Churchill - not Larry the Lamb
On June 4th, 1940 in the House of Commons, at the darkest moment in British history, Winston Churchill made one of the greatest speeches in the annals of oratory. It galvanised a hitherto skeptical Commons, and its superb use of language and spirit of defiance affected not only his fellow-countrymen but echoed around the world, not least in the United States. It opened prosaically enough with a factual account of the French collapse, the evacuation at Dunkirk, and preparations for home defence. But he then said his government was determined to "ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone."This single sentence hushed the Commons. He went on:
"Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, and in the streets; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."
Now for years I have "known" that an actor who also played Larry the Lamb actually did the radio broadcast of this speech - I discovered today I was wrong - there is no evidence he did, it is a myth. It is one of those stories that gets passed around so this post is my part in squashing it.