It was 1932, more than a decade before he would lead the country to victory with his inspiring speeches and determination to defeat the Nazis.

But Sir Winston Churchill was about to have his very own ‘Gerald Ratner’ moment.

The city of Dundee, where he had served as MP for 14 years, was a city of “bestial drunkenness”, he declared. “It bears an evil reputation, and which I must admit I have never seen paralleled in any part of the United Kingdom”.

The comments which appeared in an edition of his book “Thoughts and Adventures”, were in response to his 1922 re-election humiliation to a prohibitionist and pioneer of the Scottish temperance movement. In Dundee, however, the slur went down like a blockbuster bomb dropped from the tail end of a passing Lancaster.

“You will find Dundee holds a very enviable place amongst the industrial communities for sobriety and an almost entire absence of serious crime,” retorted the city’s Lord Provost, William Buist. “I did not think that one who was a student of history could have allowed such casual statements to impress him without obtaining verification thereof.”

The smear against the city which he had served from 1908 and which in the face of criticism were withdrawn from later editions of his book – is just another piece in a complex jigsaw that could explain Dundee’s and Scotland’s apparent indifference to the man often referred to as the greatest Briton of them all.

After all, while Churchill’s name may evoke ‘Hope and Glory’ pride and bulldog spirit south of the border, there is little in Scotland to show for his wartime efforts or his role as MP for Dundee.

In terms of tributes, there are just a couple of plaques in the city, a portrait in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, a small sculpture in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and a scattering of busts thought to be dotted around the country.

Now a new project aims to explore the wartime Prime Minister’s Scottish links, and has appealed for Scots to share memories, photographs, letters, diaries and memorabilia which may shed more light on the impact Churchill had on the nation.

The International Churchill Society (ICS) wants to create what’s believed to the first collection of Churchill’s Scottish connections in an effort to better understand how the famous wartime Prime Minister and the Scottish people affected one another.

To launch the appeal, the society has published an edition of its journal, Finest Hour, dedicated to Churchill and Scotland, with a foreword by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In it, he states: “So much has been written about every aspect of Winston Churchill’s life that it is surprising that one important area – his relationship with Scotland – has commanded so little attention.”

The timing of the call for Churchill-related items and memories comes as the war leader’s political and personal views have come under increasing scrutiny by the Black Lives Matter campaign.

His Parliament Square statue in London was boarded up to prevent it coming under attack from protestors after the words “was a racist” were daubed beneath his name. It led to suggestions from his granddaughter, Emma Soames, that the statue may have to be placed in a museum for its own protection.

“He lived for 90 years and not every opinion he had was acceptable by today’s standards, nor was everything he did was good,” concedes Alastair Stewart of the International Churchill Society Advisory Council.

“But there are enough connections between him and Scotland to ask why there is not more attention given to his time here?

“His wife was a descendant of a Scot, he was MP in Dundee for 14 years and although people say he was chased out of the city, he was still elected and re-elected four times.

“Over 1000 books have been written on him exploring every facet of his personality and life, from the church, the Jews, India and America. It seems remarkable that whatever one thinks of the man, he has a plethora of links with Scotland but so little evidence of them.

“While he might not be perfect, we need to look at him as an integral part of our history.”

Churchill was elected to serve as Liberal MP in the ‘safe seat’ of Dundee in 1908, having defected from the Conservatives four years earlier and losing his Manchester seat.

His election campaign, however, was dogged by the presence of an angry bell-ringing suffragette, Miss Moloney.

Enraged by his earlier claims that he had seen “some of the most earnest advocates of the cause allying themselves with drink and reaction”, she plagued his speeches and rallies, shaking her fist and ringing her bell and demanding an apology.

Nevertheless, as he celebrated outside the city courthouse where the votes had been counted, his address contained more than a whiff of the rousing orator he would become.

“Let us march straightforward, 7,000 strong, along that road of progress to peace, to justice and to truth,” he declared. “Dundee forever! Scotland to the fore!”

However, Churchill’s elevated role as a cabinet minister and as First Lord of the Admiralty meant his presence in his constituency was limited.

Soon there were grumblings about his rare visits, often accompanied by an entourage who required to be fed and wined. One particular low point came in 1909 at the city’s Queen’s Hotel.

“This city will kill me,” he complained in a letter to his wife. “Halfway through my kipper this morning an enormous maggot crawled out and flashed his teeth at me. Such are the penalties which great men pay in the service of their country."

While the Liberal Party had been widely supported by Dundee’s working classes with its strong Irish presence in 1908, as Home Secretary, Churchill’s tough response to striking miners in Tonypandy in Wales and transport workers in Liverpool the following year created waves of discord.

“Drive the rats back down their holes,” he is reported to have told police during the Tonypandy uprising. As for Liverpool, soldiers from the Warwickshire Regiment were sent to the city and gunboats were moored in the River Mersey. The Hussars opened fire on the crowd and two men were killed.

Closer to home, there would be a further backlash to Churchill in January, 1919, when strikers in George Square were met by soldiers billeted in the City Chambers. Dundee’s Irish community would have even less affection for their MP by 1920, when he called upon the Black and Tans to quash the Irish rebellion.

It came against a background of apparent lavish spending: the bill for his three-day visit in the year of his election defeat, 1922, would have topped £1,000 in today's currency, of which £140 went on wine and spirits.

While his wartime leadership saw him honoured with the Freedom of Edinburgh, a decision to order the 20,000 men of the 51st Highland Division to remain in France following the Dunkirk evacuation in the face of overwhelming Nazi pressure, did him few favours among Scots.

Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge and a member of the International Churchill Society, said: “Much has to be seen within the context of time.

“He was a controversial figure at the time and remains controversial now.

“I don't think we would want to defend everything he did or said. He was a human figure and he made mistakes.

“He has become a quintessentially English figure, and tends to be associated with England rather than Scotland.

“But if you look at his life, he had a huge impact on Scotland.”

Share material with the International Churchill Society by contacting