• Short Summary

    SOLEMN TRIBUTE BY A NATION TO ONE OF ITS GREATEST STATESMEN BEGAN TODAY (WEDNESDAY) WHEN THE THREE DAY PERIOD OF LYING-IN-STATE FOR SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL COMMENCED IN ANCIENT WESTMINSTER HALL.

  • Description

    SOLEMN TRIBUTE BY A NATION TO ONE OF ITS GREATEST STATESMEN BEGAN TODAY (WEDNESDAY) WHEN THE THREE DAY PERIOD OF LYING-IN-STATE FOR SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL COMMENCED IN ANCIENT WESTMINSTER HALL. AT NINE O'CLOCK THIS MORNING, THE QUEUE OF MOURNERS STARTED TO THE FILE PAST THE COFFIN, HEADED BY MR. HAROLD WILSON, THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, AND HIS WIFE.

    FOLLOWING THEM CAME MEMBERS OF THE CABINET, LEADERS OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES AND MEMBERS OF BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT. FOR TWO HOURS THE PRIVATE VIEWING CONTINUED WITH MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL HOUSEHOLD, THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS AND THE STAFF OF THE PALACE OF WESTMINSTER, PAYING THEIR LAST RESPECTS IN TURN.

    THEN, AT ELEVEN O'CLOCK, THE FIRST OF THE ORDINARY CITIZENS SLOWLY FILED INTO THE 'HALL OF KINGS' TO MOVE SLOWLY BY THE COFFIN, RESTING ON A CATAFALQUE DRAPED WITH BLACK VELVET. SOME HAD WAITED THROUGHOUT THE HILL, FROSTY NIGHT TO BE AMONG THE FIRST TO OFFER HOMAGE, BUT AS THE PRIVATE VIEWING WENT ON THE QUEUE SWELLED TO MORE THAN THREE THOUSAND.

    AS THE CROWD WAITED PATIENTLY FOR THEIR TURN TO ENTER THE HISTORIC CHAMBER, THEY WATCHED MEN FROM THE ROYAL NAVY REHEARSE THEIR ROLE FOR SATURDAY'S STATE FUNERAL. THEY MARCHED WITH THE GUN CARRIAGE WHICH WILL BE USED TO TAKE THE COFFIN FROM WESTMINSTER TO ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL.

    THE NOISE OF MARCHING FEET AND PASSING TRAFFIC DID NOT PENETRATE INTO THE GREAT STONE HALL. HERE, WHERE PARLIAMENTARIANS USUALLY RUSH TO DEBATE WITH ECHOING FOOTSTEPS ACROSS THE STONE FLOOR, ALL WAS STILL. ACROSS THE COFFIN WAS A UNION JACK, AND ATOP THAT A CUSHION BEARING THE INSIGNIA OF SIR WINSTON'S ORDER OF THE GARTER. THE COFFIN AND THE CATAFALQUE WERE RAISED ON A PLATFORM COVERED WITH PURPLE CARPET AND AT EACH CORNER THE WATCH STOOD WITH THEIR ARMS REVERSED. THE ONLY MOVEMENT APART FROM THAT OF THE PASSING MOURNERS CAME FROM FLICKERING ORANGE CANDLES WHICH CAST A PALE GLOW OVER THE COFFIN.

    WITHIN AN HOUR AND A HALF OF THE HALL BEING OPENED TO THE PUBLIC, THE QUEUE HAD EXTENDED AROUND THE SQUARE OUTSIDE AND DOWN ALONG THE EMBANKMENT, TOWARDS LAMBETH BRIDGE. IT WAS THEN MORE THAN THREE-QUARTERS OF A MILE LONG AND GROWING EACH MINUTE. UNITS OF THE WOMEN'S VOLUNTARY SERVICE OPENED MOBILE CANTEENS TO PROVIDE HOT DRINKS FOR THE MOURNERS AS THEY PATIENTLY WAITED.

    THE 'HALL OF KINGS' IS TO BE OPEN 23 HOURS A DAY FOR THE NEXT THREE DAYS TO ENABLE AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO PAY THEIR LAST RESPECTS IN PLACE WHERE SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL, IN OTHER TIMES, HAD OFTEN WALKED.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA3DZQI28BNTYIQ61UUOS6JPEU8
    Media URN:
    VLVA3DZQI28BNTYIQ61UUOS6JPEU8
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/01/1965
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:54:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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