chapter  1
26 Pages

Managing a giant

Jock Colville and Winston Churchill
ByWarren Dockter

Sir John 'Jock' Colville is a figure who is well known to any historian of British politics and the Second World War. Born into an affluent and well-connected family, Colville, like Churchill, was educated at Harrow and, unlike Churchill, went on to senior scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. Perhaps remembered as the most imminent 'Churchillian', Colville was the Churchill's devoted Private Secretary, first as Assistant Private Secretary and then as Joint Principal Private Secretary. Undoubtedly, one of Churchill's confidants was Colville with whom Churchill spent the majority of his time. Churchill's primary concern for his last government was foreign affairs and he thought none more important than the Anglo-American relationship. The real animosity between Churchill and Eden was not between their staff or differing views foreign policy; it lay in the latter's ambition to be Prime Minister. Colville chronicled the growth of Churchill's 'cold hatred' for Eden and his repeated attempts to delay his resignation of the premiership.