Churchill's Final Journey

Mark 50 years since a people's farewell with our display of the train that took the statesman on his solemn last journey. This exhibition closed at the end of May 2015.

The Churchill family at home

Churchill's funeral on 30 January 1965 was a historic event. While it was a significant state occasion, it was also an opportunity for people to pay their own personal respects. The funeral was watched on television by millions throughout the world, while thousands lined the trackside to watch as the train passed.

We will be displaying our locomotive, Winston Churchill, to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral. Visitors will be able to see the locomotive for the first time since its cosmetic restoration at Mid-Hants Railway. It will be displayed alongside the baggage van which carried Churchill's coffin and the Pullman carriage Lydia which carried his family. This will be the first time since the funeral that these vehicles have been seen together.

The funeral signified the end of an era. Not only did it mark the passing of a historic figure, but it would also be the last time that a steam locomotive would be involved in a state funeral.

The funeral train today in our Great Hall

From the blog

Bringing Churchill's Final Journey to Life

Jamie Taylor, our Interpretation Developer, explains some of the preparation behind the creation of our display in Great Hall. Read more ...

The Last Englishman is laid low

At 7am on 24 January 1965, Sir Winston Churchill's immediate family gathered around the great man's death bed, and by 8am the BBC had broadcast the news of his death to a waiting world. The effect on the world’s media was electric; however, the reaction of government officials was a model of calm efficiency. Read more ...

Planning Winston's Funeral Operation

24 January 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. What is often forgotten is that staging the greatest state funeral since the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 took years of planning. Read more ...

Background: Churchill's coffin being loaded onto baggage van