Mary Soames passed away yesterday at the age of 91. She was the last surviving child of Sir Winston Churchill and an inspiration to us all.
Like any famous family today, it is not unknown for the children of celebrities to lose their way. This was no different for the Churchill family. Randolph and Sarah both struggled in their personal lives. But Mary was different. She was of the youngest of five children born to Winston and his wife Clementine.
Just looking at photos of her, to me, show how wonderful and open she was. Her smile just warms you, you know? You can tell she his Winston’s daughter through and through.
Mary led an extraordinary life. she served in the auxiliary territorial service during World War Two, manning anti-aircraft batteries in London, Belgium and Germany.
She accompanied her father on several of his most important trips, including to the 1945 Potsdam Conference, where Churchill, Stalin and US President Harry Truman discussed the future of post-war Germany and Europe. Oh what I would have done to have been a fly on the wall at those meetings! It’s remarkable in a way that she was allowed to accompany him.
She enjoyed a lifetime of public service and through both birth and marriage, had life-long association with the Conservative Party.
For me though, I am forever going to be grateful for her writing. She wrote a biography about her mother and in recent years, one about being the daughter of Winston Churchill. Both great reads.
The most saddening thing about her death is that it comes just before the 70th anniversary of the D Day landings. Talk about timing, eh? To think that 70 years ago we still had Sir Winston and his entire family and, now we have just lost his last surviving child.
Sleep well Lady Mary. May you be reunited with your family.