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Thursday, April 8, 2004

Andrew Cunningham papers in British Library, London

Great Russell St, WC1. Tel. 020 7636 1544 ext 367.

Some of the entries may be fleshed out at a later date and posted again. We invite comments, corrections and expansions. Please give date of entry referred to. [comment]

[This is the diary in the original form, i.e., not bound into a larger volume. Diaries issued by HMSO No S.1.Code No 66-1-0. These always had a frontispiece to do with financial matters, Defence Bonds, Voluntary Savings Schemes for Civil Servants, etc]

Diary of Admiral Andrew B. Cunningham, 1883-1963, C in C Mediterranean 1939-1942; 1st Sea Lord, Aug 1943 to 1946.

[ diary 1944 | diary 1945 | diary 1946 ]


Tues Jan 1

'Well we start the New Year as a Viscount. Quite unwanted like all these titles but for the good of the Service they have to be accepted.'

Mon Jan 7

'Lunched with Winston at his new house in Hyde Park Gate. Winant & Mrs Roosevelt the other guests. A good lunch & good talk. . . . Winston & his wife in great form & much looking forward to his trip. Mona & I pressed them to include Trinidad. The governor has already invited them. Winston & Mrs R got into an argument about the causes of the war which she said were economic. He denied this & said they were mostly due to personalities with a thirst for power. . . . 63 today!! Well I don't feel it though I am a bit tired of this desk work. I always feel I could go to sea again.'

Tues Jan 15

No diary entry -- he was suffering from flu at this time

Thurs 17 & Friday 18 Jan

Both entries 'In bed.'

Jan 19 & 20

No entries

Tues Jan 22 & 23

Both entries 'At Bishops Waltham.'

Sat 26 Jan

'Drove to Bishops Waltham & spent the afternoon chasing a new girl as housemaid. Pursuit unsuccessful.' [[One is to imagine by this, giving him the benefit of the doubt, that he was trying to employ somebody -- rather than literally chasing them]]

Tues Feb 5

'Went to the Navy Club dinner & presided. Brooke the guest.'

Mon Feb 18

'At 17:30 the COS gave evidence before the Committee on the post war defence set up. The PM, Addison & First Lord. Our paper was on the whole favourably received though the First Lord aired some grievances of the Service Ministers against the COS under Churchill's regime.'

Tues Feb 19

'The First Lord was rather interesting & discussed the last PM's fear of the Board of Admiralty. Churchill was apparently frightened that my advent at the Admiralty would mean a very independent line & when finally consenting he said 'You can have your Cunningham but if the Admiralty don't do as they are told I will bring down the Board in ruins even if it means my coming down with it'! Its quite good to know that some of my signals from the Mediterranean went home.'

Wed Feb 27

Not sure about this one 'COS meeting. 'C' & Directors of Intelligence present. Various items connected with Secret Intelligence.'

Wed Mar 6

'Winston's speech in America [at Fulton, Missouri] fills all the headlines. A good one. He advocated close co-operation between the UK & USA & spoke out about Russia and what she was after.'

Sun Mar 10

'That accident at the Bolton Cup tie is very shocking. Battles have been fought with less casualties.'

Fri Mar 15

'Ismay told us that Mackenzie King has wired to the PM saying how much he agreed with Churchill's Fulton speech & that what Churchill has said wanted saying & so on.' Personally I think it was mischievous as far as the Combined Chiefs of Staff were concerned.'

Fri Mar 25

'Mona & I went after lunch to see the domestic heating exhibition. Some good boilers to be seen & not so expensive as I expected.'

Diary ends March 25 [1946]

The above material has been researched by David Irving for the third volume of his Churchill biography, "Churchill's War", vol. iii: "The Sundered Dream."

© Focal Point 2004 F Irving write to David Irving