V for Value: Churchill family jewels stolen (1965)


V for Value

Dressed in overalls and lugging pails of water, they certainly looked like workmen. “We’ve come to wash the windows,” one of the pair announced, and a maid let them into the London flat of BBC broadcaster Winston Churchill, 24, grandson of the late Prime Minister.

Five minutes later, the men came out of a bedroom and left, saying they had forgotten something. But they had not overlooked $4,200 worth of jewelry belonging to young Churchill’s grandmother, Baroness Spencer-Churchill, 80, who was in another room and never glimpsed the thieves.

Later in the week, her car was stolen and then recovered. But Winnie’s widow was still appealing for the return of one of the missing gems — a diamond ring “of great sentimental and historic value.” It had been presented to her in Moscow in 1945 by Paulina Molotov, wife of Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. Madame Molotov said in handing the ring to Clementine: “May the relations between our two countries be as bright, as pure and as lasting as this stone.”

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