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Death of a Hero

National Trust Press Release

Day 07 November 2014

Chartwell in Kent is set to open an exhibition commemorating the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill this month.

Death of a Hero, which opens on 15 November, looks at the passing and impact of the country’s greatest statesman and war time leader ahead of the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death in 2015.

Set in the context of his beloved family home in Westerham, the exhibition is a moving and emotive look into the reaction to Churchill’s death and includes never seen before objects, letters and mementoes.

Chartwell’s House and Collections Manager, Katherine Barnett comments: “Churchill is one of the most universally admired public figures in history. Death of a Hero aims to do justice to this great man, whose passing was marked with a state funeral watched by over 300 million people around the world. His influence and impact is wide reaching and it can still be seen in literature, art, public speaking and politics today”

Death of a Hero will have five main themes including Churchill’s passing, the aftermath, the funeral, his legacy and remembering Churchill.

Each section will include never before seen items such as, a commemorative painting of the procession by Wilfred Morden depicting the boat that carried Churchill’s coffin up the Thames, which has been in store for almost half a century. The spurs gifted by Clementine Churchill to the Duke of Norfolk as a thank you for organising the funeral, personal family mementoes and the thoughts of our current Prime Minister, David Cameron. The flag named ‘Old Glory’ that was flown at half-mast in Washington on the day he died.

Katherine Barnett adds; “It is the enormous sense of loss, and yet pride, felt around the world that this exhibition captures, illustrating how in the words of Lady Churchill “it wasn’t a funeral – it was a triumph”

Accompanying the exhibition is a Life and Legacy trail for familes. Set in the gardens Churchill himself created, the trail highlight’s his memories and pastimes, and including some garden-related challenges.

Death of a Hero is part of Churchill 2015, a commemoration of the great man’s life which sees a number of exhibitions and special events in museums and locations close to the Churchill family across the country.

Death of a Hero runs from 15 November 2014 to 22 February 2015, 11am – 3pm (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Gift Aid Admission prices £6.90 adult, £3.45 child, £17.25 family. For more information visit

For further press information and images please contact:

Tracey Willis, Marketing & Development Manager, Chartwell, 01732 861141

Images are available to download from the following link.

(Please credit as National Trust/photographers name. Please only use to accompany this story.)

Notes to editors:

About Chartwell

Chartwell was a much loved family home and the place from which Sir Winston Churchill drew inspiration from 1924 until the end of his life. The rooms remain much as they were when he lived here, with pictures, books and personal mementoes evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of a great statesman, writer, painter and family man. The hillside gardens reflect Churchill’s love of the landscape and nature. They include the lakes he created, Lady Churchill’s rose garden, the kitchen garden and the Marycot, a playhouse created especially for the youngest Churchill daughter.

For many years Churchill hoped to be laid to rest in the grounds of Chartwell, but, following a change of heart, he asked to be buried at Bladon, near Blenheim, his birthplace and ancestral home. When Churchill said goodbye to Chartwell in mid-October 1964, it would be his final farewell to the home he loved so much. It was at his London residence of 28 Hyde Park Gate, on the morning of 24 January 1965, shortly after 8am, that Sir Winston Churchill passed away.

About the National Trust

The National Trustlooks after more than 600,000 acres of countryside, 742 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information and ideas for great value family days out go to:

About Churchill 2015

Churchill 2015 is a unique international celebration of the life and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill, fifty years after his death, sixty years after his final resignation as prime minister, and seventy five years after his ‘finest hour’ leading the fight against fascism in 1940.

Churchill-related activity will take place around the world to commemorate his achievements, to highlight his vibrant existing legacy, to promote a range of educational opportunities and to bring his life and work to new audiences.

Churchill 2015 follows three main themes: Commemoration, to mark this important anniversary appropriately; Education, to engage and inspire future generations; and Legacy, to highlight, develop and enhance the existing work of Churchill organisations in delivering programmes focusing on leadership, debate and public speaking.

Churchill 2015 is being led by an alliance of those charities and institutions with an interest in the life or legacy of Sir Winston. For a list of partners and a first glimpse of some of the planned activities (there are more to be announced) see

“Let us go forward together” in the spirit of Sir Winston.

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