The Telegraph | April 9, 2013

Montague Browne had arrived at Downing Street in October 1952. Churchill, then aged 77 and in his second spell as Prime Minister, wanted a new private secretary to succeed David Hunt and picked Montague Browne, then just 29, from a shortlist supplied by the Treasury.

Gaining Churchill's trust was a long-term process; his first doubtful words to Montague Browne were: "I dare say we will get on very well together." As Montague Browne settled in, however, he found that Churchill had a tendency to concentrate on one major issue to the exclusion of other matters, which though not of the first importance were still often urgent.

It was the private office's job to make sure that these matters were dealt with, and, as they often provoked the Prime Minister to irritation, it was an unpopular task. As the most junior member of staff, Montague Browne found that the job often fell to him.

Nonetheless in late summer 1955 - a few months after Churchill's resignation - Montague Browne (who had briefly returned to the Foreign Office), was seconded indefinitely to the former prime minister as his private secretary.


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“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”

Winston S. Churchill