In 1954, I left NYC on the QE1 to spend a year at Harrow School as an ESU exchange student. There were about 30 of us Americans headed to various public schools in the U.K, but I was particularly fortunate because Harrow was both very cosmopolitan and only ten miles from the center of London.
Among the many memorable experiences I had in my time at Harrow, the most indelible was the visit to the school by its most notable living Old Harrovian, Winston Churchill. He was then in the final months as Prime Minister and was making his annual pilgrimages to the "Hill."
The entire school assembled in the auditorium (Speech Room) first to sing the traditional school songs he loved to hear, especially "Forty Years On," to which a special stanza had been added that day in his honor:
Blazoned in honour! for each generation
You kindled courage to stand and to stay;
You led our fathers to fight for the nation,
Called "Follow up" and yourself showed the way.
We who were born in the calm after thunder
Cherish our freedom to think and to do;
If in our turn we forgetfully wonder,
Yet we'll remember we owe it to you.
Churchill then talked about his visit to the school in 1940 and, quoting from his famous speech, said: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few", referring to the efforts of the Royal Air Force crews who were at the time fighting the Battle of Britain. It was an unforgettable experience for all who were there.