British PM Cameron leads tributes to Sir Winston Churchill on 50th anniversary
Dignified and solemn, and a display of all the ceremony that Britain could muster, Sir Winston Churchill’s State funeral 50 years ago was the country’s epic farewell to its revered wartime leader.
And on Friday the nation marked the anniversary of the occasion with a day of commemoration – a tribute to the life and work of the wartime leader, dailymail.co.uk informs.
In a speech on Friday, David Cameron said Britain owed a huge debt of gratitude to Sir Winston, and called on Britons to ensure his contribution to the country is never forgotten.
The day started with his great-grandson, Randolph Churchill, and granddaughter, Celia Sandys, laying a wreath at Sir Winston’s statue outside the Houses of Parliament, London.
Politicians from all parties then gathered for another wreath-laying ceremony at a second statue of Churchill, in the House of Commons.
Tower Bridge was to be raised as members of Churchill’s family were to take part in a flotilla on the River Thames along the same route taken by his coffin on the day of his funeral in 1965.
A ceremony was to be held at Westminster Abbey in the evening.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to ‘a great leader and a great Briton’ after laying a wreath at the feet of the statue of his illustrious predecessor in the House of Commons Members’ Lobby.
Churchill is still remembered with affection by the country as a statesman, bon viveur and reformer, Mr Cameron said, but most of all as a patriot – with lessons to teach the modern world.
‘His enduring legacy and influence on political life and British culture is testament to his formidable strength of character and remarkable achievements.’
Wreaths were laid by Commons Speaker John Bercow, his Lords counterpart Baroness d’Souza and Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames, Churchill’s grandson