Churchill Comes of Age: Cuba 1895
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In 1895, Churchill showed already what kind of man he was going to be, as he went on his first international adventure, saw his 21st birthday, had his baptism of fire, wrote his first military analysis, engaged in his first dicey diplomatic mission, conducted his first intelligence work, found himself in his first major controversy with the press, and was a journalist and indeed a war correspondent for the first time. He engaged in his first political analysis, shamelessly used his connections, and did all of this in what was soon to be known as the "Churchill style." While up to now attention has been put on his Indian frontier and Boer War experience as the most formative moments in his youth, this book shows that his much earlier Cuban trip was really the moment when he "came of age" in almost every sense.
contests from the 1878 peace up to 1895.12 This possible way to avoid another bloody independence war and the likely total loss of the island to Spain did not prosper. As the main historian of the movement puts it in the conclusion of her book on the autonomist movement, the problem was that ‘Cuba was not Canada and Spain was not England’. Instead, a Spain accustomed to ‘tax Cuba dry’ was little inclined to grant it any status whereby it would no longer be contributing in a major way to the
seen by the Spanish. Even with the best will in the world, the Spanish were in their usual position of not being able to close with the enemy. But they at least tried to resist the traditional rebel effort to keep them from sleeping as Churchill’s words show: The cavalry remounted and pursued those fellows with the greatest promptitude, but they were unable to catch them before they reached the edge of the forest, into the depths of which it was impossible to follow. It was evident that the
school at Winchester, which was already well known for its great contribution to the officer corps of the army and where the army class was honoured and numerous. Like Winston he seems to have been greatly attracted to the army early on. He joined the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry in September 1889 at the age of 18 and was, following the procedures of the day, appointed lieutenant at that time in the reserve battalion of the regiment. This subsequently illustrious cavalryman thus began his
his work on the First Duke of Marlborough and his family. He accepted immediately and went on 21 October to stay in the nearby village of Woodstock while doing the work, expecting to stay there until the end of the month ‘if I am not wanted at the War Office’.33 He then wrote to Lady Wolseley asking her to join him on the invitation of the Marlboroughs suggesting they would both enjoy themselves there and ‘everyone’ wanted her to come.34 Queen Victoria finally wrote to him on 20 October
include the highly engaging Chasing Churchill: The Travels of Winston Churchill, London, Unicorn Press, 2014, which includes an interesting chapter on Cuba. 4. Lourdes Méndez Vargas’ book, subsequently supported by the British Embassy in Havana, was published in Spanish in March 2014 by Editorial Luminaria, a provincial press in Sancti Spiritus, with the title Arroyo Blanco: la ruta cubana de Churchill. 5. To mention just two examples of this key moment escaping attention, neither Tuvia