This was my first view of the great man – heavy suit and umbrella (we were in Spain in summer, I’ll have you remember, and it was sweltering that afternoon??), top hat and flying goggles. Back home, as the First Lord of the Admiralty, he was one of the most powerful men in Britain, but in Spain as one of thousands of Commander Knights, he cut a less fearsome figure.
He was responsible for the British contingent’s catering and was very good at it too. We feasted long and late that warm Spanish evening, 200 of us spread along a table you could play cricket on. Of course, only hours later Marty saw to it that we were pursued by three armoured Rolls Royces driven by the same Knights we’d just enjoyed dinner with. When I saw Churchill whip that feast together in two hours, I knew he was a good man in a crisis. That was my impression of him, even then.