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Never-seen-before photographs of Winston Churchill in his 40s expected to reach £4,000 at auction

Never-seen-before photographs of Winston Churchill in his 40s painting and touring the Middle East in 1921 with his wife Clementine and Lawrence of Arabia expected to reach £4,000 at auction

  • Winston Churchill was on diplomatic mission as Secretary of State for Colonies
  • Images taken by Captain Maxwell Coote who was Churchill’s aide-de-camp
  • They are now being sold by his descendants with London-based auction house


Never-before-seen photographs of Winston Churchill touring the Middle East with his wife Clementine and the writer T.E. Lawrence are expected to reach £4,000 when they go on sale at auction in London. 

Churchill visited on a diplomatic mission in 1921 after being appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies.

He attended the Cairo Conference in Egypt alongside T.E. Lawrence – the hero of the Arab Revolt in the First World War. 

The images, which were taken by Captain Maxwell Coote who was Churchill’s aide-de-camp at the conference, are being sold a century later by his descendants with London-based Forum Auctions who expect the archive to fetch £4,000.

Never-before-seen photographs of Winston Churchill touring the Middle East are expected to reach £4,000 at auction. Pictured: Churchill making a speech at a British military cemetery

In one of the images Churchill can be seen painting on an easel at a monastery with a trademark cigar in his mouth

In one of the images Churchill can be seen painting on an easel at a monastery with a trademark cigar in his mouth

Pictured: The Mayor of Jericho and his driver

Pictured: Photograph showing T.E. Lawrence, who attended the Cairo Conference with Churchill, and writer Gertrude Bell

The images were taken by Captain Maxwell Coote who was Churchill’s aide-de-camp at the conference. Pictured: The Mayor of Jericho and his driver (left) and a photograph showing T.E. Lawrence, who attended the Cairo Conference with Churchill, and Gertrude Bell (right)

In the images Churchill can be seen making a speech at a British military cemetery and painting on an easel at a monastery with a trademark cigar in his mouth.

Another picture shows him adopting a distinctive leg-up stance while stood with Lord Trenchard – the ‘father of the Royal Air Force’.

Capt Coote, who fought at Gallipoli, described Lawrence as ‘most awfully nice to talk to’ and ‘so quiet and unassuming with no ‘side’ whatsoever’.

And, of Churchill, he said: ‘It is one great thing about Winston that he never gets up early.’ 

Another picture shows Churchill adopting a distinctive leg-up stance while stood with Lord Trenchard - the 'father of the Royal Air Force'

Another picture shows Churchill adopting a distinctive leg-up stance while stood with Lord Trenchard – the ‘father of the Royal Air Force’ 

Pictured: Captain Maxwell Coote, who was Churchill's aide-de-camp at the conference, riding a camel

Pictured: Captain Maxwell Coote, who was Churchill’s aide-de-camp at the conference, riding a camel

He describes in detail watching him paint, stating: ‘(Churchill) took me out with him when he went off painting: we went to the most wonderful old Derwish monastery.

‘I don’t ever remember having seen anyone painting in oils before…

‘He was quite amusing to watch and very typical in the way he slapped on paint and scraped it all off again, but he is very clever and has a great eye for colour.’

Hester Malin, specialist at Forum Auctions, said: ‘The photos were taken by Capt Coote who accompanied Churchill and TE Lawrence to the Cairo Conference.

The images are being sold a century later by London-based Forum Auctions who expect the archive to fetch £4,000. Pictured: Churchill painting

The images are being sold a century later by London-based Forum Auctions who expect the archive to fetch £4,000. Pictured: Churchill painting

Pictured: Captain Maxwell Coote at the helm coming out of the canal with Suez in the background

Pictured: Captain Maxwell Coote at the helm coming out of the canal with Suez in the background

‘They are previously unseen, which is very exciting. He had an intimate access to Churchill as it was his job to support him and keep Clementine entertained during the visit.

‘There is a wonderful account he gives of Churchill painting and his diary gives a fascinating glimpse of life behind the scenes.

‘The archive is being sold by Capt Coote’s family to mark the centenary of the trip.’

Churchill was Secretary of State of the Colonies for less than two years before losing his Dundee seat in the November 1922 General Election.

He spent two years writing and painting before returning to Parliament in 1924 and becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The sale takes place tomorrow.

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