A former Ellesmere Port art student has had his portrait of one of the finest wartime leaders of the 20th century accepted by an American museum.

Hailing from the town, Douglas Edwards, now living in Virginia, was a student at the Chester School of Art in the 1950s when it was located in the city’s Grosvenor Museum.

“I spent many happy creative days at that wonderful institution,” he told the Pioneer .

Douglas Edwards with wife Olive
Douglas Edwards with wife Olive

An admirer of Sir Winston Churchill, Mr Edwards points out that January 24, 2015 will be the 50th anniversary of the wartime leader’s death.

He said: “I decided to pay my respects to the man whom I consider the United Kingdom's greatest statesman by painting his portrait in oils and setting the sitter in his study at Chartwell.

“Shortly after this painting was completed I sent a copy to his granddaughter, Edwina Sandys, who, like her grandfather before her, is herself a famed artist.

“A week later I received a personal phone call from Ms Sandys in New York City thanking me for my rendering and advising me that she felt my portrait was one of the finer paintings she had seen of her dear grandfather.

“Ms Sandys questioned whether I would consider donating it to the institution designated by the United States Congress as America's ‘National Churchill Museum’ and I agreed to donate the portrait.

“Ms Sandys, a board member, was instrumental in getting it accepted at the museum that so reveres her grandfather whom, as we know, was born of an American mother and himself honoured by the United States of America with the gift of American citizenship.”

The museum, in Missouri, is on the spot where Churchill made one of his most famous speeches, first referring to an Iron Curtain descending across Europe from the Baltic to the Adriatic.