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Churchill's last living child Mary Soames dies at home

By Tim Moynihan

Lady Soames, the last surviving child of Sir Winston Churchill, has died.

Mary Soames, who was 91, died peacefully at home in west London on Saturday evening surrounded by her family, after a short illness.

She was the youngest of the five children of the wartime prime minister and his wife Clementine.

One of her sons, the Conservative MP Nicholas Soames, said: "She was not just a wonderful mother to whom we were all devoted, but the head and heart of our family after our father died, and will be greatly missed. She was a distinguished writer and led a distinguished life, with her service in the war, and is part of that generation which is passing.

"This is extraordinary timing – just before the anniversary of the Normandy landings, Churchill's last surviving child dies. It is the great swing of history."

Mary Churchill worked for the Red Cross and the Women's Voluntary Service from 1939 to 1941, and joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service, with whom she served in London, Belgium and Germany in mixed anti-aircraft batteries, rising to the rank of Junior Commander (equivalent to captain).

She also accompanied her father as aide-de-camp on several of his overseas journeys, including his post-VE trip to Potsdam, where he met with US president Harry S Truman and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. She married the Conservative politician Christopher Soames (later Baron Soames) in 1947 and they had five children.

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