Winston Churchill’s Harrow armchair sells for £320 at Etwall auction

An Army officer, writer and statesman, Winston Churchill served as the UK's prime minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955.
An Army officer, writer and statesman, Winston Churchill served as the UK's prime minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955.
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An armchair used so often by Sir Winston Churchill that he called it his own has sold for £320 at an Etwall auction after being found in a Derby home.

The early 20th century, pale green wingback armchair with tapered legs was sold by Hansons auction house on Wednesday, December 20.

Harrow School was the scene of Churchill's famous 'Never give in' speech.

Harrow School was the scene of Churchill's famous 'Never give in' speech.

According to its most recent owner, the chair was a favourite of the former Prime Minister when it was kept in the headmaster’s study at Harrow – Churchill’s former elite public school and a place he liked to visit in adult life.

The seller, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “A relative of mine, Ralph Westwood Moore, was headmaster at Harrow from 1942 to 1953 and Churchill used to visit him two or three times a year during the Second World War.

“They were great friends. Churchill always sat in the same place and called it ‘my chair’, it so it became known as Winston Churchill’s chair.”

Mr Westwood Moore was a gifted academic who became headmaster of the famous public school near London at the age of 36, but died from lung cancer when he was just 47 years old.

He would revisit the school throughout his life to cheer himself up.

He would revisit the school throughout his life to cheer himself up.

He underwent several operations in 1952 and, such was his dedication, he refused to leave his post at Harrow.

Winston Churchill’s armchair was passed down to relatives in Derbyshire in the 1950s where it has remained ever since.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: “Anyone with a passion for history would surely want to sink into Winston’s Churchill’s armchair.

“Named the greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is among the most influential people in UK history, and his complex legacy continues to stimulate intense debate among writers and historians.”

He added: “Churchill was a man renowned for inspirational quotes, such as ‘Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection’.

“I imagine there must be many people, not just in the UK but all over the world, who this Christmas would like to reflect on 2017 while sitting in the comfort of this very special chair.”