Assignment: Churchill

Assignment: Churchill

Assignment: Churchill

Assignment: Churchill

Excerpt

My name is Walter Henry Thompson. For most of my active life I was a member of the Special Branch of Scotland Yard. For nineteen and a half years of this period, my assignment--day and night--was guarding the life of Winston Churchill. For two years before this I was assigned to Lloyd George, Prime Minister of England during and after World War I.

Lloyd George was the first English official to move into Chequers, the country estate given to the Crown in 1920 by Lord Lee of Fareham as a retreat for England's Prime Ministers. Guarding Lloyd George was trying, but guarding Chequers was more so. It is truly ancient, the first structure, still standing, having been built by Rudolphus, clerk to the Exchequer (hence the name) of Henry II. The grounds are enormous, the drive from the main road to the manor being just under a mile. In those days there were no outside lights of any kind, and between the wide stretches of perfect lawn lay thickly wooded areas. Any part of the grounds could easily be penetrated by troublemakers, and the ancient house, which has not been seriously remodeled since 1580, is ideally constructed for assassinations. A police officer, even with his health and a revolver, could feel very alone there. And very unsafe.

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