The dockers, Churchill and the war’s most shameful secret

The Havengore, the boat which carried Sir Winston Churchill along the Thames during his state funeral in 1965, is pictured with Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast in the background as it repeats its journey from the Tower of London to Westminster. Dominic Lipinski/WPA/Getty Images

This was one of the most poignant moments in modern history. On a bleak January day in 1965, the cranes along the Thames dipped as the launch carrying Winston Churchill’s body passed the giant metal structures on the wharves on its journey from St Paul’s Cathedral…

funeral1…But in Wednesday night’s BBC1 documentary, Churchill: The Nation’s Farewell, a docker cast doubt on the spontaneity of the occasion by claiming the workers had to be paid.

John Lynch, who was working in 1965, said: ‘They [the dockers] didn’t like Churchill. I think I can speak for most, they didn’t like him. When they were asked to do it, the atmosphere was “no”. They were paid to do it. We didn’t work Saturday afternoon [the day of the funeral], we wouldn’t have been there.

‘There was a lot of arguments and rows about it. The atmosphere was that Churchill wasn’t a working class person. You’d see him with a cigar in one hand and sometimes a drink in the other, he just didn’t associate with us at all’…


So they voted for Labour instead. And what did the Labour Party do for them over fifty years, in the end?  Is Labour the party of the working class today? 

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  • simus1

    Crane thing seems sort of nonsensical. There are all sorts of legal implications to cranes being run by unpaid operators.
    Wartime strike disruptions before Russia was attacked by hitler showed what the communists were really made of. Not that they were alone in their malice.

  • MannieP

    Typical Union Goons, and the Dockworkers were among the worst. Ours were just as bad. They were notorious for stealing emergency rations from lifeboats, and black marketing in defense goods. In the end, we had to recruit the Mafia to rein in the dockworkers. The Mafia, many of whom weren’t even citizens, were better Americans than the Union Goons.

  • Rosenmops

    So they voted for Labour instead. And what did the Labour Party do for them over fifty years, in the end?

    They imported millions of Muslims to take over their neighbourhoods and to rape their daughters.

    • Curly Bill

      Evening Rosie. 😉

      • Rosenmops

        Evening Curly!

    • Frau Katze

      Exactly. Long term consequences.

  • Dana Garcia

    The libs voted Churchill out as soon as he’d won the war.

    Typical lefty ingratitude.

    • Alain

      Bang on, and don’t forget that they were all opposed to the same war until the Soviet Union got involved.

  • Edubeat

    Revisionist history

  • DD_Austin

    Stupid article

    “They were paid to do it”

    Of course they were, so was the barge boat captain and crew, the minister, the gravediggers, the cathedral janitors, the newspaper photographers….
    they were all paid.

    Idiot makes the suggestion that they did it against their will, but relented
    because they were paid. Prostitutes also relent because they are paid.