When April met Winston

2 June 2014 by Lucy

Image of April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill

April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill in 1964

A new photograph showing April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill has gone on display in the April Ashley: Portrait of a lady exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool.

This rare press image shows April and Winston meeting for the first time in April 1964 and was only recently re-discovered in time to mark 50 years since the event took place. 

Both April and Sir Winston were attending the last matinee performance of Fata Morgana at the Ashcroft Theatre in Croydon, which starred Churchill’s beloved daughter Sarah in the role of Mathilde. The photograph was taken just months before Churchill’s last illness before he passed away in January 1965.

Tony Singleton, who also worked on Fata Morgana at the Ashcroft, recently unearthed the photograph in one of his treasured memory boxes.

Sarah Churchill can be seen on Sir Winston’s left, along with actor David Hemmings behind Churchill and Ellen Pollock who directed the show is in the centre.

April said in her biography, about the meeting: “I was so glad – even if only for a moment – I’d met someone who’d been such an important part of history. As children, we had been brought up with two gods: God and Winston Churchill”.

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