Winston Churchill's blood to be auctioned

Story highlights

  • Blood reportedly taken from the former British prime minister will be auctioned on March 12
  • Duke's auction house says the blood was taken during a hospital stay in 1962
  • Nurse drew the blood and kept it after the hospital was going to dispose of it

(CNN)"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat," Winston Churchill once told the British House of Commons.

A UK auction house is taking the former prime minister's words literally.
Duke's auction house has announced it will auction a vial of Churchill's blood, taken during a hospital stay in 1962, three years before his death.
    A vial of Winston Churchill's blood will be sold at auction March 12, according to Duke's auction house.
    Churchill had fallen out of bed and fractured a hip, necessitating a multiweek stay at Middlesex Hospital.
    The blood was drawn by nursing student Patricia Fitzgibbon, according to the auction house. The sample was never used and the hospital was set to dispose of it when Fitzgibbon asked to keep it.
    Before her death, Fitzgibbon gave the vial to a friend, who has decided to sell it.
    "This is probably the first time that such a personal piece of Churchill's history has been offered on the open market," Duke's said.
    "This year marks the 50th anniversary of Churchill's death -- the blood is a poignant reminder of an injury which marked the beginning of the end for Churchill, and as such we expect there to be great interest in it."
    Churchill died in 1965 at age 90. The iconic British leader is best known for his leadership of Britain during World War II.
    The blood will go up for auction on March 12 in Dorchester, England, along with a signed declaration from Fitzgibbon attesting to its origins.