Winston Churchill in Canada, 1900-1954Book - 2005
Winston Churchill's connection with "the Great Dominion", as he liked to call it, spanned more than half a century. At Winnipeg he heard the news of Queen Victoria's death. In Vancouver he caught a fine salmon. Near Banff he painted several pictures; at Halifax, he led a large crowd in singing on the quayside. At Niagara Falls in 1929 he regretted that he had not tried to buy a concession there in 1900; and when he took his daughter to Niagara in 1943, on their way to Roosevelt's home at Hyde Park, he rejoined, when asked whether he noticed any differences since his first visit, "The principle seems to be much the same; the water still falls over." At Toronto he acknowledged in 1932 his emancipation from the doctrines of free trade. At Ottawa in the dark days of 1941 he proclaimed his confidence in victory, and in 1952 had to concede that the result of victory had been far less satisfying than he had wished. At Quebec in 1943, and again in 1944, he met with Roosevelt and the two countries' Chiefs of Staff in the high strategy of the war. Of no other Commonwealth country did Churchill have such a lifelong knowledge, but even those acquainted with Churchill's career are sometimes surprised to find that he travelled to Canada so often, and many works about him treat the fact as a mere appendix to his connections with the United States. British historian David Dilks hopes The Great Dominion will prove that there was more to his time in Canada than that. He has selected excerpts from newspapers, speeches, letters, and diaries, to bring to life every one of those visits, giving preference wherever possible to Churchill's own voice - and what a voice it was. This book is for anyone interested in Canada's history or fascinated by the phenomenon that was Winston Churchill.