However, obscure the research is – if George Bush is related to Winston Churchill? It can’t be denied that in some vague way he is related to Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph formerly Jennie Jerome an American heiress. By bizarre coincidence it may also be that without Lady Randolph there might never have been a Bust of Churchill in the Oval Office today.   

Lady Randolph was a powerful friend of the creator of the bust, Jacob Epstein. In 1918 Lady Randolph used her influence to save Epstein from the trenches of World War 1.

In early April 1918, Epstein was a desperate man. During convalescence from the war, he set about securing his release from hell. He began by writing to his influential acquaintance Lady Randolph, pleading with her to persuade her son Winston and Lord Beaverbrook to save him from returning to the battlefield. Epstein’s suggested his talents could better utilised for propaganda purposes.

Beaverbrook swiftly replied to Lady Randolph’s enquiry, apologising for being unsuccessful in attaining him a position with “upstairs services.” However, Beaverbrook continued in his efforts by approaching the War Office.

In further correspondence with Lady Randolph, Epstein says he is in “despair”, he urgently requests that she do “anything” to save him.

On April 14th 1918, twelve days after the original enquiry Epstein finally wrote to Lady Randolph that he was to remain in England. However, he still regarded himself as “rotting away in the ranks” and pleaded with her to help him utilise his talents for propaganda purposes. Little would Epstein have known, that his dream would be fulfilled nearly a century later?

Of course question marks still loom over whether George Bush used powerful influences to escape combat duties in Vietnam. But he can be sure that through Epstein he is under the spell of a man that would have every-sympathy. Epstein was not a conscientious objector like Muhammad Ali for instance who claimed, ‘no Vietnamese ever called me a nigger’ - he was in fear of his life and he viewed the carnage of war with revulsion – it was this revulsion that became expressed in many of his later works.

Jacob Epstein (1880 – 1959) like Lady Randolph was American by birth. Born in New York of Russian and Polish parents, he was fascinated by humankind and the variety of cultures. It’s believed that, it was a trip to the British Museum in London in 1905 that convinced him to up-route from Paris where he had been studying, in order to locate to London. Two years later Epstein became a British citizen.

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