“Churchill, sensitive to class considerations in his conduct of the war, instructed his generals and admirals to be careful in how they governed the armed forces. Early on, he warned the navy to be “particularly careful that class prejudice does not enter into these decisions” about selection of cadets for officer training at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England. “Unless some better reasons are given to me,” he vowed, he would investigate the matter. The navy resisted this direction, so he did as promised and intervened directly. He even met with some of the candidates who had scored well on entrance examinations but had still been rejected. “I have seen the three candidates,” he informed the navy’s top officers. “It is quite true that A has a slightly cockney accent, and that the other two are the sons of a chief petty officer and an engineer in the merchant service. But the whole intention of competitive examination is to open the service to ability, irrespective of class or fortune.” Concluding that an injustice had been done, he ordered that the three be admitted to officer training. This was a lot of effort for someone trying to run a war and stave off invasion.”


Thomas E Ricks, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom
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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E Ricks
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