York & North Yorkshire

Churchill's granddaughter visits funeral train in York

Charlotte Peel at the National Railway Museum
Image caption Lady Charlotte Peel looks at a picture of Sir Winston Churchill with some of his grandchildren

Sir Winston's Churchill's granddaughter has visited the funeral train used to carry the coffin of the former prime minister and wartime leader.

Lady Charlotte Peel was 10 years old when she joined family mourners on the train during the state funeral in 1965.

The refurbished train is on show at the National Railway Museum in York to mark the 50th anniversary of the funeral.

Lady Peel said the train had brought back memories that the "whole day was enveloped in sadness for us".

She said her family were proud of her grandfather and "how he gave strength to people in the war".

Winston Churchill was appointed prime minister in 1940 during World War Two.

Image copyright NAtional Railway Museum
Image caption The train was restored for the 50th anniversary of the funeral

Lady Peel recalled the day of her trip on the train in 1965 as "grey and cold" and described a "nation's outpouring of grief" on the death of her grandfather.

While looking at the faces of people lined up silently along the train route it had "dawned on me what an amazing man he must have been."

However, it was "lovely" to see the "beautifully restored" train.

"He was a sweet grandfather. His eyes always sparkled when we came into the room," she added.

The locomotive that pulled the funeral train is displayed along with the parcels van that carried the coffin and the carriage that carried his family.

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Image copyright PA

1874 - Born in Blenheim Palace on 30 November

1900 - Elected to Parliament for the first time

1908 - Marries Clementine Hozier in Westminster

1915 - Forced to resign from the Cabinet in disgrace after disastrous World War One Gallipoli campaign

1940 - Appointed prime minister with Britain again at war with Germany in World War Two

1945 - Loses the general election to Clement Attlee's Labour Party despite leading the nation to victory in the war

1951 - Returns to Downing Street again as prime minister after securing a narrow majority

1955 - Retires as prime minister due to ill health

1965 - Dies aged 90

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