|The Right Honourable
Sir Winston Churchill
KG OM CH TD FRS PC
|Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
26 October 1951 – 7 April 1955
|Preceded by||Clement Attlee|
|Succeeded by||Anthony Eden|
10 May 1940 – 27 July 1945
|Preceded by||Neville Chamberlain|
|Succeeded by||Clement Attlee|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
6 November 1924 – 4 June 1929
|Prime Minister||Stanley Baldwin|
|Preceded by||Philip Snowden|
|Succeeded by||Philip Snowden|
19 February 1910 – 24 October 1911
|Prime Minister||Herbert Henry Asquith|
|Preceded by||Herbert Gladstone|
|Succeeded by||Reginald McKenna|
30 November 1874|
|Died||24 January 1965
Hyde Park, London,
|Resting place||St Martin's Church, Bladon, United Kingdom|
|Relations||Pamela Harriman (former daughter-in-law)|
|Residence||10 Downing Street (official)
|Alma mater||Harrow School, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst|
|Profession||Member of Parliament, statesman, soldier, journalist, historian, author, painter|
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG OM CH TD FRS PC (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was an English politician. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, once during World War II, and again in the early 1950s.
Churchill is the only person to have been a member of the British Government during both World Wars, and the last commoner (non-royal) to be granted a State funeral. He was also a soldier, journalist, and author. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1953.
Churchill featured in two media polls. He was ranked as the greatest British prime minister of the twentieth century by 20 prominent historians, politicians and commentators. They were asked by BBC Radio 4's The Westminster Hour to rank the 19 prime ministers from Lord Salisbury at the turn of the century through to John Major in the 1990s. In a 2002 BBC 2 television poll Churchill was ranked as the greatest Briton in history. A million votes were cast, and the voting was heavily influenced by public campaigns for various candidates.
Winston Churchill was born on 30 November 1874 at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England, the home of the Dukes of Marlborough. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a younger son of the 7th Duke, and a leading Tory politician. His mother (née Jenny Jerome) was American.
As a boy, Churchill went to the famous Harrow School. He did not get good results, but said he was good at fighting.
He joined the British Army, in 1893. In 1896, he was transferred to Bombay, in what was the Indian Empire (British India). He fought in what is now Pakistan. After this, he fought in a war in Sudan, in 1898 as an officer in the cavalry. In 1899, he went to the Second Boer War in South Africa, to be a newspaper reporter. He was captured by the Boers, but managed to escape.
In 1900, he became a politician in the Conservative Party, and was elected to Parliament. In 1904, he changed parties and joined the Liberal Party, but later returned to the Conservative Party. He married Clementine Hozier in 1908, and had 5 children named Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold and Mary.
World War I
In 1910 Churchill became Home Secretary, one of the most important members of the government. In 1911 he was made First Lord of the Admiralty, which put him in charge of the Royal Navy. When World War I broke out, he stayed in that job. He organized an invasion in Gallipoli which went wrong, and because of this, he was made to leave the government. He joined the army and was sent to fight in France, although he was still a Member of Parliament. In 1917 he was made minister in charge of military supplies (Minister of Munitions).
Between the wars
After World War I, in 1919, Churchill was made Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Air (aircraft). In 1921 he was in charge of the colonies as Secretary of State. Soon after, in 1922 he lost in an election. In 1924 he became a member of Parliament again, this time not as a member of any party. In 1925 he joined the Conservative Party again. He became Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) in 1924.
After 1929, Churchill disagreed with many things the Conservative party believed in. He was not given any job in the government. Instead he wrote books. One was called Marlborough: his life and times, about his famous ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough; another was A History of the English Speaking Peoples, which was not published until after World War 2.
World War II
At the start of World War II, Churchill was again put in charge of the Navy. In 1940 the war was going badly for Britain. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned on May 10 and Churchill was given the job. Some people thought that Britain could not win the war, and that the British government should make peace with Hitler. Churchill was sure that Britain could win, and promised to continue the fight. He made famous speeches that are still remembered today.
He was friends with the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. He persuaded Roosevelt to give supplies to Britain, and to help Britain. He had many meetings with Roosevelt and with Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, after they came into the war. They were called the Big Three.
After the war
In 1945, his Conservative party lost an election, and he stopped being Prime Minister. However, he became Prime Minister again in 1951, which he was until 1955.
He was knighted in 1953, and became Sir Winston, and also won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
In 1955, he retired from being Prime Minister. In 1964, he retired from Parliament.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy named him 'Honorary Citizen of the United States' but too ill to attend a White House ceremony, his son and grandson accepted the award.
Sir Winston died of a stroke at the age of 90, in 1965. When he died, his wife Lady Clementine Churchill and other members of the family were at his bedside.
Title (US Title) (Year of publication)
- The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898)
- The River War (1899): about the reconquest of the Sudan, after the revolution of the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammed Ahmed.
- Savrola (1900; serialised 1899 and published USA 1899): a novel
- London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900): the Second Boer War, and the Relief of Ladysmith
- Ian Hamilton's March (1900): Second Boer War continued
- Mr. Brodrick’s Army (1903)
- Lord Randolph Churchill (1906): two-volume biography of his father
- For Free Trade (1906)
- My African Journey (1908)
- Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909)
- The People’s Rights (1910)
- The World Crisis (1923–1931)
- My Early Life: A Roving Commission (1930): autobiography
- India (1931)
- Thoughts and Adventures (Amid These Storms) (1932)
- Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933–1938): four-volume biography on his greatest predecessor
- Great Contemporaries (1937): short biographies
- Arms and the Covenant or While England Slept: A Survey of World Affairs, 1932–1938 (1938): a call to arms, warning about Hitler, urging rearmament
- Step by Step 1936–1939 (1939)
- Addresses Delivered in the Year 1940 (1940)
- Broadcast Addresses (1941)
- Into Battle (Blood Sweat and Tears) (1941)
- The Unrelenting Struggle (1942)
- The End of the Beginning (1943)
- Onwards to Victory (1944)
- The Dawn of Liberation (1945)
- Victory (1946)
- Secret Sessions Speeches (1946)
- War Speeches 1940–1945 (1946)
- The Second World War (1948–1954): six volumes (12 in paperback)
- The Sinews of Peace (1948)
- Painting as a Pastime (1948)
- Europe Unite (1950)
- In the Balance (1951)
- The War Speeches 1939–1945 (1952)
- Stemming the Tide (1953)
- A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1956–1958): four volumes
- The Unwritten Alliance (1961)
Essays and short stories
- "Man Overboard!" (1899). First printed in The Harmsworth Magazine, January 1899
- "If Lee had not won the Battle of Gettysburg" (1930). First published in Scribner's Magazine, December 1930.
Churchill was a fervent supporter of the British Empire
Churchill wrote a biography of his ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, in the mid-1930s
The British Indian Empire in 1909
Quit India Movement launched by Gandhi on 8 August 1942, during the Second World War, demanding an end to British rule of India.
Churchill wears a helmet during an air raid warning in the Battle of Britain in 1940
Churchill takes aim with a Sten submachine gun in June 1941. The man in the pin-striped suit and fedora to the right is his bodyguard, Walter H. Thompson.
Winston Churchill walks through the ruins of Coventry Cathedral, 1941
Churchill visits the troops in Normandy, 1944
Winston Churchill giving his famous 'V' sign, May 1943.
Churchill's crossing of the Rhine river in Germany, during Operation Plunder on 25 March 1945
Huge portraits of Churchill and Stalin, Brisbane, Australia, 31 October 1941
Churchill at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, with a frail Roosevelt and Stalin beside him.
Churchill waving the Victory sign to the crowd in Whitehall on the day he broadcast to the nation that the war with Germany had been won, 8 May 1945. Ernest Bevin stands to his right.
Churchill at Potsdam Conference (July 1945)
Allies (1995) by Lawrence Holofcener, a sculptural group depicting Franklin D. Roosevelt and Churchill in New Bond Street, London
Winston Churchill for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.