Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill has been described by historians as “the greatest statesman of the 20th century”. Early in his military career he was a war correspondent and saw action in Cuba, Egypt, India and Sudan. At the age of 25 he entered the British House of Commons and began his political career which would span nearly sixty years across the reigns of six sovereigns. His roles included First Lord of the Admiralty, Minister of Munitions, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
From a seemingly hopeless position in World War II, Churchill’s leadership rallied the British people to prepare to resist invasion and sustain air attacks on their country during the Battle of Britain and then the Blitz. His inspiration led to the Commonwealth, Empire and eventually American Forces building the combined Allied strength to achieve final victory over Hitler some five and a half years later.
Those who lived through the years of World War II are unlikely to forget the vital role Churchill played in ridding the world of a tyranny the full magnitude of which was only revealed after the final victory was won.
Churchill was known as an avid reader and scholar, painter, journalist and author. In addition to his newspaper articles he wrote books, a novel, biographies, memoirs and histories. His most famous works were his six volume memoirs ‘The Second World War’ and a four volume history ‘A History of the English-Speaking Peoples’. His other works included the novel ‘Savrola’, biographies of his father ‘Lord Randolph Churchill’ and his ancestor the Duke of Marlborough and a history of the first world war ‘The World Crisis’ which ran to four volumes. Churchill is also known for his love of cigars, brandy, the famous V for victory salute and his outstanding oratory skill.
Biography of Sir Winston Churchill KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC
- Born on 30 November 1874 at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire UK. He was the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and an American heiress Jennie Jerome. He had one younger brother.
- Educated at Harrow School and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst graduating with honors in December 1894.
- 1895 sent to India with a cavalry commission.
- Early in his military career he became a war correspondent and by the age of 26 he had authored five books.
- 1899 escaped from a Boer prison camp.
- 1900 entered Parliament as Conservative Member for Oldham.
- 1904 joined the Liberal Party.
- 1905 to 1908 appointed Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies.
- 1908 entered Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade until 1910.
- September 1908 married Clementine Hozier. They had five children, four of whom survived to adulthood.
- 1910 to 1911 became Home Secretary.
- 1911 to 1915 appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Left Government after the Gallipoli Campaign.
- 1915 to 1916 served in the army on the Western Front.
- 1917 to 1919 appointed the Minister of Munitions.
- 1919 to 1921 Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air.
- 1921 to 1922 Secretary of State for the Colonies.
- 1924 to 1929 Chancellor of the Exchequer.
- 1939 saw the outbreak of the Second World War and Churchill re-appointed to First Lord of the Admiralty until 1940.
- 10 May 1940 to 27 July 1945 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Minister of Defence. From 1940 to 1942 he was also the Leader of the House of Commons.
- 1945 Churchill lost power but remained leader of the opposition until 1951.
- 26 October 1951 to 7 April 1955 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He was also the Minister of Defence from 1951 to 1952.
- 1953 was knighted and conferred with the Order of the Garter by Queen Elizabeth II.
- 1953 awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- 1955 resigned as Prime Minister but remained a Member of Parliament until 1964.
- 1963 was conferred with honorary Citizenship of the USA by President Kennedy.
- Died on 24 January 1965 at the age of 90 at Hyde Park Gate in London UK. After a State funeral service at St Paul’s Cathedral he was laid to rest at St Martin’s Church Bladon UK.