Winston Churchill in a bathing suit

It's not clear to me whether this photo of Winston Churchill in a bathing suit comes from 1911 or 1922 -- the title of the How to Be a Retronaut page is ambiguous -- but either way, he cut a fine figure of a man.

Winston Churchill in his swimsuit, 1911/1922



    1. Take a straightedge and connect the corners of that photograph. Notice where the two lines meet, almost to the pixel. 

      I don’t know whether it was the original photographer, or the guy who developed the film, or whoever cropped this for BB, but somebody wanted us thinking about Little Winnie all day long. Well, mission accomplished!

  1. Looking at the source, the simplest explanation is that these are photos from 1911 AND 1922.   This one here is from 1922. 

  2. I’d have thought the water at a British beach would be impossibly cool year-round but some maps suggest that summer temps in the 80’s (F) are entirely common.

    1. Just because the air temp is in the 80s doesn’t mean the water temp is the same…and if you’re at a beach in the north, say, Scarborough or Whitby, you’re swimming in the North Sea – ALWAYS cold.

      1. ♫ Land of soap and water,
        Hitler’s having a bath.
        Churchill’s looking through the keyhole,
        Having a jolly good laugh ♫
        ♫ Hitler has only one big ball
        Göring has two but very small,
        Himmler has something sim’lar,
        But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all. ♫

  3. “It’s not clear to me whether this photo of Winston Churchill in a bathing suit comes from 1911 or 1922″

    Wikipedia telles me he was born in 1874. So does he look 37 or 48?
    It could still be either; people looked older in those days.

    1.  Definitely 1922. Swimmers wore more elaborate bathing suits in 1912. There’s a figure in the water off his left shoulder that looks like a woman. Is that a swimming cap or white hair? The cut of the jib on the neckline looks a little different, too, though in those days the suits were pretty much uni-sex knitted wool which was actually pretty revealing when soaked with water. That said, I do prefer the cover up of a big belly those suits provided. Just my personal pref.

    1. The nanosecond I saw this post, I thought “some BBB’s gonna pull a cigar joke”.

      Et voila.

  4. Fine figure of a man? He’s overweight and has no muscle definition. I respect Winston Churchill, but not for his physical appearance.

      1. All he’s saying is that Winston Churchill should have been rockin’ the Bowflex® before hitting the surf to tighten his abs and tone that flabby jaw. But I think we can all be jealous of those legs.

    1. actually, he’s a lot trimmer than he’s usually depicted in movies and tv shows with his character in it.

    2. “He’s overweight and has no muscle definition.”

      The average American male should be so overweight and undefined.

  5. For what it’s worth, I honestly believe that one of the great tragedies of our time is that William Manchester died before he was able to complete the last volume of his Churchill bio, “The Last Lion.”

    The first two volumes are spectacular, and he was just getting to the good stuff. My knowledge of history is abysmal, and these books were so enlightening… seek out the first two volumes, and I promise you’ll never regret it.

    You. I’m talking to you. You will be very glad you sought out these books. Enlighten yourself.

    1. It’s not even that he died too soon … it’s that his mind went, long before he died. Because a lot of people had been waiting a long time for the planned third volume, there was a lot of interest, and the New York Times ran a front-page (iirc) story about how Manchester had given up, because he could no longer concentrate enough to read and to write. I remember in particular a section about how Manchester had once eschewed television drama as being too simple-minded, and now couldn’t even watch cop shows because he couldn’t follow the plot and keep a grip on the narrative for the hour the show ran. Very sad.

      His other books are very worth reading, especially his war memoir and his books on the Kennedy assassination, on Krupp, and on America 1932-1972. I recall finding his Mencken biography a little pedestrian.

    2. Regarding the two volume hagiography of Churchill, the
      “Last Lion”, I take it that you like your history served up as semi-fiction.

      1. What has salt to do with it? A halography is a treatise on salt (which might explain what Old Winston was doing in the sea). I think you mean hagiography.

        1. Thanks for the correction. Hagiography is a useful word when it applies, and I should learn how to spell it.

          Since the word refers to a biography written with the excesses of a nomination for sainthood, I guessed, incorrectly, that it had something to do with halos.

  6. Maybe this type of suit could be a good alternative to the naked scanner at the airport.

    1. My mother had a navy blue one piece with white piping and buttons to close it. I swear that it was made out of sailcloth. It could stand up on its own.

  7. There’s a small statue built exactly the same at the Herb Ritts exhibit at the Getty Center in LA. After Ritts, Klimt, and the Impressionists, I’ve had enought T, A, P, D and Scrote to last several months!

  8. What has been seen cannot be unseen. Thanks, BoingBoing, for forever implanting this image in my head.

  9. Regarding the picture of Churchill at the beach circa 1911 or 1922: Put your thumb, or some other object over Winnie,’s (Churchill’s) face and receding hairline and see if you can tell whether you are looking at a super annuated, boy person, or super annuated girl person. 

  10. A slightly less flattering seaside picture quite damaged the reputations of Weimar Republic’s president Ebert and war secretary Noske in 1919.

    1. The problem isn’t so much what they look like half-naked; it’s how often they managed to get their kit off when there’s a photographer nearby.

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