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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2006, 14:11 GMT
Churchill care notes fetch 9,000
A page from the notebook
This page clearly shows the instruction "put bird to bed!!"
A notebook kept by wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill's nurse during the final years of his life has been sold at auction for 9,000.

It reveals intimate details of his daily routine at his homes in London and Chartwell, in Kent, logged on 22 pages of a tiny ring-bound notebook.

Muriel Thompson told how he wanted his cigars and whisky to hand, and expected his pet budgie to be put "to bed".

She had to wake the bird in the morning and give Sir Winston two breakfasts.

The notebook was sold by Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday for three times its estimate.

Police protection

It was used by the team of nurses who cared for the prime minister, up until his death in January 1965, at both his homes in London and Kent.

It reveals how the prime minister's budgie, called Toby, was never far from his side, even accompanying him to dinner.

"Whisky and soda, specs, cards; bird to be brought into dining room near his chair," Nurse Thomson wrote in her notes.

"Tweeds; hanky in top pocket; boiler suit - slippers'' and "after dinner... put bird to bed!!"

The notebook
Nurse Muriel Thomson named her notebook The Form

One of the nurses' jobs was to ensure that Sir Winston had police protection when at his home in Kensington.

Ms Thomspon instructed the other nurses on how to get to 28 Hyde Park Gate from Victoria station.

"The Number 53 bus or underground Tube to Kensington High Street; not far to walk from there,'' she wrote. "Check policeman on duty."

Her list of what to remember for trips between the London house and Chartwell included "cigar case, the bird cage and stand".

Simon Luterbacher, of Bloomsbury Auctions, said he had never seen anything like it before.

"This sort of information about most people would not be of huge interest. This is because this is about a great man," he said.

See more on the notebook kept by Sir Winston Churchill's nurse

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15 Jun 06 |  Cornwall
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19 May 06 |  Gloucestershire


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