Although subject to depression, which he called his ‘black dog’, Winston could at least fall back on a happy family life. He adored his wife Clementine (or ‘Clemmie’) and their five children, though sadly one of them died of septicaemia at the age of three.
He revealed his playful manner in the nicknames he gave them: Clemmie was ‘Kat’, while he was ‘Pug’ (although the rest of nation knew him as ‘Winnie’), and the four surviving children were ‘Puppy Kitten’, ‘Chum Bolly’, ‘Bumble Bee’ and ‘Duckadilly’.
He was also fond of animals and kept a green budgerigar, several cats and poodles. No one was permitted to eat until the dogs had been fed.
Winston lost most of his red hair as he grew older. His personal habits included wearing pale pink silk underwear, drinking whisky and soda (he was often criticized for appearing drunk on important occasions) and smoking eight or nine cigars a day, though he didn’t inhale.
It is somewhat ironic, however, that he is remembered as a man of the people. He owned a Daimler and only once travelled on the Underground, for instance, and never on a bus. His wife once confided that ‘he knows nothing of the life of ordinary people’.