Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist who treated King George V1 for a speech impediment lived at Beechgrove on Sydenham Hill. The house is now demolished, and the large garden absorbed into Sydenham Hill Wood which was recently leased by the Dulwich Estate to the London Wildlife Trust. His sons were all married at St Stephen’s Church, and he served as an ARP (Air Raid Precaution) warden at the post at the Dulwich & Sydenham Golf Club.
The story of Logue’s successful treatment of the King became an Oscar winning film starring Geofrey Rush as Logue and Colin Firth as George V1 with Henrietta Bonham-Carter as his Queen. The film was based on the book ‘The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy’ which was a best-seller and translated into more than 20 languages. The authors are Logue’s grandson and custodian of his archive, Mark Logue, and the Sunday Times columnist, Peter Conradi.
They have written a new book about Logue, The King’s War which provides a fascinating account of the continuing relationship between the king and the speech therapist who sometimes treated the king at Beechgrove and follows the course of the war, from George V1’s broadcast to the nation on the outbreak of the war in September 1939 - which formed the climax of the film, through to Dunkirk, and the dark days beyond to D-Day and victory in 1945.
The book draws on exclusive material in the Logue archive - the collection of diaries, letters and other documents left by Logue and his feisty wife, Myrtle. Mark Logue and Peter Conradi will talk about their new book at Bell House on Sunday 16th December at 3pm.