Montagu Porch

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Montagu Porch
Montagu Phippen Porch

(1877-03-15)15 March 1877
Died8 November 1964(1964-11-08) (aged 87)
Glastonbury, Somerset, England
EducationMagdalen College
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
OccupationSoldier, archeologist and colonial officer
Parent(s)Reginald Porch
Ann Rebecca Austin
RelativesWinston Churchill (stepson)

Montagu Phippen Porch (15 March 1877 - 8 November 1964) was a British colonial officer who in 1918 became Winston Churchill's stepfather, although three years his junior.[1]

Early life[edit]

Porch was born on 15 March 1877 in Glastonbury, Somerset, the younger son of Reginald Porch LL.M., of the Bengal Civil Service, and grandson of Thomas Porch Porch, JP, of Edgarley, just outside Glastonbury.[2] His mother was Ann Rebecca, a daughter of James Austin, JP, of The Abbey, Glastonbury.[3] On 8 June 1886, his father died at Puri in British India, leaving an estate valued at £5,212.[4]

Porch was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford,[3] and while there in 1900 he joined the Imperial Yeomanry which was a Cavalry regiment of the British Army, seeing active service as a trooper in the South African War.[5] Returning to Oxford after the war, he graduated BA in 1902 and MA in 1904.[3]


In 1906, he gained a place as an officer of the Colonial Service and served in it until 1919, with most of his time spent in Africa. After his marriage in 1918, Porch resigned from the colonial service.[6]

After his wife's death in 1921, Porch returned to West Africa, where he had some successful investments.[6]

Personal life[edit]

On 1 June 1918 Porch married Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill. There was a substantial age difference, as Porch was 41 and Lady Randolph (Jennie Jerome) was 64. This was Jennie's third marriage, Porch's first.[7] In her final years, Jennie Porch ran up large debts, as her spending was far higher than the regular cheques for £60 Porch was sending her. The couple remained married for three years, until Jennie's death in 1921.[7][8] After her death, her niece Leonie Leslie commented that "It is Winston who weeps copiously, but it is Jack, his brother, and poor Porchy who are paying off her debts."[9]

A Roman Catholic, in 1926 Porch married secondly Donna Giulia Patrizi, the only daughter of the Marchese Patrizi della Rocco,[10] and lived in Italy until she died in 1938. He then returned to Glastonbury where he died in November 1964, aged 87.[7] Until the end, he avoided all discussion of his life with his first wife.[9]


  1. ^ "Montagu Porch, Stepfather Of Churchill, Is Dead at 87". New York Times. 10 November 1964. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Walford's County Families of the United Kingdom (1913), p. 959
  4. ^ "PORCH Reginald Esq" in Probate Index Registry for 1887, online at, accessed 20 July 2018; the Executors are stated as Edwin Barfoot Sly, Eustace Piers Vere Barker, and George Lawrence Bulleid, gentlemen, all of Glastonbury.
  5. ^ Sir Francis Cowley Burnand, ed. The Catholic Who's Who and Yearbook, Volume 34 (Burns & Oates, 1924), p. 421
  6. ^ a b Mary S. Lovell, The Churchills (Little Brown, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4087-0247-5), p. 332
  7. ^ a b c Allen, A. R. "Last Act: Montagu Porch". International Churchill Society. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  8. ^ Eade, Philip (2008-01-03). "Winston Churchill's American mother". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  9. ^ a b Anne Sebba, Jennie Churchill: Winston's American Mother (2012), p. 322
  10. ^ The Catholic Who's Who 1953, Volume 35 (Burns & Oates, 1952), p. 371