Quote of the Day: Winston Churchill and The French Helmet

 

When Churchill visited the French XXXIII Corps with [General Sir Louis] Spears, its commander gave him a distinctive poilu helmet, which he thought superior to the round British “soup bowl” steel helmet and which he wore thereafter.  “It looks so nice and will perhaps protect my valuable cranium,” he told [his wife] Clementine, saying it was “the cause of much envy. I look most martial in it – like a Cromwellian – I always intend to wear it under fire, but chiefly for the appearance”. (ed. Soames, Speaking pp 132, 129). His new headgear underlined his Francophilia, and his lifelong love of unusual hats, which he felt was useful for cartoonists.

The above quote is a footnote at the bottom of Page 235 of Andrew Roberts’s book Churchill, Walking With Destiny.  The time period was November, 1915 in the midst of WWI.  Below is a painting of Mr. Churchill in his favorite helmet.  Roberts says that Churchill especially loved this particular painting.

I chose this particular quote because it made me smile.  It has absolutely nothing to do with current events, and should be enjoyed as a nice interlude in your day.  Roberts’s book is about 1,000 pages, and I am on Page 264 so far.  Highly recommended.

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  1. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    unusual hats, which he felt was useful for cartoonists.

    Ha!

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    RushBabe49: I chose this particular quote because it made me smile. It has absolutely nothing to do with current events, and should be enjoyed as a nice interlude in your day.

    Amen to that!


    This is the Quote of the Day. Tomorrow starts July, and we still have openings on our sign-up sheet. Click it and join the parade. It’s the easiest way to start a conversation on Ricochet. You can rely on someone else’s wisdom or funny hats.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    unusual hats, which he felt was useful for cartoonists.

    Ha!

    Yeah, and you would know, wouldn’t you!

    • #3
  4. ShaunaHunt Inactive
    ShaunaHunt
    @ShaunaHunt

    I love it! I love Churchill. He had depression and migraine, but he was a great example of resilience and leadership.

    • #4
  5. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    How many politicians do you know who, when booted out of the government in wartime, would go and enlist in the army and head directly to the front?  Churchill did. 

    • #5
  6. Michael Collins Member
    Michael Collins
    @MichaelCollins

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    How many politicians do you know who, when booted out of the government in wartime, would go and enlist in the army and head directly to the front? Churchill did.


    Especially in a war as terrible as World War I.

    • #6
  7. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Churchill is high up in my pantheon, along with Franklin and William Howard Taft.

    My motto: Never underestimate an old fat guy.

    • #7
  8. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    • #8
  9. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito
    @HankRhody

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    unusual hats, which he felt was useful for cartoonists.

    Ha!

    I haven’t had much dealing with cartoonists, but for much the same reason…

    • #9
  10. Robert Dammers Thatcher
    Robert Dammers
    @RobertDammers

    Michael Collins (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    How many politicians do you know who, when booted out of the government in wartime, would go and enlist in the army and head directly to the front? Churchill did.


    Especially in a war as terrible as World War I.

    It was an act of penitence. He had advocated the Gallipoli campaign, and it had been a disaster (though not really one of his making). He was mortified, and went to the front to expiate the guilt.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    unusual hats, which he felt was useful for cartoonists.

    Ha!

    I haven’t had much dealing with cartoonists, but for much the same reason…

    I especially like the hat that says “NO Stack Fragile.”

    • #11
  12. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    General Spears was an excellent writer.  A noted Francophile, he was Churchill’s personal envoy to the French Army in 1940, and his two-volume memoir, Assignment to Catastrophe,  is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what happened in this campaign.

    His book of personal reminiscences, The Picnic Basket, is also very good.

    • #12
  13. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Another terrific Winston Churchill book is “The Splendid & The Vile” by Erik Larson. It covers the first couple of years of WWII and includes his family relationships, closest advisors and his main detractors. A story of courage, leadership and the right man at the right time. Excellent book. 

    • #13
  14. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    RushBabe49: I chose this particular quote because it made me smile. It has absolutely nothing to do with current events, and should be enjoyed as a nice interlude in your day. Roberts’s book is about 1,000 pages, and I am on Page 264 so far. Highly recommended.

    I’ve read this book twice and loved every page. Andrew Roberts is a wonderful writer and obviously loved and adored his subject. Churchill is my hero and most admired character in history as evidenced by my library with several books and DVDs about and by him. My favorite quote: “History will be kind to me as I intend to write it.”  Oh how we need him today to give us courage during this blitz!!

    • #14
  15. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito
    @HankRhody

    Percival (View Comment):
    I especially like the hat that says “NO Stack Fragile.”

    Left it up there to see how long it took before someone noticed. Wisconsinites being polite as they are I never got a definitive answer to that question.

    • #15
  16. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    This is lovely and charming. Thanks, @rushbabe49.

    • #16