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HOME   -   PEOPLE IN HISTORY A-Z   -   WINSTON CHURCHILL

 
   


Winston Churchill 1874 - 1965

 

Winston Churchill 1874 - 1965

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was a tough British Premier who could be as stubborn as a bulldog.

Image Above

An 80th birthday portrait of Churchill in the cabinet room in 1954.

UK National Archives

 

In fact, more than a bulldog was necessary when Britain came face to face with  Adolf Hitler.


Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, 1874 - 1965
Winston Churchill




Winston Churchill's Life in a Nutshell

Winston Churchill's parents were busy people and his nanny, Mrs. Everest was the one who took good care of young Winnie.

Elizabeth Everest, ? - 1895
MRS. EVEREST
 

Churchill was sent to the  Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. You used to be able to check Churchill's group picture and cadet register from 1894 on their website but apparently the site has some problems.

After joining the 4th Hussars, Churchill went to Cuba. Then India. Then South Africa.

During the  Boer War, which was fought in South Africa from 1899 to 1902, Churchill escaped, and was wanted Dead or Alive for the bounty of £25.

Churchill then became a politician.

 

Winston Churchill and World War I

The disaster of the  Dardanelles Campaign prompted him to resign from office in November 1915.

Map of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli Peninsula - Feb-Apr 1915
Dardanelles and Gallipoli Peninsula - Feb-Apr 1915


Churchill packed his knapsack and became a soldier in France. But not for long. In June 1916 he came back as a private member of Parliament. Inspirational for anyone whose first career ended in the toilet? Absolutely.

 

Winston Churchill and World War II

On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland.

On May 10, 1940, the Germans attacked the Netherlands. In the evening of that same day, British prime minister  Arthur Neville Chamberlain, who had been criticized for his optimistic interpretation of Hitler's intentions, resigned his office and Winston Churchill became his successor.


Orator Churchill was quite fond of the phrase blood, sweat, and tears. Already in 1931, in his work The Unknown War: The Eastern Front, Churchill talks about the army of the Russian Empire and mentions,

Their sweat, their tears, their blood bedewed the endless plain.


On May 13, 1940, new Prime Minister Churchill addressed the House of Commons with his  Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat speech, keeping it on a sober note and echoing Italian's tough bone Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Go here for more about  Garibaldi's I Offer Hunger and Death speech.

Back to Churchill.


On June 4, 1940, Churchill gave his  We Shall Fight on the Beaches speech.

Shortly after, on June 18, 1940, Churchill addressed the House of Commons with his famous  Finest Hour Speech.

Addressing the  Battle of Britain, Church gave his speech The Few on August 20, 1940, to the House of Commons. Who were The Few, by the way? The fighter pilots of the Royal Air Force.

On October 29, 1941, Churchill visited Harrow School in London where he delivered his  Never Give In speech.


In February 1945, Churchill met with  Franklin Delano Roosevelt and  Joseph Stalin in order figure out what would work best against the Nazis.


 

YALTA CONFERENCE 1945: CHURCHILL, ROOSEVELT, AND STALIN
THE BIG THREE AT YALTA: CHURCHILL, ROOSEVELT, AND STALIN
National Archives

 

Churchill's term as prime minister ended in 1945. He lost re-election, which was a bitter pill for him.

 

Winston Churchill and the Cold War

After the war, a new challenge arose. On March 5, 1946, Churchill delivered his  Iron Curtain speech. Although others had used the phrase Iron Curtain before, it was Churchill's speech that made it a household term.

Churchill became Prime Minister once more 1951 - 1955.


 

Winston Churchill
WINSTON CHURCHILL
Click on image to enlarge


 


Winston Churchill Critics

In the UK, some gentlefolk of the older generation aren't too fond of Churchill. They say that Winston Churchill was a war monger and that he could have stopped the war sooner.

 

Winston Churchill Facts

Churchill supported the development of the tank.

Churchill's own intelligence center at home was often far ahead of the government's.

Churchill,  Roosevelt, and  Stalin were The Big Three that shaped Europe after  World War II.

And here are  Churchill's speeches.


 



 

Winston Churchill Trivia

Winston Churchill loved himself a good cigar and became quite old in spite of it. Don't tell your kids.

Churchill liked painting. Was he any good as a painter? Here's a  review of his exhibition in the New York Times. Judge for yourself.

 

Winston Churchill — Short Biography

1874 November 30 - Birth at  Blenheim Palace, England

1888 Harrow School

1893 Royal Military College at Sandhurst

1895 War correspondent/soldier, Cuba, India, Sudan, South
        Africa

1900 Enters Parliament in England
        Meets Mark Twain in New York.

1906 Under Secretary of State for the Colonies

1908 President of the Board of Trade

1910 Home Secretary

1911 First Lord of the Admiralty

1915 Resigns after Dardanelles campaign

1915 Soldier in France

1917 Minister of Munitions

1919 Secretary of State for War and Air

1921 Head of Colonial Office

1924 Chancellor of the Exchequer

1929 Outside the government, continued to hold a Parliament
        seat

1939 First Lord of the Admiralty

1940 Prime Minister until 1945

1951 Prime Minister until 1955, resigned due to ill health

1965 January 24 - Death in London


And here is a  Winston Churchill Timeline

 

 

Winston Churchill Quotes


"It is a crime to despair.
We must learn to draw from misfortune
the means of future strength."


- Winston Churchill

 



Churchill Book Review

Winston Churchill (Penguin Lives)
By John Keegan, who was for many years Senior Lecturer in Military History at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Since 1986 he has been Defense Editor of the Daily Telegraph. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He received an OBE in the Gulf War honors list and was knighted in 2000.

2002. 181 pages. Easy-to-read biography. Clear. Not too long.

No keyword index.

Sandhurst, where the author lectured, was the Academy Churchill entered in 1893. The author seemed to have managed, however, an open minded approach.

Thumbs up.


Churchill
By Celia Sandys, who is the granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill. Her mother was Churchillís eldest daughter. She has lectured in Canada, Japan, Britain and America.

2003. 160 pages. Not the conventional sort of biography. Entertaining and easy to read.

Extra features: brief chronology, Churchill family tree, accompanied by VHS and DVD

Why not. Thumbs up.


Churchill (Life & Times) (Life and Times)
By Sebastian Haffner, who emigrated to London from Berlin in the 1930s and was a vocal critic of the Nazi regime, writing influential articles in the Observer. After the war, he became Germanyís pre-eminent political commentator.

German 1996, English 2003. 182 pages. Not afraid of a more critical view point. This can be refreshing and thought-provoking after reading a row of biographies that might have let Churchill off too easy.

Thumbs up.

 

 

 

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