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  1. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Best known for his wartime leadership as Prime Minister, Churchill was also a Sandhurst ...

    • Legacy
    • Family
    • Early life
    • Military service
    • Later career
    • Background
    • Prelude
    • Aftermath
    • Politics
    • Quotes
    • Influence
    • Retirement
    • Later life

    Winston Churchill was one of the best-known, and some say one of the greatest, statesmen of the 20th century. Though he was born into a life of privilege, he dedicated himself to public service. His legacy is a complicated one: He was an idealist and a pragmatist; an orator and a soldier; an advocate of progressive social reforms and an unapologetic elitist; a defender of democracy especially during World War II as well as of Britains fading empire. But for many people in Great Britain and elsewhere, Winston Churchill is simply a hero.

    His mother, born Jennie Jerome, was an American heiress whose father was a stock speculator and part-owner of The New York Times. (Rich American girls like Jerome who married European noblemen were known as dollar princesses.)

    Churchill was born at the familys estate near Oxford on November 30, 1874. He was educated at the Harrow prep school, where he performed so poorly that he did not even bother to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. Instead, in 1893 young Winston Churchill headed off to military school at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

    In 1899, the London Morning Post sent him to cover the Boer War in South Africa, but he was captured by enemy soldiers almost as soon as he arrived. (News of Churchills daring escape through a bathroom window made him a minor celebrity back home in Britain.)

    That same year, Winston Churchill joined the House of Commons as a Conservative. Four years later, he crossed the chamber and became a Liberal.

    In 1911, Churchill turned his attention away from domestic politics when he became the First Lord of the Admiralty (akin to the Secretary of the Navy in the U.S.). Noting that Germany was growing more and more bellicose, Churchill began to prepare Great Britain for war: He established the Royal Naval Air Service, modernized the British fleet and helped invent one of the earliest tanks.

    Despite Churchills prescience and preparation, World War I was a stalemate from the start. In an attempt to shake things up, Churchill proposed a military campaign that soon dissolved into disaster: the 1915 invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

    Churchill hoped that this offensive would drive Turkey out of the war and encourage the Balkan states to join the Allies, but Turkish resistance was much stiffer than he had anticipated. After nine months and 250,000 casualties, the Allies withdrew in disgrace. After the debacle at Gallipoli, Churchill left the Admiralty. Likewise, the British government ignored Churchills warnings and did all it could to stay out of Hitlers way. In 1938, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain even signed an agreement giving Germany a chunk of Czechoslovakia throwing a small state to the wolves, Churchill scolded in exchange for a promise of peace. Though Churchill was one of the chief architects of the Allied victory, war-weary British voters ousted the Conservatives and their prime minister from office just two months after Germanys surrender in 1945. The now-former prime minister spent the next several years warning Britons and Americans about the dangers of Soviet expansionism.

    During the 1920s and 1930s, Churchill bounced from government job to government job, and in 1924 he rejoined the Conservatives. Especially after the Nazis came to power in 1933, Churchill spent a great deal of time warning his countrymen about the perils of German nationalism, but Britons were weary of war and reluctant to get involved in international affairs again.

    I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat, Churchill told the House of Commons in his first speech as prime minister. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

    In a speech in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, for example, Churchill declared that an anti-democratic Iron Curtain, a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization, had descended across Europe. Churchills speech was the first time anyone had used that now-common phrase to describe the Communist threat.

    In 1951, 77-year-old Winston Churchill became prime minister for the second time. He spent most of this term working (unsuccessfully) to build a sustainable détente between the East and the West. He retired from the post in 1955.

    In 1953, Queen Elizabeth made Winston Churchill a knight of the Order of the Garter. He died in 1965, one year after retiring from Parliament.

    • 4 min
  2. Winston Churchill Biographical T he Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and his American wife Jennie Jerome, was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst. After a brief but eventful career in the army, he became a Conservative Member of Parliament in 1900.

    • Military Career
    • Parliament and Cabinet
    • Wife and Children
    • First Lord of The Admiralty
    • World War I
    • After World War I
    • Painting
    • Sutherland Portrait
    • 'Wilderness Years'
    • World War II

    Churchill enjoyed a brief but eventful career in the British Army at a zenith of British military power. He joined the Fourth Queen's Own Hussars in 1895 and served in the Indian northwest frontier and the Sudan, where he saw action in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. While in the Army, he wrote military reports for the Pioneer Mail and the Daily Telegraph, and two books on his experiences, The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898) and The River War (1899). In 1899, Churchill left the Army and worked as a war correspondent for the Morning Post, a conservative daily newspaper. While reporting on the Boer Warin South Africa, he was taken prisoner by the Boers during a scouting expedition. He made headlines when he escaped, traveling almost 300 miles to Portuguese territory in Mozambique. Upon his return to Britain, he wrote about his experiences in the book London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900).

    In 1900, Churchill became a member of the British Parliamentin the Conservative Party for Oldham, a town in Manchester. Following his father into politics, he also followed his father's sense of independence, becoming a supporter of social reform. Unconvinced that the Conservative Party was committed to social justice, Churchill switched to the Liberal Party in 1904. He was elected a member of Parliament in 1908 and was appointed to the prime minister's cabinet as president of the Board of Trade. As president of the Board of Trade, Churchill joined newly appointed Chancellor David Lloyd Georgein opposing the expansion of the British Navy. He introduced several reforms for the prison system, introduced the first minimum wage and helped set up labor exchanges and unemployment insurance. Churchill also assisted in the passing of the People's Budget, which introduced taxes on the wealthy to pay for new social welfare programs. The budget passed in the House of Commons in 1909 and was in...

    In 1908, Winston Churchill married Clementine Ogilvy Hozier after a short courtship. The couple had five children together: Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold (who died as a toddler of tonsillitis) and Mary.

    Named First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911, Churchill helped modernize the British Navy, ordering that new warships be built with oil-fired instead of coal-fired engines. He was one of the first to promote military aircraft and set up the Royal Navy Air Service. He was so enthusiastic about aviation that he took flying lessons himself to understand firsthand its military potential. Churchill also drafted a controversial piece of legislation to amend the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, mandating sterilization of the feeble-minded. The bill, which mandated only the remedy of confinement in institutions, eventually passed in both houses of Parliament.

    Churchill remained in his post as First Lord of the Admiralty through the start of World War I, but was forced out for his part in the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli. He resigned from the government toward the end of 1915. For a brief period, Churchill rejoined the British Army, commanding a battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front and seeing action in "no man's land." In 1917, he was appointed minister of munitions for the final year of the war, overseeing the production of tanks, airplanes and munitions.

    From 1919 to 1922, Churchill served as minister of war and air and colonial secretary under Prime Minister David Lloyd George. As colonial secretary, Churchill was embroiled in another controversy when he ordered air power to be used on rebellious Kurdish tribesmen in Iraq, a British territory. At one point, he suggested that poisonous gas be used to put down the rebellion, a proposal that was considered but never enacted. Fractures in the Liberal Party led to the defeat of Churchill as a member of Parliament in 1922, and he rejoined the Conservative Party. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, returning Britain to the gold standard, and took a hard line against a general labor strike that threatened to cripple the British economy. With the defeat of the Conservative government in 1929, Churchill was out of government. He was perceived as a right-wing extremist, out of touch with the people.

    In the 1920s, after his ouster from government, Churchill took up painting. “Painting came to my rescue in a most trying time,” he later wrote. Churchill went on to create over 500 paintings, typically working en plein air, though also practicing with still lifes and portraits. He claimed that painting helped him with his powers of observation and memory.

    Churchill himself was the subject of a famous - and famously controversial - portrait by renowned artist Graham Sutherland. Commissioned in 1954 by members of Parliament to mark Churchill's 80th birthday, the portrait was first unveiled in a public ceremony in WestminsterHall, where it met with considerable derision and laughter. The unflattering modernist painting was reportedly loathed by Churchill and members of his family. Churchill's wife Clementine had the Sutherland portrait secretly destroyed in a bonfire several months after it was delivered to their country estate, Chartwell, in Kent.

    Through the 1930s, known as his "wilderness years," Churchill concentrated on his writing, publishing a memoir and a biography of the First Duke of Marlborough. During this time, he also began work on his celebrated A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, though it wouldn't be published for another two decades. As activists in 1930s India clamored for independence from British rule, Churchill cast his lot with opponents of independence. He held particular scorn for Mahatma Gandhi, stating that "it is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer ... striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace ... to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor."

    Although Churchill didn't initially see the threat posed by Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1930s, he gradually became a leading advocate for British rearmament. By 1938, as Germany began controlling its neighbors, Churchill had become a staunch critic of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement toward the Nazis. On September 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany, Churchill was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the war cabinet; by April 1940, he became chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee. Later that month, Germany invaded and occupied Norway, a setback for Chamberlain, who had resisted Churchill's proposal that Britain preempt German aggression by unilaterally occupying vital Norwegian iron mines and seaports.

  3. Nov 08, 2021 · The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill. We are a UK Registered Charity and US IRS 501c3 Registered Nonprofit

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