A delightful happenstance came my way in Australia recently. My company builds and runs prisons under contract to various governments. I was visiting a new prison we are building in New South Wales, near a town called Grafton on the Clarence River. Whilst touring this new and rather wonderful facility, I was stopped by the project manager. He asked if I were aware of the connection between Grafton and my grandfather, Sir Winston Churchill.
I confessed I was not aware of any, so he took me down to the River Clarence, and showed me the broken hulk of a ship called Induna. She was the coaster that transported young Winston Churchill from Lourenço Marques, Portuguese East Africa (now Maputo, Mozambique) to Durban, South Africa after his dramatic escape from the Boers in December 1899.
Whether the product was profound or simple, like his vast correspondence, even his first iteration was close to the mark. Grace Hamblin, a longtime secretary, recalled: “His dictation wasn't difficult because it was very, very slow and he weighed his words. As one knows he had a tremendous command of the English language, but he didn't use it loosely. He considered very carefully what he was going to say.”