Last Butt Not Least
Ordinarily the chewed end of a cigar would not attract much attention, let alone be considered for sale at auction. But one that was smoked by Sir Winston Churchill, well that is another matter. In 1962, the then 87 year old Churchill fractured his hip after he fell out of bed while on holiday in Monte Carlo. He was flown back to the UK by the RAF and it was while he was recuperating in Middlesex Hospital from not just his hip but also from a bout of bronchitis and pneumonia that he puffed on the now famous cigar. A nurse retrieved the butt from an ashtray for her little brother and put it in a bag which was marked ‘soiled dressings disposal’ where it has remained ever since. Five decades later the cigar end was expected to fetch £1,000 when it came up for auction in Dorchester. It sold for a whopping £2,000. The editor wonders if the buyer celebrated with a big fat cigar.