Operation Hope Not
Churchill giving the V sign in Whitehall on the day he broadcast to the nation that the war with Germany had been won, 8 May 1945
was the code-name of a funeral plan for Winston Churchill
that started in 1953, twelve years before his death. The detailed plan was prepared in 1958. Churchill led the country to victory in the Second World War
(1939–1945) during his first term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
. While in his second term he was struck by a major stroke in 1953 that caused concern for his death. The British Government started a meticulous preparation, as officially decreed by Queen Elizabeth II
, to be of a commemoration "on a scale befitting his position in history". As remarked by Lord Mountbatten
, Churchill "kept living and the pallbearers kept dying" such that the plan had to be revised several times till his death in 1965.
The official project was undertaken by the Duke of Norfolk
, as the Earl Marshal
, to be the grandest state funeral
for a person outside the royal family since that of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
. Churchill died on 24 January 1965, and the final plan titled State Funeral of the Late Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, K.G., O.M., C.H.
was issued on 26 January and implemented on 30 January 1965. During the funeral of Churchill
, his body was lying in state
at Westminster Hall
. The main funeral service was held at St Paul's Cathedral
. The coffin was transported by a boat MV Havengore
on the Thames to Waterloo station
, and thence by train to Bladon
, Oxfordshire, where it was interred in the St Martin's Church, Bladon
, near his father's tomb. Read more...