Winston Churchill's Funeral
The 30th of January 1965 AD
Perhaps Britain's greatest ever Prime Minister, Winston Churchill , was granted the honour of a state funeral, preceded by three days of lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.
During his lying-in-state almost a third of a million people paid their respects, queuing for hours in the cold and damp of a British winter.
The funeral was held at St Paul's Cathedral on Saturday 30 January, attended by many of the worlds leaders, the procession televised for the nation to observe and to share in the mourning, Richard Dimbleby 's reverend commentary capturing the spirit perfectly. A 19-gun-salute was arranged; an RAF fly-past by 16 jets too, fittingly martial tributes to the man who had defied the greatest threat to our liberty in centuries.
Churchill's coffin passed along a short section of the Thames in its journey to Waterloo Station, whence the Battle of Britain class locomotive Winston Churchill pulled the train in a further stage of the final journey to the burial at St Martin's Church in Bladon , Oxfordshire , close to his birthplace at Blenheim Palace .
Whatever their political persuasion, Britons in their millions mourned the passing of the great man, crowds lining the route of the cortege, standing in fields as the train passed, and most memorably dockers dipping their crane jibs as the launch Havengore made the short trip from Town Pier to Festival Pier. They were agreed we will not see his like again.
More famous dates here
9910 views since 7th January 2009
On this day: