Throughout history; the world has been littered with a myriad of smokers enjoying different tobacco products and smoking mediums. Pipe tobacco and freshly rolled cigars have become synonymous with the great and the good. Wise men and women have spent long hours musing over important topics with a cigar or a pipe propped from their mouth. Once a month we will look at one of the worldâ€™s best known smokers and explore their fascination with tobacco.
This month; Winston Churchill is going under the microscope. Nobody embodies the fighting spirit of the British like the bulldog that is Sir Winston Churchill. Best known for his staunch defence against Hitlerâ€™s marauding troops during World War 2; Churchill became a symbol for justice and freedom throughout the 1940s and 30s. Nearly 75 years since the Second World War began; Churchill is still recognised for his strength and his courage and also for the cigar that seemed to be permanently attached to him.
Churchillâ€™s love for cigars was so strong that he once commissioned a special flight helmet to be made when flying in a cabin with no pressure. The flight helmet was customised to allow Churchill to smoke whilst wearing the helmet.
As a 20 year old, Churchill travelled to Cuba as the Spanish fought Cuban guerrillas. The future politician had been commissioned by the Daily Graphic to write about the conflict. On his 21st birthday; Churchill came under fire on his 21st birthday and was awarded a medal for bravery. However, the most significant thing he received on the trip was a penchant for Havana cigars. This became a life-long love as he became a long-term patron of tobacco shops, searching for the highest-quality Havana cigars.
One of the qualities that drew people to Churchill was his emotional attachment to his work and his duty. Wearing his emotions on his sleeve, Churchill would speak his mind totally and take important matters to heart. This often became very draining for him but could find solace in cigars and whiskey and soda. The cigar became such an important fixture in his life that it was rare that he was photographed without one. All important matters and meeting that he attended, he seemed to do so with a cigar.
A BBC poll held more than 35 years after his death saw Churchill voted as the greatest ever Briton. An award that he would have undoubtedly celebrated with a cigar.