Help us identify the mystery signatures in the Chartwell Visitors Book

A close up of signatures in the Chartwell Visitors Book

Chartwell has launched an interactive version of the historic Visitors Book, offering the chance to scroll through the handwritten entries of more than 700 personalities who visited Churchill's home across 40 years.

Yet fifteen signatures in the book remain either undeciphered, or it is not known who they belong to.

Take a look at the below signatures and help us solve the mystery of who they might be. If you recognise any, let us know at chartwell@nationaltrust.org.uk

1. 5 October 1928. Fellow visitors to Chartwell on this date included Johnny Spencer-Churchill, (Winston Churchill's nephew and son of Winston's younger brother Jack), and Robert Boothby, Churchill's Parliamentary Private Secretary from 1926.

2. 7 March 1931. Visitors on this date included Robert Boothby and Brendan Bracken, close friend of Churchill and MP for North Paddington.

3. 10 May 1934. Clementine Waring and Toby Waddington also signed this day.

4. January 1935. No date given but the signature is before and after signatures by Professor Lindemann, later Lord Cherwell, who became the Government's leading scientific adviser during the Second World War.

5. 3 August 1935. Ivor Churchill, Churchill's first cousin and son of the Duke of Marlborough signed the book the same day.

6. Wolfgang von Seybel, brother of Austrian artist and musician Georg von Seybel. We have no content in the archive as to why he would have visited.

7. 27 December 1949. Brendan Bracken visited this day.

8. 19 August 1952. Other signatures this day included Walter and Constance Graebner, Walter was a journalist, author and advertising executive, as well as Hastings and Kathleen Ismay. Hastings had been Churchill's Chief of Staff during the Second World War.

9. Simon Ingall, identified by Jennie Churchill as her father's Oxford friend and godfather.

10. Arthur Paunzen, an Austrian artist who escaped the Nazis. We have no information on his visit.

11. 13 August 1951. This signature appears alongside that of Prince Faisal (later King) of Saudi Arabia and Hafiz Wahba, Saudi Arabian Ambassador who visited this day, so almost certainly part of that delegation.

12. 8 August 1952. Visitors on this day included Hadji T'hami El-Glaoui, the Pasha or Viceroy of Marrakesh from 1912 to 1956, and friend of Churchill's.

13. 24 June 1949. This signature appears between the names José Joaquim Moniz de Aragão, Brazil's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1940-1952, and Assis Chateaubriand, Brazil's Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1961.

14. 9 to 11 October 1937. No other signatures were recorded on these dates.

15. Fanny Holtzman, verified with the help of the American Jewish Association.

Do contact us at chartwell@nationaltrust.org.uk or call us on 01732 868381 to help shed some light on these mysteries.

A close up of the signatures in the Chartwell Visitors Book, with the entry for Charlie Chaplin visible on the digital version in the background

Digitised Chartwell Visitors Book

The Chartwell Visitors Book is one of the most unique items in our collection. With thanks to new technology, Churchill's Chartwell Appeal and our dedicated volunteers, we are improving access to this true slice of history as never before.