Well, he did earn 40 winks! Never-before-seen pictures of 84-year-old Winston Churchill appearing to nod off at WW2 reunion party alongside Dwight Eisenhower

  • Churchill was meeting Allied WWII leaders for a reunion party in London
  • Former PM appears to nod off while sat next to US President Eisenhower
  • Lord Alan Brooke wakes up Churchill, then 84, who looks a little sheepish
  • Never-before-seen photographs will go on auction in the US this month
Never-before-seen pictures of Winston Churchill show the moment the former prime minister appeared to fall asleep at a Second World War reunion party alongside Dwight Eisenhower. Churchill, then 84, was President Eisenhower's guest of honour at the gathering, held at the home of the US ambassador in London, in 1959. The party, held on the 20th anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, brought together the great and good of the Allied WWII campaign.
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Nodding off: Winston Churchill (sitting, left) appears to be falling asleep as President Dwight Eisenhower (sitting, centre) and Harold Macmillan (sitting, right) chat at a meeting of wartime leaders. Also seen are Viscount Charles Portal (above Churchill), 1st Baron Arthur Tedder (above Eisenhower) and Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks (third from right)
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Snooze: The former prime minister, then 84, sits back as seems to fall asleep at the fathering of Allied leaders in London in 1959. Other guests include Viscount Montgomery (standing, second from left) and 1st Earl Harold Alexander (sitting next to Eisenhower)
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Lord Alan Brooke wakes up Churchill, who appears slightly sheepish, but no one else seems to have noticed his quick nap
The wartime comrades met at Winfield House, a mansion in Regent's Park which was the residence of US ambassador John Hay Whitney. But the former prime minister, famously partial to a daytime drink, appeared to be struggling to keep his eyes open as the leaders posed for official photographs. The amusing photographs seem to show Churchill nodding off while sat next to Eisenhower, and among the likes of then prime minister Harold Macmillan and British wartime commander Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. After a short nap, Churchill looks slightly sheepish as he is awoken from his slumber by fellow guest Lord Alan Brooke, but fortunately no one else seems to have noticed his quick snooze. The dinner party also saw the reunion of Eisenhower, who became President after the end of the war, and Montgomery. The pair had clashed over military strategy during the latter stages of the war when Eisenhower was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe.
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Churchill (left), then 84, was President Eisenhower's (centre) guest of honour at the gathering, held at the home of the US ambassador in London, in 1959
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The party, held on the 20th anniversary of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, brought together the great and good of the Allied WWII campaign
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Churchill, famously partial to a daytime drink, appeared to be enjoying the reunion despite seeming to nod off
Their feud had been reignited a year prior to the anniversary dinner when Montgomery published his memoirs in which he slated Eisenhower's command. But the pair were able to put their grudge on hold for the gathering, which also featured Field Marshal Harold Alexander, who oversaw the Dunkirk evacuation, and Field Marshal Alan Brooke, the most senior military advisor to Churchill during the war. Other esteemed guests included Charles Portal, 1st Viscount Portal of Hungerford, former Chief of Air Staff, 1st Baron Arthur Tedder - Eisenhower's deputy commander for the invasion of Normandy, and Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris, former head of Bomber Command. Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks and General Lord Ismay were also in attendance. The photographs were taken by Paul Begley, a US Navy photographer who was the official presidential photographer not only for Eisenhower but also Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy. They are among a set of 22 prints taken by Mr Begley, which are being sold by RR Auction in Boston, Massachusetts, by his family. Experts have listed them for sale for $2,500 - around £1,700 - but say they could make much more. Bobby Livingston, from the auction house, said: 'These photos were taken at a reunion dinner hosted by President Eisenhower while he was on tour in Britain in 1959. 'It was the 20-year anniversary of the invasion of Poland which kickstarted the Second World War and so Eisenhower gathered all the military leaders for what used to be known as a 'stag party'. 'The group got together for official photos to be taken but it appears like Churchill might have partaken in some daytime drinking because he nodded off while sat right next to Eisenhower.
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President Eisenhower escorts Churchill into Winfield House, the US Ambassador's residence in Regent's Park, London
'Churchill was fond of a drink while he was in office, and his habit was probably much worse once he retired. 'The photos show one of the other guests dutifully prodding Churchill to wake him up, and the former prime minister looking a little bemused. 'The other interesting thing about this set is that all the big British players from the Allied high command were at this dinner, including Field Marshal Montgomery. 'Monty had been very critical of Eisenhower in the years following the war, and it was no secret that they didn't like each other, but he was duly invited to the dinner. 'Newspaper reports of the dinner noted that the pair sat close to one another and while no-one knows what was said they seemed to have buried the hatchet.' The auction will take place on April 15.
SourceOLLIE GILLMAN FOR MAILONLINE, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ ,7th April, 2015
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