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Winston Churchill's half-smoked Cuban cigar left in ship ashtray to be auctioned


A half-smoked cigar Sir Winston Churchill left in an ashtray on board a Royal Navy ship during a pivotal mission in World War Two is now tipped to sell for £1,200.

The Cuban cigar was picked up by an unlikely souvenir hunter – the Reverend Robert Evans who served as chaplain on HMS Duke of York.

The clergyman was taken aback when the Prime Minister and a host of dignitaries boarded the vessel for a hastily-arranged voyage to the US in December 1941.

In the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbour, Churchill took it upon himself to visit President Roosevelt to discuss America entering the war.

A half-smoked cigar (above) - which Sir Winston Churchill left in an ashtray on board a Royal Navy ship during a pivotal mission to the US during World War Two - is now tipped to sell for £1,200

A half-smoked cigar (above) – which Sir Winston Churchill left in an ashtray on board a Royal Navy ship during a pivotal mission to the US during World War Two – is now tipped to sell for £1,200

During the 10-day voyage across the Atlantic in 1941, Churchill would have smoked dozens of cigars but the part-smoked one now for sale is the only one that is known to have survived

It was made by the famous cigar brand Partagas of Havana and still has its red label on the smoking end of it. The 4in-long cigar has been kept in a plastic tube container for the last 70 years and so has been kept perfectly in tact

It was made by the famous cigar brand Partagas of Havana and still has its red label on the smoking end of it. The 4in-long cigar has been kept in a plastic tube container for the last 70 years and so has been kept perfectly in tact

The visit proved a major turning point in the conflict and a huge boost to the Allies.

During the 10-day voyage across the Atlantic, Churchill would have smoked dozens of cigars but the part-smoked one now for sale is the only one that is known to have survived.

It was made by the famous cigar brand Partagas of Havana and still has its red label on the smoking end of it.

The Cuban cigar was picked up by an unlikely souvenir hunter - the Reverend Robert Evans (above), who served as chaplain on HMS Duke of York

The Cuban cigar was picked up by an unlikely souvenir hunter – the Reverend Robert Evans (above), who served as chaplain on HMS Duke of York

The 4in-long cigar has been kept in a plastic tube container for the last 70 years and so has been kept perfectly in tact.

After Rev Evans died in 1991 aged 91, the Churchill cigar passed on to a family member and they are now selling it.

It comes with a contemporary handwritten note by Rev Evans confirming its association with the wartime Prime Minister.

Aaron Dean, of auctioneers Travanion and Dean of Whitchurch, Shropshire, said: ‘It is the story that gives this item its value.

‘Rev Evans served on the Duke of York as chaplain when Winston Churchill and various other high-ranking officials came on board and set up their own war room on the ship.

‘Rev Evans later recorded everything that he could remember of the event.

‘Although Churchill-smoked cigars have been sold at auction before, you can pinpoint this one to a definite moment in time and history.

The clergyman was taken aback when the Prime Minister and a host of dignitaries boarded the vessel for a hastily-arranged voyage to the US in December 1941. Above, Churchill on the HMS Duke of York during the trip

The clergyman was taken aback when the Prime Minister and a host of dignitaries boarded the vessel for a hastily-arranged voyage to the US in December 1941. Above, Churchill on the HMS Duke of York during the trip

‘It was a very important time for the Allies in World War Two and proved pivotal.

‘This cigar comes in its own plastic protective capsule. When I took it out for the first time I was quite nervous in case it disintegrated but it is in excellent condition having been kept out of the sun.

‘It is very humbling when you think who has handled it. It makes for a great talking point, especially at the end of a dinner party when the cigars are being handed around.’

The cigar will be sold on Saturday. 



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