Slice of life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2005, 12:00am

From the South China Morning Post this week in 1965

Sir Winston Churchill, the greatest Englishman of his time, died at his London home at the age of 90.

A sombre nation, its mourning led by the Queen, arranged a state funeral as tributes to the warrior-statesman flooded in from all over the world.

Bells tolled in the British capital, where Churchill rallied the forces of freedom in the second world war with his defiant cry: 'We shall never surrender.'

Churchill, the war leader with bulldog pugnacity, orator, historian, artist and peacemaker, died without pain with Lady Churchill - 'my darling Clementine' - his three surviving children and other members of the family at his bedside.

He died in the house where eight weeks earlier he acknowledged cheers on his 90th birthday. It was only a slight gesture, a salute, but to the crowd it was reminiscent of his two-fingered 'V for victory' sign.

He suffered a stroke on January 15 and, as his condition worsened, crowds stood in silent vigil outside his home.

It was Churchill's fighting spirit and dazzling oratory that rallied Britain and the Commonwealth to battle against Hitler's Germany when defeat seemed inevitable.

At the age of 65 when most men retire, fate called Churchill to fulfil his destiny as wartime leader of the British people.

In 1945, when the battle was won, a grateful people cheered at the mention of his name - and promptly voted his Conservative Party out of office.

He was given a state funeral after three days of lying in state in Westminster Hall. Only two other former prime ministers were honoured in this way - both in the 19th century. The first in 1852 was the Duke of Wellington. The other was in 1898 for William Ewart Gladstone, the Liberal Party leader. Churchill was buried at Blandon, near Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, where he was born.

A six-year-old boy was found wandering in Causeway Bay with one end of a long steel dog chain locked around his neck. The chain was removed and the boy was taken to Queen Mary Hospital while the police tried to locate his parents. The child appeared to be mentally handicapped. Three days later his mother pleaded guilty in court to ill-treating him.

She said the boy had been affected by a brain disease when he was one and had become uncontrollable and she had to lock him up when she went to work.

A 17-year-old youth who stabbed a man out of jealousy was jailed for six months and ordered to receive four strokes of the cane by Kowloon District Court.

He had pleaded guilty to wounding a man he had seen earlier with his girlfriend. Judge Simon Li said he would not tolerate gang warfare and that since the youth had used violence on others, violence would be used on him.

Four lumberjacks left without food in a Siberian forest for more than 10 days ate their sheepskin jackets to stay alive. The men were cutting a road through the forest. They were landed with food for six days and told a helicopter would pick them up on the seventh. It did not arrive until the 17th day.

The men boiled and then fried their sheepskin jackets to keep themselves from starving.

Commercial Radio scored a resounding seven-to-one victory over Radio Hongkong in their annual soccer encounter at Chatham Road. Radio Hongkong won the match the previous year.