AUTOGRAPH REVISED POETICAL MANUSCRIPT SIGNED ('Winston S. Churchill') ENTITLED 'OUR MODERN WATCHWORDS', comprising 40 lines in 10-line stanzas written in blue crayon (the signature in ink) with four currente calamo revisions, 2 pages, quarto, with integral blanks, paper wrapper with the title in pencil and with the blind-stamp address '4th Hussars, India', the poem on paper watermarked 'Southern Cross Fine quality', the wrapper watermarked 'Joynson Superfine', both bifolia with the same hole in the upper left-hand margin, the last page of the wrapper with numerous pencilled names written in another hand (mostly ticked in ink) slight browning, no place or date [but pre-1901; possibly 1899-1900]
The shadow falls along the shore
The search lights twinkle on the sea...
A UNIQUE AND UNPUBLISHED POETICAL MANUSCRIPT BY THE ADULT CHURCHILL: none are in or known to the Churchill Archives at Cambridge. As a boy Churchill won a prize for poetry at Harrow; one poem survives there from his schooldays (i.e. before his maturity); it is never likely to come on the market.
The poem may be dated pre-1901 since Churchill refers in it to the Queen ('For Country, Queen & Karochaw'). He joined the 4th Hussars in 1895 going first to Cuba; the following year he transferred to India until 1898 when he went to the Sudan; in 1899-1900 he served in the Boer War.
At the end of each stanza Churchill uses names of faraway places: Wai-hai-wai; Karochaw; Sokoto; and Talienair (?). Wai-hai-wai (modern Weihai or Weihaiwei) is a city in Shandong Province in China which became a British colony in 1898 and was the summer station of the British naval China Station. Karochaw (Karochow) is a place in Japan. Sokoto is a city in north-west Nigeria. The fourth place has not been identified.
The phrase 'Breathes there the man...' is taken from a poem by Walter Scott (see Charles Dodgson in this catalogue for his adoption of it as well, lot 126). The illustration of and quotation from the manuscript are limited for copyright reasons.