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  1. Charming but Fanciful: The Fleming-Churchill Myth › alexander-fleming
    • The Fleming Myth
    • Origins
    • Impossibilities

    His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. “I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.” “No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel. “Is that your son?” the nobleman asked. “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly. “I’ll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy and...

    For many years it was thought that the story originated in Worship Programs for Juniors, by Alice A. Bays and Elizabeth Jones Oakbery (1950). In a chapter entitled “The Power of Kindness,” Churchill is saved from drowning in a Scottish lake by Alexander Fleming himself. A few years later Churchill telephones Alex to say that his parents, in gratitude, will sponsor Alex’s medical school education. Alex graduates with honors and in 1928 discovers that certain bacteria cannot grow in certain vegetable molds. In 1943 when Churchill becomes ill, Fleming, through penicillin, saves his life again. In 2009 Mr. Ken Hirsch trumped this story with a Google Book Search. This traced it back to “Dr. Lifesaver,” by Arthur Keeney, in the December 1944 issue of Coronet. Fastidiously, Mr. Hirsch then identified the author. Arthur Gladstone Keeney (1892-1955) was a Florida and Washington D.C. newsman who served during World War II in the Office of War Information. “Since Keeney’s story was published o...

    Churchill’s official biographer, Sir Martin Gilbert, first noticed a flaw in the story: the ages of Churchill and Alexander Fleming. The latter was seven years younger than Churchill. Would he have been plowing a field at, say, age 7, when Churchill was 14? Hugh Fleming (1816-1888) was certainly able to save a drowning Churchill up to about age 14 (WSC was born in 1874). But there is no record of Churchill nearly drowning in Scotland at that or any other age. Nor, concluded Sir Martin, is there record of Lord Randolph paying for Alexander’s education. Another fundamental problem involves Churchill’s treatment in 1943. Dr. John Mather, an expert on WSC’s medical history, writes: “Churchill was treated for a very serious strain of pneumonia not with penicillin but with ‘M&B,’ a short name for a sulfadiazine produced by May and Baker Pharmaceuticals. Since the M&B was successful, it was probably a bacterial rather than a viral infection.” Sir Martin added: “The diaries of Lord Moran[Ch...

  2. Did Alexander Fleming's Father Save Winston Churchill from ... › fact-check › what-goes-around

    The father of Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, saved a young Winston Churchill from drowning; in gratitude Churchill's father paid for Fleming's education.

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    Was Alexander Fleming twice saved Churchill?

    Is the story of Fleming and Churchill fiction?

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    How old was Churchill when he plowed a field?

  4. Sir Alexander Fleming Twice Saved Churchill's Life ... › resources › myths

    In 1943 when Churchill becomes ill in the Near East, Alex’s invention, penicillin, is flown out to effect his cure. Thus once again Alexander Fleming saves the life of Winston Churchill.

  5. Jan 11, 2020 · Nei­ther Alexan­der Flem­ing nor his father were with Churchill at the times sug­gest­ed. Offi­cial biog­ra­ph­er Mar­tin Gilbert inves­ti­gat­ed, and found that the dates did not coin­cide. Nor was peni­cillin used to cure Churchill when he fell ill in Carthage in 1943.

  6. This is a nice story but this story is false and Sir Alexander Fleming said it himself that he did not save Sir Winston Churchill during World War II also. It is interesting to think that someone would have made up a story like that. The first time I read it, I thought it is for real. Until I verified it in the internet.

  7. Alexander Fleming - Wikipedia › wiki › Alexander_Fleming

    According to the biography, Penicillin Man: Alexander Fleming and the Antibiotic Revolution by Kevin Brown, Alexander Fleming, in a letter to his friend and colleague Andre Gratia, described this as "A wondrous fable." Nor did he save Winston Churchill himself during World War II.

  8. Is the story that Sir Alexander Fleming or his father saved ... › Is-the-story-that-Sir-Alexander

    Originally Answered: The story that Sir Alexander Fleming or his father (the renditions vary) saved Winston Churchill's life has roared around the Internet for years.

  9. - Legend claims the father of Sir Alexander ... › snopes › posts

    Legend claims the father of Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, saved a young Winston Churchill from drowning. In gratitude, Churchill's father paid for Fleming's education.

  10. Mar 17, 2015 · The son grows up to become Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. Years later, the nobleman’s son is stricken with pneumonia but saved by penicillin. That nobleman’s son is Winston Churchill.

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