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Encyclopedia > Churchill
"Churchill" redirects here. For other meanings, see Churchill (disambiguation).

The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer_Churchill, KG, OM, CH, FRS (November 30, 1874 _ January 24, 1965) was a British politician, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. At various times an author, soldier, journalist, and legislator, Churchill is generally regarded as one of the most important leaders in British and world history.

The Rt Hon. Winston Churchill
Periods in Office: May 10, 1940 to
July 27, 1945
October 26, 1951 to
April 7, 1955
PM Predecessors: Neville Chamberlain
Clement Attlee
PM Successors: Clement Attlee
Anthony Eden
Birth: November 30, 1874
Place of Birth: Woodstock,
Oxfordshire, England
Death: January 24, 1965
Place of Death: London
Political Party: Conservative

Early life

Born at Blenheim Palace, near Woodstock in Oxfordshire, Winston Churchill was a descendant of the first famous member of the Churchill family: John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough (whose father was also a "Sir Winston Churchill"). Winston's politician father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough; Winston's mother was Lady Randolph Churchill (née Jeanette "Jennie" Jerome) of Brooklyn, New York, daughter of American millionaire Leonard Jerome.

As per tradition, Churchill spent much of his childhood at boarding schools, rarely visited by his mother, whom he worshipped, despite his letters begging her to either come or let his father permit him to come home. He had a distant relationship with his father, despite keenly following his father's career. Once, in 1886, he is reported to have proclaimed "My daddy is Chancellor of the Exchequer and one day that's what I'm going to be." His desolate, lonely childhood stayed with him throughout his life. He was very close to his nurse (nannie), Mrs. Elizabeth Everest, and was deeply saddened when she died.

In 1893, he enrolled in the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He graduated two years later, ranked eighth in his class. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in the 4th Hussars cavalry. In 1895, he went to Cuba as a military observer with the Spanish army in its fight against pro-independence rebels. He also reported for the Saturday Review. In 1898 he rode as a reporter with the 21st Lancers at the Battle of Omdurman, taking part in what is commonly thought to be the last cavalry charge of the British Empire.

The young man in a hurry

As the son of a prominent politician, it was unsurprising that Churchill was soon drawn into politics himself. He started speaking at a number of Conservative meetings in the 1890s. It was noticeable that in the first few years of his political career, and again in the mid-1920s, he frequently used his father's slogan of "Tory Democracy". Many were to regard Churchill in his early years as being obsessed with continuing his father's battles from fifteen years earlier.

A young Churchill

In 1899 he was considered as a prospective candidate for Oldham. One of the town's two MPs had died and the other, in ill health, was persuaded to resign so that both seats could be elected together. Churchill found himself thrust into a prominent by-election, alongside James Mawdsley, the Lancashire general secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Cotton Spinners and one of the few prominent Conservative trade unionists. The Liberal candidates were Alfred Emmott and Walter Runciman, who later sat in the Cabinet alongside Churchill. The by_election was dominated by a number of issues, including a Clerical Tithes Bill in Parliament, the brunt of criticism for which fell upon Churchill as a candidate for the governing party and the only Anglican of the four (though he was non-practicising). Facing attacks on the Bill, Churchill repudiated it. He later commented, "This was a frightful mistake. It is not the slightest use defending Governments or parties unless you defend the worst thing about which they are attacked." The Conservative leader in the Commons, Arthur Balfour commented, "I thought he was a young man of promise, but it appears he is a young man of promises." Despite this, Churchill and Mawdsley narrowly lost the marginal seat, though with no harm to themselves as the Conservative government was facing a period of unpopularity. Runciman is reported to have commented to Churchill: "Don't worry, I don't think this is the last the country has heard of either of us."

Churchill then became a war correspondent in the second Anglo-Boer war between Britain and self-proclaimed Afrikaaners in South Africa. He was captured in a Boer ambush of a British Army train convoy, but managed a high-profile escape and eventually crossed the South African border to Lourenço Marques (now Maputo in Mozambique).

Churchill returned to Oldham and used the publicity he had gained to stand again for the seat in the 1900 general election when he was narrowly elected for the seat. It was the successful launch of a Parliamentary career which would last a total of sixty-two years, serving as an MP in the House of Commons from 1900 to 1922 and from 1924 to 1964. He remained politically active even in his brief years out of the Commons. At first a member of the Conservative Party, he 'crossed the floor' in 1904 to join the Liberals over the issue of protective tariffs.

Winston Churchill (highlighted) at Sidney Street, January 3, 1911

Ministerial office

In the 1906 general election, Churchill won a seat in Manchester. In the Liberal government of Henry Campbell-Bannerman he served as Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. Churchill soon became the most prominent member of the Government outside the Cabinet, and when Campbell-Bannerman was succeeded by Herbert Henry Asquith in 1908, it came as little surprise when Churchill was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. Under the law at the time, a newly-appointed Cabinet Minister was obliged to seek re-election at a by-election. Churchill lost his Manchester seat to the Conservative William Joynson_Hicks, but was soon elected in another by_election at Dundee. As President of the Board of Trade he pursued radical social reforms in conjunction with David Lloyd George, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In 1910 Churchill was promoted to Home Secretary, where he was to prove somewhat controversial. A famous photograph from the time shows the impetuous Churchill taking personal charge of the January 1911 Sidney Street Siege, peering around a corner to view a gun battle between cornered anarchists and Scots Guards. His role attracted much criticism. Arthur Balfour asked, "He [Churchill] and a photographer were both risking valuable lives. I understand what the photographer was doing but what was the Right Honourable gentleman doing?"

In 1911, Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty, a post he would hold into the First World War. He gave impetus to military reform efforts, including development of naval aviation and tanks. However, he was also one of the political and military engineers of the disastrous Gallipoli landings on the Dardanelles during World War I, which led to his description as "the butcher of Gallipoli." When Asquith formed an all-party coalition government, the Conservatives demanded Churchill's demotion as the price for entry. For several months Churchill served in the non-portfolio job of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, before resigning from the government feeling his energies were not being used. He rejoined the army, though remaining an MP, and served for several months on the Western Front. During this period his second in command was a young Archibald Sinclair who would later lead the Liberal Party.

Return to power

In December 1916, Asquith fell and was replaced by Lloyd George. However, the time was thought to not yet be right to risk the Conservatives' wrath by bringing Churchill back into government. However in July 1917 Churchill was appointed Minister of Munitions. After the end of the war Churchill served as both Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air (1919_1921). Churchill suggested chemical weapons be used "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment." He said, "I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected."

During this time (1919-1921), he undertook with surprising zeal the cutting of military expenditure. However, the major preoccupation of his tenure in the War Office was the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. Churchill was a staunch advocate of foreign intervention, declaring that Bolshevism must be "strangled in its cradle." He secured from a divided and loosely organized Cabinet an intensification and prolongation of the British involvement beyond the wishes of any major group in Parliament or the nation--and in the face of the bitter hostility of labour. In 1920, after the last British forces had been withdrawn, Churchill was instrumental in having arms sent to the Poles when they invaded the Ukraine. He became Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1921, and was a signatory of the Anglo_Irish treaty of 1921 which established the Irish Free State.

Career between the wars

"Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to re_rat"

In October 1922, Churchill underwent an operation to remove his appendix. Upon his return, he learned that the government had fallen and a General Election was looming. The Liberal Party was now beset by internal division and Churchill's campaign was weak. He lost his seat at Dundee, quipping that he had lost his ministerial office, his seat and his appendix all at once. The victorious candidates for the two_member seat included the Prohibitionist Edwin Scrymgeour. Churchill stood for the Liberals again in the 1923 general election, but over the next twelve months he moved towards the Conservative Party, though initially using the labels "Anti-Socialist" and "Constitutionalist." Two years later, in the General Election of 1924, he was elected to represent Epping (where there is now a statue of him) as a "Constitutionalist" with Conservative backing. The following year he formally rejoined the Conservative Party, commenting wryly that, "Anyone can rat [change parties], but it takes a certain ingenuity to re_rat."

He was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1924 under Stanley Baldwin and oversaw the United Kingdom's disastrous return to the Gold Standard, which resulted in deflation, unemployment, and the miners' strike that led to the General Strike of 1926. During the General Strike of 1926, Churchill was reported to have suggested that machine guns be used on the striking miners. Churchill edited the Government's newspaper, the British Gazette, and during the dispute he argued that "either the country will break the General Strike, or the General Strike will break the country." Furthermore, he was to controversially claim that the Fascism of Benito Mussolini had "rendered a service to the whole world," showing as it had "a way to combat subversive forces" — that is, he considered the regime to be a bulwark against the perceived threat of Communist revolution.

The Conservative government was defeated in the 1929 General Election. In the next two years, Churchill became estranged from the Conservative leadership over the issues of protective tariffs and Indian Home Rule. When Ramsay MacDonald formed the National Government in 1931, Churchill was not invited to join the Cabinet. He was now at the lowest point in his career, in a period known as 'the wilderness years.' He spent much of the next few years concentrating on his writing, including Marlborough: His Life and Times - a biography of his ancestor, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough - and A History of the English Speaking Peoples (which was not published until well after WWII). He became most notable for his outspoken opposition towards the granting of independence to India.

Soon, though, his attention was drawn to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the dangers of Germany's rearmament. For a time he was a lone voice calling on Britain to strengthen itself and counter the belligerence of Germany. Churchill was a fierce critic of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler. He was also an outspoken supporter of King Edward VIII during the Abdication Crisis, leading to some speculation that he might be appointed Prime Minister if the King refused to take Baldwin's advice and consequently the government resigned. However, this did not happen, and Churchill found himself politically isolated and bruised for some time after this.

Role as wartime Prime Minister

At the outbreak of the Second World War Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. In this job he proved to be one of the highest-profile ministers during the so- called "Bore War", when the only noticeable action was at sea. He organized an abortive strike on German forces in Norway. Despite the failure of this operation, upon Chamberlain's resignation in May, 1940, Churchill was appointed Prime Minister and formed an all-party government. In response to previous criticisms that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war, he created and took the additional position of Minister of Defence. He immediately put his friend and confidant, the industrialist and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook in charge of aircraft production. It was Beaverbrook's astounding business acumen that allowed Britain to quickly gear up aircraft production and engineering that eventually made the difference in the war.

Churchill's speeches were a great inspiration to the embattled United Kingdom. His famous "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech was his first as Prime Minister. He followed that closely, before the Battle of Britain, with a speech that included the immortal phrase, "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." Additional speeches: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few....The task which lies before us immediately is at once more practical, more simple and more stern. I hope - indeed, I pray - that we shall not be found unworthy of our victory if after toil and tribulation it is granted to us. For the rest, we have to gain the victory. That is our task." and This was their finest hour.

His good relationship with Franklin Roosevelt secured the United Kingdom vital supplies via the North Atlantic Ocean shipping routes. It was for this reason that Churchill was relieved when Roosevelt was re-elected. Upon re-election, Roosevelt immediately set about implementing a new method of not only providing military hardware to Britain without the need for monetary payment, but also of providing, free of fiscal charge, much of the shipping that transported the supplies. Put simply, Roosevelt persuaded Congress that repayment for this immensely costly service would take the form of defending the USA; and so Lend-lease was born. Churchill initiated the Special Operations Executive (SOE), under Hugh Dalton's Ministry of Economic Warfare, which established, conducted and fostered covert, subversive and partisan operations in occupied territories with notable success; and also the Commandos which established the pattern for most of the world's current Special Forces. The Russians referred to him as the "British Bulldog".

Dwight D. Eisenhower with Winston Churchill during World War II

However, some of the military actions during the war remain controversial. Churchill was at best indifferent and perhaps complicit in the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 which took the lives of at least 2.5 million Bengalis. Japanese troops were threatening British India after having successfully taken neighbouring British Burma. Some consider the British government's policy of denying effective famine relief a deliberate and callous scorched earth policy adopted in the event of a successful Japanese invasion. Churchill supported the North Korea and South Korea was proposed at the Yalta Conference, as well as the expulsion of Japanese forces from those countries. Proposals for European boundaries and settlements were discussed as early as 1943 by Roosevelt and Churchill; the settlement was officially agreed to by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Churchill, and Stalin at Potsdam (Article XIII of the Potsdam protocol).

One of these settlements concerned the borders of Poland, i.e. the boundary between Soviet Union, the so called Curzon line, and between Germany and Poland, the so-called Oder_Neisse line. Despite the fact that Poland was the first country that resisted Hitler, Polish borders and government were determined by the Great Powers without asking the views of the Polish government in exile. Poles who had fought alongside Britain throughout the war felt betrayed. Churchill himself opposed the effective annexation of Poland by the Soviet Union and wrote bitterly about it in his books, but he was unable to prevent it at the conferences.

Churchill, Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference

A part of the settlement was an agreement to transfer the remaining citizens of Germany from the area. (Transfer of Poles didn't need to be approved.) The exact numbers and movement of ethnic populations over the Polish-German and Polish-USSR borders in the period at the end of World War II is extremely difficult to determine. This is not least because, under the Nazi regime, many Poles were replaced in their homes by the conquering Germans in an attempt to consolidate Nazi power. In the case of the post-WWII settlement, Churchill was convinced that the only way to alleviate tensions between the two populations was the transfer of people, to match the national borders. As Churchill expounded in the House of Commons in 1944, "Expulsion is the method which, insofar as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble... A clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed by these transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions."

Although the importance of Churchill's role in World War II was undeniable, he had many enemies in his own country. His expressed contempt for ideas such as public health care and for better education for the majority of the population in particular produced much dissatisfaction amongst the population, particularly those who had fought in the war. Immediately following the close of the war in Europe Churchill was heavily defeated at election by Clement Attlee and the Labour Party. Some historians think that many British voters believed that the man who had led the nation so well in war was not the best man to lead it in peace. Others see the election result as a reaction against not Churchill personally, but against the Conservative Party's record in the 1930s under Baldwin and Chamberlain.

Winston Churchill was an early supporter of the pan-Europeanism that eventually led to the formation of the European Common market and later the European Union (for which one of the three main buildings of the European Parliament is named in his honour). Churchill was also instrumental in giving France a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (which provided another European power to counter-balance the Soviet Union's permanent seat).

At the beginning of the Cold War, he coined the phrase the "Iron Curtain," a phrase originally created by Joseph Goebbels. The phrase entered the public consciousness after a 1946 speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri when Churchill, a guest of Harry S. Truman, famously declared, "From Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere."

Second term

Churchill during his second term
Churchill during his second term

Churchill was restless and bored as leader of the Conservative opposition in the immediate postwar years. After Labour's defeat in the General Election of 1951, Churchill again became Prime Minister. His third government - after the wartime national government and the short caretaker government of 1945 - would last until his resignation in 1955. During this period he renewed what he called the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States, and engaged himself in the formation of the post-war order.

His domestic priorities were, however, overshadowed by a series of foreign policy crises, which were partly the result of the continued decline of British military and imperial prestige and power. Being a strong proponent of Britain as an international power, Churchill would often meet such moments with direct action.

Anglo-Iranian Oil Dispute

The crisis began under the government of Clement Attlee. In March 1951, the Iranian parliament—the Majlis—voted to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and its holdings by passing a bill strongly backed by the elderly statesman Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who was elected Prime Minister the following April by a large majority of the parliament. The International Court of Justice was called into settle the dispute, but a 50-50 profit sharing arrangement, with recognition of nationalization, was rejected by Mossadegh. Direct negotiations between the British and the Iranian government ceased, and over the course of 1951, the British racheted up the pressure on the Iranian government, and explored the possibility of a coup against it. U.S. President Harry S. Truman was reluctant to agree, placing a much higher priority on the Korean War. The effects of the blockade and embargo were staggering, and led to a virtual shutdown of Iran’s oil exports

Churchill's return to power brought with it a policy of undermining the Mossadegh government. Both sides floated proposals unacceptable to the other, each side believing that time was on its side. Negotiations broke down and as the blockade's political and economic costs mounted inside Iran, coup plots rose from the army, the "National Front" and from pro-British factions in the Majlis.

Churchill and his Foreign Secretary pursued two mutually exclusive goals. On one hand, they wanted "development and reform" in Iran; on the other hand, they did not want to give up the control or revenue from AOIC that would have permitted that development and reform to go forward. Initially they backed Sayyid Zia as an individual with whom they could do business, but as the embargo dragged on, they turned more and more to an alliance with the military. Churchill's government had come full circle, from ending the Attlee plans for a coup, to planning one itself.

The crisis dragged on until 1953. Churchill approved a plan, with help from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to back a coup in Iran. The combination of external and internal political pressure converged around Fazlollah Zahedi. Over the summer of 1953, demonstrations grew in Iran and, with the failure of a plebescite, the government was destabilized. Zahedi, using foreign financing, took power, and Mossadegh surrendered to him on August 20, 1953.

The coup pointed to an underlying tension within the post-War order: the industrialized Democracies, hungry for resources to rebuild in the wake of World War II, and to engage the Soviet Union in the Cold War, dealt with emerging states such as Iran as they had with colonies in a previous era. On one hand, spurred by the fear of a third world war against the USSR, and committed to a policy of containment at any cost, they were more than willing to circumvent local political prerogatives. On the other hand, many of these local governments were both unstable and corrupt. The two factors created a vicious circle - intervention led to more dicatorial rule and corruption, which made intervention rather than establishment of strong local political institutions a greater and greater temptation.

The Mau Mau Rebellion

In 1951, grievances against the colonial distribution of land came to a head with the Kenya Africa Union demanding greater representation and land reform. When these demands were rejected, more radical elements came forward, launching the Mau Mau rebellion in 1952. On August 17, 1952, a state of emergency was declared, and British troops were flown to Kenya to deal with the rebellion. As both sides increased the ferocity of their attacks, the country moved to full-scale civil war.

In 1953, the Lari massacre, perpetrated by Mau-Mau insurgents against Kikuyu loyal to the British, changed the political complexion of the rebellion, and gave the public-relations advantage to the British. Churchill's strategy was to use a military stick, combined with implementing many of the concessions that Attlee's government had blocked in 1951. He ordered an increased military presence and appointed General Sir George Erskine, who would implement Operation Anvil in 1954 that broke the back of the rebellion in the city of Nairobi. Operation Hammer, in turn, was designed to root out rebels in the countryside. Churchill ordered peace talks opened, but these collapsed shortly after his leaving office.

Malaya Emergency

In Malaysia, a rebellion against British rule had been in progress since 1948. Once again, Churchill's government inherited a crisis, and once again Churchill chose to use direct military action against those in rebellion, while attempting to build an alliance with those who were not. He stepped up the implementation of a "hearts and minds" campaign, and approved the creation of fortified villages, a tactic that would become a recurring part of Western military strategy in South-East Asia. (See Vietnam War).

The Malayan Emergency was a more direct case of a guerilla movement, centred in an ethnic group, but backed by the Soviet Union. As such, Britain's policy of direct confrontation and military victory had a great deal more support than in Iran or in Kenya. At the highpoint of the conflict, over 35,000 British troops were stationed in Malaysia. As the rebellion lost ground, it began to lose favour with the local population.

While the rebellion was slowly being defeated, it was equally clear that colonial rule from Britain was no longer tenable. In 1953, plans were drawn up for independence for Singapore and the other crown colonies in the area. The first elections were held in 1955, just days before Churchill's own resignation, and by 1957, under Prime Minister Anthony Eden, Malaysia became independent.

Honours for Churchill

Immediately after World War II and his government's electoral defeat, Churchill was offered elevation to the House of Lords as the first-ever Duke of London. Hopeful that his political career was not yet over, he declined.

In 1953 he was awarded two major honours. He was knighted as a Knight of the Garter, and became Sir Winston Churchill. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values". A stroke in June of that year led to him being paralysed down his left side. He retired because of his health on April 5, 1955 but retained his post as Chancellor of the University of Bristol.

In 1956 he received the Karlspreis (engl.: Charlemagne Award), an award by the German city of Aachen to those who most contribute to the European idea and European peace.

During the next few years he revised and finally published A History of the English Speaking Peoples in four volumes. In 1959 Churchill inherited the title of Father of the House, becoming the MP with the longest continuous service — since 1924. He was to hold the position until his retirement from the Commons in 1964, the position of Father of the House then passing to Rab Butler.


On September 2, 1908, at the socially-desirable St. Margaret's, Westminster, Churchill married Clementine Hozier, a dazzling but largely penniless beauty whom he met at a dinner party that March (he had proposed to actress Ethel Barrymore, but was turned down). They had five children: Diana; Randolph; Sarah, who co_starred with Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding; Marigold; and Mary, who has written a book on her parents.

Clementine's mother was Lady Blanche Henrietta Ogilvy, second wife of Sir Henry Montague Hozier and a daughter of the 7th Earl of Airlie. Clementine's paternity, however, is open to healthy debate. Lady Blanche was well known for sharing her favours and was eventually divorced as a result. She maintained that Clementine's father was Capt. William George "Bay" Middleton, a noted horseman. But Clementine's biographer Joan Hardwick has surmised, due to Sir Henry Hozier's reputed sterility, that all Lady Blanche's "Hozier" children were actually fathered by her sister's husband, Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, better known as a grandfather of the infamous Mitford sisters of the 1920s.

Churchill's son, Randolph, and grandsons Nicholas Soames and Winston, all followed him into Parliament.

When not in London on government business, Churchill usually lived at his beloved Chartwell House in Kent, 2 miles south of Westerham. He and his wife bought the house in 1922, and lived there until his death in 1965. During his Chartwell stays, he enjoyed writing there, as well as painting, bricklaying, and admiring the estate's famous black swans.

Last days

Aware that he was slowing down both physically and mentally, Churchill retired as Prime Minister in 1955 and was succeeded by Anthony Eden, who had long been his ambitious protégé. Churchill spent most of his retirement at Chartwell and in the south of France.

In 1963, pursuant to an Act of Congress, U.S. President John F. Kennedy named Churchill the first Honorary Citizen of the United States. Churchill was too ill to attend the White House ceremony, so his son and grandson accepted the award for him.

On January 15, 1965 Churchill suffered another stroke — a severe cerebral thrombosis — that left him gravely ill. He died nine days later, on January 24, 1965, 70 years to the day of his father's death. His body lay in State in Westminster Hall for three days and a state funeral service was held at St Paul's Cathedral. This was the first state funeral for a commoner since that of Field Marshal Lord Roberts of Kandahar in 1914. It was Churchill's wish that, were de Gaulle to outlive him, his (Churchill's) funeral procession should pass through Waterloo Station. As his coffin passed down the Thames on a boat, the cranes of London's docklands bowed in salute.

At Churchill's request, he was buried in the family plot at Saint Martin's Churchyard, Bladon, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, not far from his birthplace at Blenheim.


Statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, opposite the Palace of Westminster in central London. Another cast of the same statue is found in Oslo, Norway.

Churchill was also a notable historian, producing many works. Some of his twentieth century writings such as The World Crisis (detailing the First World War) and The Second World War are highly autobiographical, telling the story of the conflict. Initially Churchill used the name Winston Churchill for his books. However, early on, he discovered that there was also an American writer of the same name, who had been published first. So as to prevent the two being confused, they agreed that the American would publish as Winston Churchill, and the Englishman as Winston Spencer Churchill (sometimes abbreviated to Winston S. Churchill).

Churchill's works include:

  • The River War - Published in 1899 (2 vols) Kitchener's reconquest of the Sudan in 1898. Also published in a 1 vol abridged edn.
  • Savrola - Churchill's only novel. Published in 1900.
  • Lord Randolph Churchill - A two-volume biography of his father.
  • The World Crisis - Six volumes covering the Great War.
  • My African Journey - African travels and experiences. Published in 1908.
  • My Early Life - A well-regarded autobiography covering the first quarter-century of his career.
  • Marlborough: His Life and Times - A biography of his ancestor, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, published in 2-, 4-, and 6-volume editions, ISBN 0226106330.
  • The Second World War - Six volumes (sometimes reprinted as twelve).
  • A History of the English Speaking Peoples - Used as the basis of the BBC radio series
  Results from FactBites:
Winston Churchill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (8764 words)
Churchill advocated the pre-emptive occupation of the neutral Norwegian iron-ore port of Narvik and the iron mines in Kiruna, Sweden, early in the War.
Churchill was the last (and one of the most influential) exponents of "Whig history" – the belief of the 18th- and 19th-century Whigs that the British people had a unique greatness and an imperial destiny, and that all British history should be seen as progress towards fulfilling that destiny.
Churchill's histories of the two world wars are, of course, far from being conventional historical works, since the author was a central participant in both stories and took full advantage of that fact in writing his books.
  More results at FactBites »



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