Winston Churchill's cigar set to go for up to £3,000 at Derbyshire auction
A cigar given by Sir Winston Churchill to an RAF doctor who helped him after he broke his leg in France could sell for thousands of pounds when it goes up for auction.
In June 1962 the former British Prime Minister, then aged 87, made front page news when he fell while getting out of bed in his room at the Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo.
He fractured the neck of his femur and had to have an operation under anaesthetic to set the bone at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco. Unfazed by the drama, he asked for cold chicken and cognac shortly afterwards.
He was left in plaster from waist to ankle and an RAF medical plane, the Comet Orion, was organised to fly him from Nice to London Airport.
The medical team on board was led by RAF squadron leader Bertram AJ Barrow - and he was determined to gain a memento.
For decades the cigar was kept in a bedside drawer but now it is set to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers, based in Etwall in Derbyshire next month and is estimated to go for between £2,000 to £3,000.
Mr Barrow’s grandson Thomas Barrow, 33, an employment law advisor from London, said: "This cigar made my dear Grandfather very happy. I recently inherited it but after careful consideration I have decided to sell because I would like its historical significance to be enjoyed and cherished by others as it was once by him.
"My Grandfather kept it in his bedside drawers at home and often spoke about it and discussed it. He inspired my interest in Churchill. I have read several books about his life, service and leadership."
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: "We occasionally see Churchill cigar stubs that people have picked up after he dropped them but to gain a whole cigar in such pristine condition, given as a gift in unusual circumstances, is special.
"The lot comes with excellent provenance. For any collector of Churchill memorabilia it is an impressive item to own."