Forbes splashes out on Churchill

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The Independent Online
The US publishing magnate Steve Forbes has splashed out on himself and his staff for his birthday.

The multi-millionaire - 50 today - has given his 1,000 staff the day off, and $50 each to spend.

And for himself? He paid pounds 134,500 at auction yesterday for four letters written by Sir Winston Churchill to his younger brother Jack.

The letters, auctioned by Sotheby's in London, reveal Churchill's fondness for his brother ,whom he regarded as his dearest relation. They begin three weeks after the start of the First World War in 1914.

They also expose Churchill's misplaced convictions about the success of the disastrous Dardenelles campaign, which resulted in the death of 28,200 British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

An early candidate in last year's US presidential elections, Forbes has a fortune of pounds 500m and is an avid collector of Churchill memorabilia.

Two working manuscripts for "begging letters" written by Emma, Lady Hamilton, to the Prince Regent and the Prime Minister, Lord Liverpool, asking for money in return for her services to the nation, sold for pounds 45,500 at Sotheby's yesterday.