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. Churchill was saved by Lord Moran, using sulphonamides, (since he had no experience with penicillin), when Churchill fell ill in Carthage in Tunisia in 1943, although the Daily Telegraph and the Morning Post on 21 December 1943 wrote that he had been saved by penicillin. He was saved by the new sulphonamide drug, Sulphapyridine, known at the time under the research code M&B 693, discovered and produced by May & Baker Ltd, Dagenham, Essex – a subsidiary of the French group Rhône-Poulenc.
In a subsequent radio broadcast, Churchill referred to the new drug as "This admirable M&B." It is highly probable that the correct information about the sulphonamide did not reach the newspapers because, since the original sulphonamide antibacterial, Prontosil, had been a discovery by the German laboratory Bayer and Britain was at war with Germany at the time, it was thought better to raise British morale by associating Churchill's cure with the British discovery, penicillin.