- The 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral will be marked today by ceremonies in London.
- The Prime Minister today said Britain was “incredibly fortunate” that Winston Churchill stepped forward just as the country faced defeat at the hands of the Nazis.
- In a tribute on the wreath laid to mark the 50th anniversary of the wartime leader’s funeral, David Cameron wrote that “the light has not dimmed”. c
- The anniversary of the funeral on 30 January 1965, which brought the capital to a standstill and took place a week after his death aged 90 on 24 January, is being marked by scores of events, including a service and wreath laying at the Houses of Parliament, a memorial service at Westminster Abbey, and the rebroadcast by BBC Parliament of the original live coverage.
- His granddaughter, Celia Sandys, said he would be “extremely surprised but pleased” at the attention as grandson Randolph Churchill laid a wreath in his memory below his statue in Parliament Square.
- The Houses of Parliament held a memorial service this morning in recognition of his lifelong service to this country with wreaths to be laid by his statue in the members’ lobby.
- Prime Minister David Cameron, who is attending the service, spoke of Sir Winston: ‘Half a century after his death, Winston Churchill’s legacy continues to inspire not only the nation whose liberty he saved, but the entire world.
- Mr Cameron also praised the less talked of aspects of the statesman’s life: “This was the man who pushed for prison reform, championed old age pensions and introduced labour exchanges for the unemployed.
- The BBC has specially restored the film of the funeral, which was watched in 1965 by 350 million people across the world.
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