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Light ’em on the beaches… Churchill cigar up for sale

A HALF-SMOKED cigar stubbed out by Winston Churchill and picked up by a cinema usherette is expected to fetch thousands of pounds at auction.

The World War II prime minister was attending a film premiere at the London Coliseum in 1953 when Violet King spotted him drop one of his cigars.

She saw her chance to grab a souvenir — and kept the butt wrapped in a shoebox until her death in the 1980s.

Worth a packet: Churchill enjoys a smoke PICTURE: SWNS

Violet’s great-nephew Julian Lewis, 50, said: ‘She picked it up and treasured it for the rest of her life.

‘Violet died in her 90s but I remember her telling me the story. She was very proud of the cigar and liked to show it to people.’

Mr Lewis, of Stoke-on-Trent, said his great-aunt wrote to Churchill about the keepsake and received a ‘friendly note’ back giving his permission to tell her friends about it.

The cigar and letter will go under the hammer for £5,000-£6,000 in December at Hansons Auctioneers in Etwall, Derbyshire.