Color Footage of Winston Churchill’s Funeral in 1965

On Jan­u­ary 24 1965, Sir Win­ston Churchill, the man who led Britain through the dark hours of the Sec­ond World War, died aged 90 at his Lon­don home. By decree of Queen Eliz­a­beth II, his body lay in state for three days in the Palace of West­min­ster and a state funer­al was held at St Paul’s Cathe­dral on Jan­u­ary 30. Churchill was the first states­man to be giv­en a state funer­al in the 2oth cen­tu­ry — a funer­al that saw the largest assem­blage of states­men in the world until the funer­al of Pope John Paul II in 2005. That day, the BBC report­ed that “silent crowds lined the streets to watch the gun car­riage bear­ing Sir Win­ston’s cof­fin leave West­min­ster Hall as Big Ben struck 09:45. The pro­ces­sion trav­elled slow­ly through cen­tral Lon­don to St. Paul’s Cathe­dral for the funer­al ser­vice.”  After the ser­vice, his cof­fin was tak­en by boat to Water­loo Sta­tion, where a spe­cial­ly pre­pared rail­way car­riage took Churchill to his final rest­ing place at Bladon near Wood­stock, close to his birth­place at Blenheim Palace.

This col­or footage of Churchill’s funer­al is nar­rat­ed by Wal­ter Thomp­son, Churchill’s for­mer body­guard.

Bonus mate­r­i­al:

By pro­fes­sion, Matthias Rasch­er teach­es Eng­lish and His­to­ry at a High School in north­ern Bavaria, Ger­many. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twit­ter.

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Comments (10)
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  • Warren D Winston says:

    I flew to Lon­don from Chica­go to attend the funer­al of Sir Win­ston out of respect to this WWII leader. I trav­eled with­out any Lon­don hotel reser­va­tions. I just got on a plane and went. For­tu­nate­ly I got a hotel across from the Mar­ble Arch and met the Cana­di­an PM Diefen­backer at the Grosvenor Hotel. I stood in the line for hours to go through West­min­ster and then took a cab to St Paul’s. As an Amer­i­can I was extreme­ly proud to pay my respect to Mr. Churchill.…WD Win­ston, USA

  • Kevin Smith says:

    Hav­ing been born only 15 years after WWII, and my late father hav­ing fought in Europe, Churchill was some­thing of a hero­ic fig­ure in our Amer­i­can house. As a child I would put on a record of his speech­es, mes­mer­ized by them. How dear­ly we all could use a per­son like Sir Win­ston today, pace the PM and Pres­i­dent.

  • Hanoch says:

    One of the tru­ly great men of the 20th Cen­tu­ry.

  • gavin says:

    Tru­ly the great­est pm we have had my grandad was a roy­al naval guard of hon­our behind his cof­fin on that day he alway talked of being hon­ored to take part in the state funer­al for a man who deserved it

  • lincoln fh perkins RVM BEM says:

    Next year it will 50 years since he was buried. I still have a sore back from being one of his pall bear­ers. Worth all the pain.

    Lin­coln Perkins

  • Wayne thornton says:

    Mr Perkins could you con­tact me with ref­er­ence to WSC’s funer­al. I work at Chartwell

  • Jim Palmer-Hoyes says:

    I was one of the sailors pulling the gun car­riage at WChurchills funer­al. Very proud day.

  • John Rose says:

    I was taught drill by Nick Wright who was one of the cof­fin bear­ers

  • Nick Wright says:

    Nick was RSM at REME HQs Bor­don when i knew him. My son served in the TA with Nick.
    Would love to know if he is still alive.
    D A Butch­er

  • Hylton-Foster says:

    My father was one of the Hon­or guards stand­ing guard of his cof­fin. Very Proud

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