Newsletter & Book Club
October 2015

Sir Martin's Book Club
October's Book Club Anniversaries:

Sir Martin was born on 25 October 1936. He never reached his 79th birthday; this October Newsletter honours the fifty years he “laboured in the Churchill vineyard”, with his classic one-volume biography,
Churchill, A Life.

October 1973 found Sir Martin in Israel during what was originally called “the October War” and later the “Yom Kippur War” which began on October 4. Our October Book Club Offer is Sir Martin's
Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israel Conflict.
The Book Club Choice
Churchill A life

"At times of national stress, Churchill was a persistent advocate of conciliation, even of coalition; he shunned the paths of division and unnecessary confrontation. In international affairs he consistently sought the settlement of the grievances of those who had been defeated, and the building up of meaningful associations for the reconciliation of former enemies.
"After two world wars he argued in favour of maintaining the strength of the victors in order to redress the grievances of the vanquished, and to preserve peace.It was he who first used the word 'summit' for a meeting of the leaders of the Western and Communist worlds, and did his utmost to set up such meetings to end the dangerous confrontations of the Cold War.Among the agreements that he negotiated, with patience and understanding, were the constitutional settlements in South Africa and Ireland, and the war debt repayment schemes after the First World War."

"By far the most lucid, comprehensive and authoritative account of Churchill that has been offered in a single volume. It furnishes a crown to Gilbert's already prodigious labours."

Philip Ziegler,
Daily Telegraph
The Book Club Offer
The Routledge Atlas of The Arab-Israeli Conflict

From the Jews of Palestine before the Arab Conquest, 1000 BC – 636 AD to the Iranian dimension of the present day, in a land where maps are not only geographic but highly political, this Atlas traces the ebb and flow of Jewish-Arab relations in the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, the points of cooperation and joint projects, the attempts to find common ground, the conflicts and the searches for resolution.

The Cease Fire lines of 24 October 1973 on the Egyptian Front and on the Syrian Front show the borders at the end of the Six-Day War in June 1967 and the changes to that map as a result of the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, areas where Sir Marin had been during that time, as an historian and diarist.

Visit Routledge 
and  enter code
at checkout
to receive 20% off this title from Routledge
until October 31st.


Sir Martin on Churchill A Life
Sir Martin's Reflection's
Churchill's Legacy
On 2 Oct 1974, Sir Martin wrote to Kay Halle, a devoted friend of Randolph Churchill, referring to Winston Churchill and the controversy of Churchill's legacy:

Why is it that people always want to make him out to have been such a bad, bad man?

er mind; one day as he himself so fervently believed, the truth will be known; and I feel proud and stimulated to think that I can help in a small way to make it known through my own researches.

Later in the letter, Sir Martin writes: I do not believe anything is gained by wasting time in barren controversy. I try to devote all my energies to uncovering materials, piecing together the story and setting it down in as careful and clear a way as possible. I try hard not to be side-tracked however attractive or provoking the reasons!

In Churchill, A Life, Sir Martin faces down the controversies surrounding
Churchill, and sets the record straight, based on his consultation with
hives and the people who knew and worked with Churchill throughout his life and political career.
               From Esther Gilbert
                              Celebrating Sir Martin's 75th
                             Aboard the Havengore

Aboard the Havengore for Sir Martin's 75th, with Antony Copley and Richard Gott
Photo: Dave Gilbert

In 2011, Martin decided to invite his family and friends on a special voyage to celebrate his 75 th birthday: an evening dinner cruise on the River Thames. But knowing Martin, his choice had historical significance, for the boat ride was aboard the Havengore, the “barge” that had carried Sir Winston's coffin on his final journey, as Martin describes in Churchill, A Life:

“The funeral service at St Paul's ended with the sounding of the Last Post and the Reveille by a trumpeter high up in the Whispering Gallery. The coffin was then taken by barge along the Thames to Waterloo Station, and on by train, to the parish church at Bladon, where Churchill was buried next to his parents and his brother Jack, within sight of his birthplace, Blenheim Palace.”

Martin and I came on to the Havengore before our guests arrived that evening, and Martin signed the ship's copies of his Churchill biography. Then, surrounded by family and friends, as the ship glided silently down the Thames in the crisp October night air with lights glistening from the riverbanks and reflecting in the water, Martin spoke about his many journeys by ship, from his 1940 voyage on the  Duchess of Bedford  across the Atlantic to Canada during his wartime evacuation, to our 2006 voyage on the P&O cruise liner  Aurora  from Mumbai to Southhampton through the Suez Canal as he lectured on Churchill.

It was an intimate and memorable evening, and was Martin's last time on board a ship.


The Duchess of Bedford, which carried Martin and other child evacuees to Canada, 1940.
Sir Martin's Blog
Five Hours, the Golan, Israel,
Friday, 19 October 1973.
Extracts from Sir Martin's unpublished diary.

Coming to Israel on 4 October 1973 to research Churchill's 1921 visit there, Sir Martin was caught up in the conflict as a volunteer, and keen to record history as it happened:

5.30 am.  Give a lift to an Englishman trying to get to Lod airport.  I take him half a mile towards the terminal.  I ask him to telephone a message for me when he reaches London.  He says:  “Put your name clearly.  I have a dozen such calls to make as soon as I get back.”  Since the war began, people here have felt very cut off from the outside world.  It has been almost impossible to get through to the International Telephone operator; the nearest one gets is a polite record in Hebrew, English, and French, to say that all lines are busy.  I cannot think what message to send, and scribble down:  “All well.  Am just off to the Golan.”  Hardly has the man got out of the car than I realize that this is about the least reassuring message one can send. ….

6.50 am.  Leave Tel Aviv.  I drive, the escort officer sits next to me.  The three journalists are in the back seat
Read More .......
Sir Martin Gilbert Memorial Evening

A memorial evening to honour Sir Martin Gilbert
will be held in Central London


Tuesday 24th November 2015,
7.15 - 9pm

Tickets are available at the
Sir Martin Gilbert website

Apply For Tickets Here

19 OCTOBER 2015

Please share with your friends
The Book Club Quiz
How many children did
Winston and Clementine Churchill have?
Find The Answer
On This Day
'On This Day' is a feature of the website that highlights an historical event in October for each of Sir Martin's book collections.

* Churchill Biography * Churchill Collection * First World War *
The Second World War * Holocaust * Israel & Jewish History
20th Century * Historical Atlases *

Sir Martin's Web Citings

20 September 2015: Ottawa Citizen, Reported by David Pugliese.

"Governor General praises the bravery of those
who fought in the Battle of Britain"

"Here is what  Governor General David Johnston had to say at the Battle of Britain ceremony today:"

"Some years ago, I had the opportunity to speak to Sir Martin Gilbert, the author of a multi-volume biography of Winston Churchill and someone who knew more about Churchill’s thinking than any living person. Sir Gilbert had just gained access to Churchill’s secret wartime diaries. I asked him,
“What did you learn from them that you didn’t already know?”
He replied: “I learned what a close thing it was.”

Read More

* Calling all Teachers and Professors *

Do you use Sir Martin's work in your classes and tutorials?  
Would you send your lessons plans so that other teachers, professors and students can benefit from your work? 
Lesson plans will be posted on Sir Martin's website,
with your work acknowledged.

Please send your lesson plans to:

Please share with your friends
Become a Martin Gilbert Researcher
As you may know, Sir Martin went through a lot of bottles of ink in his work.  I am not sure if his pen was ever at rest!  We are now trying to compile a bibliography and filmography list of Sir Martin's work.  If you know of any newspaper and magazine articles he wrote, forewords and introductions, or any other writing, or films you have seen in which he played a part, could you email the bibliographic information (publication source, date of publication, page number if applicable) to me at
If you have the writing in digital format or could scan and email to me, that would be fantastic and greatly appreciated.  Together we will work to continue Sir Martin's life's work and legacy to the next generations.
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