Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on the 30th of November 1874 in Blenheim in the county of Oxfordshire. Little did his parents know what potential the boy held.

Churchill was born with a speech impediment, which to some would sound like he may have had one too many, but this was not the case. Even with this problem he was still able to address the public later on in life with speeches that will go down forever in history. Such as ‘we shall never surrender’, which is referred to so often still to this day that, should you not know any better, you would think it had only recently been recited.

Later known as Sir Winston Churchill, he came from a noble background. His father held the title of Lord Randolph Churchill. His grandfather adopted a double barrel surname in the form of Spencer-Churchill upon becoming a duke, the 7th Duke of Marlborough. This of course was the 7th in a line of dukes, it would be slightly confusing should there be 7 dukes all existing simultaneously! Churchill was aware of the world of politics from a young age no doubt for as long as he could actually remember, what with his father being a politician. I am imagining voting for what was for dinner and such like, debating over the condiments, sorry yes, shall we continue? Churchill’s mother came from a wealthy background, nee Janine Jerome, also known as Lady Randolph Spencer, was born to an American Leonard Jerome who was a millionaire.

Someone was very keen to introduce baby Winston to the world, so keen in fact he arrived 2 months prematurely. Little did that child know what a difference he would make to the lives of the British public. His brother unfortunately did not witness the same amount of fame. Churchill had only the one sibling to share his child-hood with, John (Jack) Strange Spencer Churchill.

It seemed as though someone was trying to hold Churchill back from the status he found both in parliament and inside the minds of the British public. Churchill first and foremost was to become a prime minister. Although the reason his name lives on is history books, it is greatly enhanced by the strength of his words. And by god he had to work hard to be able to achieve the ability to speak successfully in public. Public speaking can be daunting at the best of times, throw in a stutter, lisp, trouble pronouncing the letter ‘S’ and a world war then didn’t he do well! The belief that he had a great stutter in his early years has been subject to debate, although whatever the case may be, he gave people hope during a world war so does it really matter?

Churchill was sent to Harrow school where he slowly started to see a lack of contact with his parents. He missed them so much that would beg his mother to either be allowed home or for her to visit him. This may have been a factor in his unsuccessful time at Harrow. He was soon transferred to Sandhurst.

When he was still very young he lost his father to syphilis on the 24 Jan 1895. After his father’s death his mother did her upmost to inform the world of his natural ability to write. Churchill i would expect very much enjoyed writing, as he had no need to worry about his problem with speech. Lady Randolph Churchill had accumulated a very large amount of contacts both in the political and social circles. By using these, she was able to get the word around a very large group of those who would appreciate his talent. Eventually she succeeded in obtaining the chance for her son to become both a journalist and an author. These positions led to his name being known far and wide and his opponents almost unable to avoid him and his work later on when he entered into the world of politics.

Winston Churchill first became interested in the military early on, joining the rifle corps during his time at Harrow private boys school. It was only a short while after starting his education there in 1888 that he was to pave the way for a future of military involvement. Later on Churchill developed an interest in the royal military academy, he pursued this interest and performed much better in the environment than at Harrow. Churchill graduated in 1895, to become a 2nd lieutenant for the Queens Own Hussars 4th Regiment. This was to be the first of his many honours as he was granted the honour of Colonel-in-Chief of the Hussars in 1941.

Churchill had an amazing life and did not spend his time thinking about what he may do some day. Instead he spent little time pondering to make more time for doing. He approached life with an attitude not unlike his words when becoming prime minister “conquer we must, and conquer we shall”

He was to spend time in Cuba next, before coming home to spend time with his nanny, who he referred to as old whom as he had become close to her as a result of becoming the opposite to his parents. Then on to Bombay, Pakistan all giving him inspiration for his writing both for newspapers and longer examples that satisfied the author within him. He was then to resign from the army, only to rejoin to fight in the Boer War. Churchill was taken prisoner in a praetorian camp, where he spent but a few weeks before he successfully escaped to rejoin the army, this was a man who just would not give up. He obtained the rank of captain in the Queens Own Oxfordshire hussars later in 1902. After a brief period of retirement. Churchill carried on climbing the military ladder reaching major in 1905. A few more rung skywards saw him become the commander of the Henley squadron. After this, whilst holding the position of 1st Lord of the Admiralty, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the year 1916.

Churchill first was introduced to politics when he won his seat at Oldham in the year 1900. Even then I would think he had no idea of what lay ahead for him. Politics was well and truly already in his blood his father a conservative politician he was to follow in his footsteps. His escape from the POW camp whilst in the Boer war was to help him greatly along his way as he became well known upon his return to England. He was not considered to have the attributes of a loyal backbencher, this led to him leaving the conservative party in 1904. He stood in the 1906-1908 elections with the support of the Liberals. Campbell-Bannerman accepted him into junior office and many of the Conservative party would never forgive him. He would be appointed to the board of trade shortly after Asquith took over, he was very keen on Churchill. Along with Lloyd George he paved the way for the welfare state, they were to be become very good friends. He then became home secretary for a short while before obtaining the post of 1st Lord of Admiralty in 1911. Churchill had ‘Navalist’ attitudes which led to him becoming unpopular with radicals of the liberal party. He had a good military mind unlike the liberal party but not patience. This led to a failure in the form of the assault of the straits at the Dardanelles, along with a great cost, this was to remain a skeleton in his closet.

Unionists upon entering a coalition asked for his removal from the Admiralty. This saw Churchill demoted to the Chancellery of the Duchy of Lancaster. He resigned in 1915 to rejoin the military life he enjoyed throughout his life. Later, with help of his friend Lloyd George, he joined the Ministry of Munitions as a Conservative and helped make the demobilization process in 1919 happen with ease. He then went on to become Secretary of State for Land and Air in 1919. Churchill later lost his seat in 1922. In 1923 he was once again back inside the Conservative party and filled the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. He wasn’t happy as chancellor and soon took some of the blame for Britain’s economic problems in 1929. Churchill was to retake his former post in the war cabinet, 1st Lord of Admiralty in 1939. Then as Neville Chamberlain fell in April 1940, Churchill did much the opposite and stood, as Prime Minister. He bought the ‘no surrender’ attitude into the war, upon his first speech he told Britons “we are ready to face it to endure it and to retaliate against it” and that is exactly what his country did! He urged us not to be intimidated by the presence of military and made sure our armies had all they needed. He made efforts to become personally close to Stalin and Roosevelt as he was a great believer in personal diplomacy. This also helped his political reputation. Churchill lost the 1945 election, the next year Churchill spoke of the ‘iron curtain’ at Fulton. This was probably the biggest factor which led to the start of the cold war.

He was to take up the reins as prime minister in 1951 even with his failing hearing and suffering of strokes. Churchill carried on until 1955 fighting to bring about the end to the cold war after the death of Joseph Stalin. It was then due to his health problems he resigned as prime minister without succeeding in his efforts, the cold war continued after he left office.

During his long and very busy career Churchill found time to marry Clementine Hozier in 1908. The pair were to have 5 children. Four daughters; Diana, Sarah, Marigold, and Mary between 1909 and 1922 and a son in 1911, Randolph, named after his father. Unfortunately they lost their daughter Marigold in 1921 three years after she was born. Whilst he was travelling with the military he developed an interest in polo. He often wrote his accounts of the war which were published by newspapers. He also wrote books, how he had any time to write a shopping list let alone books of up to six volumes is beyond me. Churchill did great things for Britain, but he was also human and made a fair few mistakes. He made many a friend but also many a foe.

Churchill achieved a great deal in life, far more than I could imagine. You may think the man is a hero as many did, however you may also have a disliking for the man. Whatever the case may be he greatly contributed to our success in the WWII. We can think of him what we like although, at the end of the day he had a full and exciting life and I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed every bit.

The Late Great Winston Churchill


Military career

Political Career

1895- He was appointed as a Second Lieutenant on 20 February

1900- Churchill won the Oldham seat at the general election

1895- Winston Churchill was sent to Cuba

1905- Winston was made Under-Secretary of State

1896- He was transferred to Bombay

1906- He won the Manchester seat at the  general election

1897- Churchill fought against a Pashtun tribe in Malakand

1908- He was appointed as President of the Board of Trade

1908- He introduced the Trade Bill

1898- Churchill was next sent to Egypt

1910- Winston Churchill was appointed as Home Secretary

1899- He resigned from the Army

1924- Churchill was appointment as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1924

1925- He formally rejoined the Conservative Party

1916- He was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of Royal Scots Fusiliers on 1 January

1940- He was elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

1951- He was again elected Prime Minister for a second term

1941- He was awarded the Honour of the Hussars

1955- He resigned as Prime Minister

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