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Mr Churchill's Departure

A handsome steam launch ferries the future PM downriver to the luxury yacht 'Enchantress'.

Non-Fiction 1914 1 mins Silent


In the lead-up to WWI, future Prime Minister Winston Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty, the head of the British Royal Navy. A bonus of this prestigious and powerful position was access to the Admiralty's super-yacht, the 'Enchantress'. This newsreel item glimpses the politician making his way in style to his luxurious floating home - though the ship itself was clearly off-limits.

From 1911 to 1914 Churchill surveyed the state of the British naval fleet, claiming to have visited every dockyard, shipyard and significant ship in both Britain and the Mediterranean. His jaunts aboard the Enchantress were often criticised, however, by some in the press, who accused him of taking private holidays at the Admiralty's expense. The Topical Budget newsreel, though, rarely if ever went in for criticising ministers, and It's not clear from this item whether Mr Churchill was departing for far-flung lands or simply attending to 'business as usual'.