MARCH 31, 1948
EN ROUTE TO ENGLAND, Tuesday—The statue of my husband which I am going to unveil in London on April 12, at the invitation of The Pilgrims of Great Britain, was done by Sir William Reid Dick. The late Lord Derby suggested that it should be publicly subscribed for, and should be placed in Grosvenor Square because that was the center of American activities in London during the war. Sir Campbell Stuart had charge of carrying out the plans, and he told me that they asked that no subscription be over five shillings, which is equivalent to one dollar, and that the money was subscribed in about a week.
Grosvenor Square has a great many private houses around it and all of them formerly had age-old ownership rights in the square itself, but they all ceded these rights and it was taken over by the public authority. The whole square has now been landscaped and will be a memorial to my husband.
An eminent American churchman wrote me not long ago that, when he went to London, he always went on a pilgrimage to the Cenotaph, to the statue of Lincoln near Westminster, and to that of Robert Scott, the explorer. Now, he said, he would add Grosvenor Square for his final bow. It is a rather nice idea, and I think a number of Americans will like to follow in his footsteps.
* * *
Major Henry S. Hooker, a member of the American Pilgrims, is going over to the dedication ceremonies to represent President Truman and to take a message from him to the British Pilgrims. William Chadbourne is also going to represent the American Pilgrims. I am glad, too, that my husband's half-niece, Mrs. Theodore Douglas Robinson, is on the steamer with us and will be in London for the ceremonies. Also, some of my husband's cousins living in England will attend, and I am sure many of our old friends will be there. The King and Queen, Mr. and Mrs. Winston Churchill and many officials will be present.
When I was in London for the first session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Pilgrims invited me to speak at their dinner—which is a rare honor to be extended to a woman, and was, of course, in tribute to my husband. They have asked me to speak again at the dinner which they will give on April 12th.
Sir Campbell Stuart has arranged many activities for the days I will be in London prior to the unveiling ceremony. I hope, in addition, to see some of the rehabilitation work which has gone on since the war, and to make some comparisons for you between the Great Britain of 1942, 1946 and 1948.