A couple of weekends back saw Croydon receive its latest Street Art painting by English born but US based Street Artist David Hollier, whose distinctive works feature portraits of notable people in popular culture and history created through words which are especially chosen for their relevance to the chosen subject. On this occasion the subject is none other that one of the most iconic British personalities in History, namely Sir Winston Churchill with his portrait constructed from what is widely considered to be his greatest oratorical moment in history with this speech given to the House of Commons on June 4th 1940, namely one which has been dubbed the ‘We shall fight on the beaches’ speech.
So it is from the Peroration of the wider speech, the most iconic extracts that comprise the speech that make up this image – totaling 307 words. For those of you who are interested the following two paragraphs are the text that comprise this excellent portrait.
“I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once more able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government – every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
This fantastic work can be found in Park Street at the corner of Croydon High Street. You can also view our post on David Hollier’s previous visit to London last September (covered here).