace.
Those visiting the National Churchill Museum’s website at www.nationalchurchillmuseum.org can view Churchill’s 1965 funeral program, BBC television footage of the service and newspaper articles about the funeral service.