At ninety years old, Mary Soames is the only surviving child of Winston and Clementine Churchill. A Daughter's Tale follows her early life from an idyllic childhood in her own `Garden of Eden' at Chartwell to her ATS service in mixed anti-aircraft batteries during the war. With glimpses into her fascinating personal diary, published here for the first time, she draws us into a world where the experiences of a packed family, social and romantic life unfold against a background of cataclysmic events.
When Chamberlain's declaration of war in 1939 shatters Mary's world, she begins to share the anxieties and stresses suffered by her family through her father's position. The mutual love between Mary and her parents is evident on every page, from her Chartwell years to Winston's defeat at the 1945 general election, when she recounts her own devastation on her father's behalf. As she meets her future husband Christopher Soames at the end of this charming memoir, it is clear that, at twenty-four, Mary has lived a full life and is well prepared for her future as wife and mother.
Mary Soames (1922-2014) was the youngest child of Winston and Clementine Churchill. She was brought up at Chartwell in Kent and, aged eighteen, joined the ATS and served in mixed anti-aircraft batteries in England and Europe. She accompanied her father as his ADC on several of his wartime overseas journeys. In 1945 she was awarded the MBE (military). In 1947, she married Captain Christopher Soames, Coldstream Guards, later Lord Soames, PC, GCMG, CH. In 1998 she edited the private correspondence between her parents, Speaking for Themselves, completely revised and updated the celebrated biography of her mother, Clementine Churchill, in 2002 and completed her own autobiography, A Daughter's Tale, in 2011.