|Birth Day:||November 30, 1874|
|Death Date:||Jan 24, 1965 (age 90)|
|Birth Place:||Woodstock, England|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Winston Churchill died on Jan 24, 1965 (age 90).
He developed a lisp and stutter and spent a lot of time away from his parents while growing incredibly close to his nanny.
Churchill was born on 30 November 1874 at his family's ancestral home, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. As direct descendants of the Dukes of Marlborough, his family were among the highest levels of the British aristocracy. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had been elected Conservative MP for Woodstock in 1873. His mother, Jennie, was a daughter of Leonard Jerome, a wealthy American businessman.
In 1876, Churchill's paternal grandfather, John Spencer-Churchill, was appointed Viceroy of Ireland, then part of the United Kingdom. Randolph became his private secretary and the family relocated to Dublin. Winston's brother, Jack, was born there in 1880. Throughout much of the 1880s, Randolph and Jennie were effectively estranged, and the brothers were mostly cared for by their nanny, Elizabeth Everest. Churchill later wrote that "she had been my dearest and most intimate friend during the whole of the twenty years I had lived".
Churchill began boarding at St. George's School in Ascot, Berkshire, at age seven but was not academic and his behaviour was poor. In 1884 he transferred to Brunswick School in Hove, where his academic performance improved. In April 1888, aged 13, he narrowly passed the entrance exam for Harrow School. His father wanted him to prepare for a military career and so his last three years at Harrow were in the army form. After two unsuccessful attempts to gain admittance to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, he succeeded on his third. He was accepted as a cadet in the cavalry, starting in September 1893. His father died in January 1895, soon after Churchill finished at Sandhurst.
In February 1895, Churchill was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars regiment of the British Army, based at Aldershot. Eager to witness military action, he used his mother's influence to get himself posted to a war zone. In the autumn of 1895, he and his friend Reggie Barnes, then a subaltern, went to Cuba to observe the war of independence and became involved in skirmishes after joining Spanish troops attempting to suppress independence fighters. Churchill proceeded to New York City and, in admiration of the United States, wrote to his mother about "what an extraordinary people the Americans are!" With the Hussars, he went to Bombay in October 1896. Based in Bangalore, he was in India for 19 months, visiting Calcutta three times and joining expeditions to Hyderabad and the North West Frontier.
Churchill volunteered to join Bindon Blood's Malakand Field Force in its campaign against Mohmand rebels in the Swat Valley of north-west India. Blood accepted him on condition that he was assigned as a journalist, the beginning of Churchill's writing career. He returned to Bangalore in October 1897 and there wrote his first book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force, which received positive reviews. He also wrote his only work of fiction, Savrola, a Ruritanian romance. To keep himself fully occupied, Churchill embraced writing as what Roy Jenkins calls his "whole habit", especially through his political career when he was out of office. It was his main safeguard against recurring depression, which he termed his "black dog".
In India, Churchill began a self-education project, reading a range of authors including Plato, Edward Gibbon, Charles Darwin and Thomas Babington Macaulay. The books were sent to him by his mother, with whom he shared frequent correspondence when abroad. In one 1898 letter to her, he referred to his religious beliefs, saying: "I do not accept the Christian or any other form of religious belief". Churchill had been christened in the Church of England but, as he related later, he underwent a virulently anti-Christian phase in his youth, and as an adult was an agnostic. In another letter to one of his cousins, he referred to religion as "a delicious narcotic" and expressed a preference for Protestantism over Roman Catholicism because he felt it "a step nearer Reason".
Using his contacts in London, Churchill got himself attached to General Kitchener's campaign in the Sudan as a 21st Lancers subaltern while, additionally, working as a journalist for The Morning Post. After fighting in the Battle of Omdurman on 2 September 1898, the 21st Lancers were stood down. In October, Churchill returned to England and began writing The River War, an account of the campaign which was published in November 1899; it was at this time that he decided to leave the army. He was critical of Kitchener's actions during the war, particularly the latter's unmerciful treatment of enemy wounded and his desecration of Muhammad Ahmad's tomb in Omdurman.
On 2 December 1898, Churchill embarked for India to settle his military business and complete his resignation from the 4th Hussars. He spent a lot of his time there playing polo, the only ball sport in which he was ever interested. Having left the Hussars, he sailed from Bombay on 20 March 1899, determined to launch a career in politics.
In January 1900, he briefly rejoined the army as a lieutenant in the South African Light Horse regiment, joining Redvers Buller's fight to relieve the Siege of Ladysmith and take Pretoria. He was among the first British troops into both places. He and his cousin, the Duke of Marlborough, demanded and received the surrender of 52 Boer prison camp guards. Throughout the war, he had publicly chastised anti-Boer prejudices, calling for them to be treated with "generosity and tolerance", and after the war he urged the British to be magnanimous in victory. In July, having resigned his lieutenancy, he returned to Britain. His Morning Post despatches had been published as London to Ladysmith via Pretoria and had sold well.
Churchill rented a flat in London's Mayfair, using it as his base for the next six years. He stood again as one of the Conservative candidates at Oldham in the October 1900 general election, securing a narrow victory to become a Member of Parliament (MP) at age 25. In the same month, he published Ian Hamilton's March, a book about his South African experiences, which became the focus of a lecture tour in November through Britain, America and Canada. MPs were unpaid and the tour was a financial necessity. In America, Churchill met Mark Twain, President McKinley and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt; he did not get on well with Roosevelt. Later, in spring 1901, he gave more lectures in Paris, Madrid and Gibraltar.
In February 1901, Churchill took his seat in the House of Commons, where his maiden speech gained widespread press coverage. He associated with a group of Conservatives known as the Hughligans, but he was critical of the Conservative government on various issues, especially increases in army funding. He believed that additional military expenditure should go to the navy. This upset the Conservative front bench but was supported by Liberals, with whom he increasingly socialised, particularly Liberal Imperialists like H. H. Asquith. In this context, Churchill later wrote that he "drifted steadily to the left" of parliamentary politics. He privately considered "the gradual creation by an evolutionary process of a Democratic or Progressive wing to the Conservative Party", or alternately a "Central Party" to unite the Conservatives and Liberals.
By 1903, there was real division between Churchill and the Conservatives, largely because he opposed their promotion of economic protectionism, but also because he sensed that the animosity of many party members would prevent him from gaining a Cabinet position under a Conservative government. The Liberal Party was then attracting growing support, and so his defection in 1904 may have also have been influenced by personal ambition. He increasingly voted with the Liberals against the government. For example, he opposed an increase in military expenditure; he supported a Liberal bill to restore legal rights to trade unions.; and he opposed the introduction of tariffs on goods imported into the British Empire, describing himself as a "sober admirer" of the principles of free trade. Balfour's government announced protectionist legislation in October 1903. Two months later, incensed by Churchill's criticism of the government, the Oldham Conservative Association informed him that it would not support his candidature at the next general election.
In May 1904, Churchill opposed the government's proposed Aliens Bill, designed to curb Jewish migration into Britain. He stated that the bill would "appeal to insular prejudice against foreigners, to racial prejudice against Jews, and to labour prejudice against competition" and expressed himself in favour of "the old tolerant and generous practice of free entry and asylum to which this country has so long adhered and from which it has so greatly gained". On 31 May 1904, he crossed the floor, defecting from the Conservatives to sit as a member of the Liberal Party in the House of Commons.
In December 1905, Balfour resigned as Prime Minister and King Edward VII invited the Liberal leader Henry Campbell-Bannerman to take his place. Hoping to secure a working majority in the House of Commons, Campbell-Bannerman called a general election in January 1906, which the Liberals won. Churchill won the Manchester North West seat. In the same month, his biography of his father was published; he received an advance payment of £8,000. It was generally well received. It was also at this time that the first biography of Churchill himself, written by the Liberal Alexander MacCallum Scott, was published.
Asquith succeeded Campbell-Bannerman on 8 April 1908 and, four days later, Churchill was appointed President of the Board of Trade. Aged 33, he was the youngest Cabinet member since 1866. Newly appointed Cabinet ministers were legally obliged to seek re-election at a by-election and on 24 April, Churchill lost the Manchester North West by-election to the Conservative candidate by 429 votes. On 9 May, the Liberals stood him in the safe seat of Dundee, where he won comfortably.
Churchill married Clementine Hozier in September 1908. They remained married for 57 years. Churchill was aware of the strain that his political career placed on his marriage, and, according to Colville, he had a brief affair in the 1930s with Doris Castlerosse.
In private life, Churchill proposed marriage to Clementine Hozier; they were married in September at St Margaret's, Westminster and honeymooned in Baveno, Venice, and Veverí Castle in Moravia. They lived at 33 Eccleston Square, London, and their first daughter, Diana, was born in July 1909.
Churchill introduced the Mines Eight Hours Bill, which legally prohibited miners from working more than an eight-hour day. He introduced the Trade Boards Bill, creating Trade Boards which could prosecute exploitative employers. Passing with a large majority, it established the principle of a minimum wage and the right of workers to have meal breaks. In May 1909, he proposed the Labour Exchanges Bill to establish over 200 Labour Exchanges through which the unemployed would be assisted in finding employment. He also promoted the idea of an unemployment insurance scheme, which would be part-funded by the state.
To ensure funding for their reforms, Lloyd George and Churchill denounced Reginald McKenna's policy of naval expansion, refusing to believe that war with Germany was inevitable. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lloyd George presented his "People's Budget" on 29 April 1909, calling it a war budget to eliminate poverty. He proposed unprecedented taxes on the rich to fund the Liberal welfare programmes. The budget was vetoed by the Conservative peers who dominated the House of Lords. His social reforms under threat, Churchill warned that upper-class obstruction could anger working-class Britons and lead to class war. The government called the January 1910 general election, which resulted in a narrow Liberal victory; Churchill retained his seat at Dundee. After the election, he proposed the abolition of the House of Lords in a cabinet memorandum, suggesting that it be replaced either by a unicameral system or by a new, smaller second chamber that lacked an in-built advantage for the Conservatives. In April, the Lords relented and the People's Budget passed into law.
The Churchills' first child, Diana, was born in July 1909; the second, Randolph, in May 1911. Their third, Sarah, was born in October 1914, and their fourth, Marigold, in November 1918. Marigold died in August 1921, from sepsis of the throat and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. On 15 September 1922, the Churchills' last child, Mary, was born. Later that month, the Churchills bought Chartwell, which would be their home until Winston's death in 1965. According to Jenkins, Churchill was an "enthusiastic and loving father" but one who expected too much of his children.
In February 1910, Churchill was promoted to Home Secretary, giving him control over the police and prison services, and he implemented a prison reform programme. Measures included a distinction between criminal and political prisoners, with prison rules for the latter being relaxed. There were educational innovations like the establishment of libraries for prisoners, and a requirement for each prison to stage entertainments four times a year. The rules on solitary confinement were relaxed somewhat, and Churchill proposed the abolition of automatic imprisonment of those who failed to pay fines. Imprisonment of people aged between 16 and 21 was abolished except for the most serious offences. Churchill commuted 21 of the 43 capital sentences passed while he was Home Secretary.
One of the major domestic issues in Britain was that of women's suffrage. Churchill supported giving women the vote, but he would only back a bill to that effect if it had majority support from the (male) electorate. His proposed solution was a referendum on the issue, but this found no favour with Asquith and women's suffrage remained unresolved until 1918. Many suffragettes believed that Churchill was a committed opponent of women's suffrage, and targeted his meetings for protest. In November 1910, the suffragist Hugh Franklin attacked Churchill with a whip; Franklin was arrested and imprisoned for six weeks.
Asquith called a general election in December 1910 and the Liberals were re-elected with Churchill secure in Dundee. In January 1911, Churchill became involved in the Siege of Sidney Street; three Latvian burglars had killed several police officers and hidden in a house in London's East End, which was surrounded by police. Churchill stood with the police though he did not direct their operation. After the house caught fire, he told the fire brigade not to proceed into the house because of the threat posed by the armed men. Afterwards, two of the burglars were found dead. Although he faced criticism for his decision, he stated that he "thought it better to let the house burn down rather than spend good British lives in rescuing those ferocious rascals".
In March 1911, Churchill introduced the second reading of the Coal Mines Bill in parliament. When implemented, it imposed stricter safety standards at coal mines. He also formulated the Shops Bill to improve the working conditions of shop workers; it faced opposition from shop owners and only passed into law in a much emasculated form. In April, Lloyd George introduced the first health and unemployment insurance legislation, the National Insurance Act 1911; Churchill had been instrumental in drafting it. In May, Clementine gave birth to their second child, Randolph, named after Churchill's father. In response to escalating civil strife in 1911, Churchill sent troops into Liverpool to quell protesting dockers and rallied against a national railway strike.
In October 1911, Asquith appointed Churchill First Lord of the Admiralty, and he took up official residence at Admiralty House. Over the next two and a half years he focused on naval preparation, visiting naval stations and dockyards, seeking to improve morale, and scrutinising German naval developments. After the German government passed its Navy Law to increase warship production, Churchill vowed that Britain would do the same and that for every new battleship built by the Germans, Britain would build two. He invited Germany to engage in a mutual de-escalation of naval building projects, but this was refused.
The central issue in Britain at the time was Irish Home Rule and, in 1912, Asquith's government introduced the Home Rule Bill. Churchill supported it and urged Ulster Unionists to accept it as he opposed the partition of Ireland. Later, following a Cabinet decision, he boosted the naval presence in Ireland to deal with any Unionist uprising. Seeking a compromise, Churchill suggested that Ireland remain part of a federal United Kingdom but this angered Liberals and Irish nationalists.
Churchill pushed for higher pay and greater recreational facilities for naval staff, an increase in the building of submarines, and a renewed focus on the Royal Naval Air Service, encouraging them to experiment with how aircraft could be used for military purposes. He coined the term "seaplane" and ordered 100 to be constructed. Some Liberals objected to his levels of naval expenditure; in December 1913 he threatened to resign if his proposal for four new battleships in 1914–15 was rejected. In June 1914, he convinced the House of Commons to authorise the government purchase of a 51 percent share in the profits of oil produced by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, to secure continued oil access for the Royal Navy.
Having lived in Ireland as a child, Churchill always opposed its partition. As a minister in 1913 and again in 1921, he suggested that Ulster should be part of a united Ireland, but with a degree of autonomy from an independent Irish government. He was always opposed on this by Ulster Unionists. While he was Leader of the Opposition, he told John W. Dulanty and Frederick Boland, successive Irish ambassadors to London, that he still hoped for reunification.
As First Lord, Churchill was tasked with overseeing Britain's naval effort when the First World War began in August 1914. In the same month, the navy transported 120,000 British troops to France and began a blockade of German North Sea ports. Churchill sent submarines to the Baltic Sea to assist the Russian Navy and he sent the Marine Brigade to Ostend, forcing a reallocation of German troops. In September, Churchill assumed full responsibility for Britain's aerial defence. On 7 October, Clementine gave birth to their third child, Sarah. In October, Churchill visited Antwerp to observe Belgian defences against the besieging Germans and promised British reinforcements for the city. Soon afterwards, however, Antwerp fell to the Germans and Churchill was criticised in the press. He maintained that his actions had prolonged resistance and enabled the Allies to secure Calais and Dunkirk. In November, Asquith called a War Council, consisting of himself, Lloyd George, Edward Grey, Kitchener, and Churchill. Churchill put forward some proposals including the development of the tank, and offered to finance its creation with Admiralty funds.
Churchill was interested in the Middle Eastern theatre and wanted to relieve Turkish pressure on the Russians in the Caucasus by staging attacks against Turkey in the Dardanelles. He hoped that, if successful, the British could even seize Constantinople. Approval was given and, in March 1915, an Anglo-French task force attempted a naval bombardment of Turkish defences in the Dardanelles. In April, the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, including the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), began its assault at Gallipoli. Both of these campaigns failed and Churchill was held by many MPs, particularly Conservatives, to be personally responsible.
On 25 November 1915, Churchill resigned from the government, although he remained an MP. Asquith rejected his request to be appointed Governor-General of British East Africa.
As well as writing, Churchill became an accomplished amateur artist after his resignation from the Admiralty in 1915. Using the pseudonym "Charles Morin", he continued this hobby throughout his life and completed hundreds of paintings, many of which are on show in the studio at Chartwell as well as in private collections.
Churchill decided to join the Army and was attached to the 2nd Grenadier Guards, on the Western Front. In January 1916, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers. After a period of training, the battalion was moved to a sector of the Belgian Front near Ploegsteert. For over three months, they faced continual shelling although no German offensive. Churchill narrowly escaped death when, during a visit by his staff officer cousin the 9th Duke of Marlborough, a large piece of shrapnel fell between them. In May, the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers were merged into the 15th Division. Churchill did not request a new command, instead securing permission to leave active service.
In October 1916, Asquith resigned as Prime Minister and was succeeded by Lloyd George who, in May 1917, sent Churchill to inspect the French war effort. In July, Churchill was appointed Minister of Munitions. He quickly negotiated an end to a strike in munitions factories along the Clyde and increased munitions production. He ended a second strike, in June 1918, by threatening to conscript strikers into the army. In the House of Commons, Churchill voted in support of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which gave some British women the right to vote. In November 1918, four days after the Armistice, Churchill's fourth child, Marigold, was born.
With the war over, Lloyd George called a general election with voting on Saturday, 14 December 1918. During the election campaign, Churchill called for the nationalisation of the railways, a control on monopolies, tax reform, and the creation of a League of Nations to prevent future wars. He was returned as MP for Dundee and, although the Conservatives won a majority, Lloyd George was retained as Prime Minister. In January 1919, Lloyd George moved Churchill to the War Office as both Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air.
Churchill became Secretary of State for the Colonies in February 1921. The following month, the first exhibit of his paintings was held; it took place in Paris, with Churchill exhibiting under a pseudonym. In May, his mother died, followed in August by his daughter Marigold.
In September 1922, Churchill's fifth and last child, Mary, was born, and in the same month he purchased Chartwell, in Kent, which became his family home for the rest of his lifetime. In October 1922, he underwent an operation for appendicitis. While he was in hospital, the Conservatives withdrew from Lloyd George's coalition government, precipitating the November 1922 general election, in which Churchill lost his Dundee seat. Later, Churchill wrote that he was "without an office, without a seat, without a party, and without an appendix".
Churchill spent much of the next six months at the Villa Rêve d'Or near Cannes, where he devoted himself to painting and writing his memoirs. He wrote an autobiographical history of the war, The World Crisis. The first volume was published in April 1923 and the rest over the next ten years.
After the 1923 general election was called, seven Liberal associations asked Churchill to stand as their candidate, and he selected Leicester West, but he did not win the seat. A Labour government led by Ramsay MacDonald took power. Churchill had hoped they would be defeated by a Conservative-Liberal coalition. He strongly opposed the MacDonald government's decision to loan money to Soviet Russia and feared the signing of an Anglo-Soviet Treaty.
On 19 March 1924, alienated by Liberal support for Labour, Churchill stood as an independent anti-socialist candidate in the Westminster Abbey by-election but was defeated. In May, he addressed a Conservative meeting in Liverpool and declared that there was no longer a place for the Liberal Party in British politics. He said that Liberals must back the Conservatives to stop Labour and ensure "the successful defeat of socialism". In July, he agreed with Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin that he would be selected as a Conservative candidate in the next general election, which was held on 29 October. Churchill stood at Epping, but he described himself as a "Constitutionalist". The Conservatives were victorious and Baldwin formed the new government. Although Churchill had no background in finance or economics, Baldwin appointed him as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer on 6 November 1924, Churchill formally rejoined the Conservative Party. As Chancellor, he intended to pursue his free trade principles in the form of laissez-faire economics, as under the Liberal social reforms. In April 1925, he controversially albeit reluctantly restored the gold standard in his first budget at its 1914 parity against the advice of some leading economists including John Maynard Keynes. The return to gold is held to have caused deflation and resultant unemployment with a devastating impact on the coal industry. Churchill presented five budgets in all to April 1929. Among his measures were reduction of the state pension age from 70 to 65; immediate provision of widow's pensions; reduction of military expenditure; income tax reductions and imposition of taxes on luxury items.
During the General Strike of 1926, Churchill edited the British Gazette, the government's anti-strike propaganda newspaper. After the strike ended, he acted as an intermediary between striking miners and their employers. He later called for the introduction of a legally binding minimum wage. In early 1927, Churchill visited Rome where he met Mussolini, whom he praised for his stand against Leninism.
In the 1929 general election, Churchill retained his Epping seat but the Conservatives were defeated and MacDonald formed his second Labour government. Out of office, Churchill was prone to depression (his "black dog") as he sensed his political talents being wasted and time passing him by – in all such times, writing provided the antidote. He began work on Marlborough: His Life and Times, a four-volume biography of his ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. It was by this time that he had developed a reputation for being a heavy drinker of alcoholic beverages, although Jenkins believes that was often exaggerated.
Hoping that the Labour government could be ousted, he gained Baldwin's approval to work towards establishing a Conservative-Liberal coalition, although many Liberals were reticent. In October 1930, after his return from a trip to North America, Churchill published his autobiography, My Early Life, which sold well and was translated into multiple languages.
Churchill was an early proponent of pan-Europeanism, having called for a "United States of Europe" in a 1930 article. He supported the creations of the Council of Europe in 1949 and the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951, but his support was always with the firm proviso that Britain must not actually join any federal grouping.
In January 1931, Churchill resigned from the Conservative Shadow Cabinet because Baldwin supported the decision of the Labour government to grant Dominion status to India. Churchill believed that enhanced home rule status would hasten calls for full independence. He was particularly opposed to Mohandas Gandhi, whom he considered "a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir". His views enraged Labour and Liberal opinion although he was supported by many grassroot Conservatives.
The October 1931 general election was a landslide victory for the Conservatives Churchill nearly doubled his majority in Epping, but he was not given a ministerial position. The Commons debated Dominion Status for India on 3 December and Churchill insisted on dividing the House, but this backfired as only 43 MPs supported him. He embarked on a lecture tour of North America, hoping to recoup financial losses sustained in the Wall Street Crash. On 13 December, he was crossing Fifth Avenue in New York City when he was knocked down by a car, suffering a head wound from which he developed neuritis. To further his convalescence, he and Clementine took ship to Nassau for three weeks but Churchill became depressed there about his financial and political losses. He returned to America in late January 1932 and completed most of his lectures before arriving home on 18 March.
After Hitler came to power on 30 January 1933, Churchill was quick to recognise the menace to civilisation of such a regime and expressed alarm that the British government had reduced air force spending and warned that Germany would soon overtake Britain in air force production. Armed with official data provided clandestinely by two senior civil servants, Desmond Morton and Ralph Wigram, Churchill was able to speak with authority about what was happening in Germany, especially the development of the Luftwaffe. He told the people of his concerns in a radio broadcast in November 1934. While Churchill regarded Mussolini's regime as a bulwark against the perceived threat of communist revolution, he opposed the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Writing about the Spanish Civil War, he referred to Franco's army as the "anti-red movement", but later became critical of Franco.
Between October 1933 and September 1938, the four volumes of Marlborough: His Life and Times were published and sold well. In December 1934, the India Bill entered Parliament and was passed in February 1935. Churchill and 83 other Conservative MPs voted against it. In June 1935, MacDonald resigned and was replaced as Prime Minister by Baldwin. Baldwin then led the Conservatives to victory in the 1935 general election; Churchill retained his seat with an increased majority but was again left out of the government.
In January 1936, Edward VIII succeeded his father, George V, as monarch. His desire to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, caused the abdication crisis. Churchill supported Edward and clashed with Baldwin on the issue. Afterwards, although Churchill immediately pledged loyalty to George VI, he wrote that the abdication was "premature and probably quite unnecessary".
In May 1937, Baldwin resigned and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Neville Chamberlain. At first, Churchill welcomed Chamberlain's appointment but, in February 1938, matters came to a head after Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigned over Chamberlain's appeasement of Mussolini, a policy which Chamberlain was extending towards Hitler.
Churchill was a prolific writer. He used either "Winston S. Churchill" or "Winston Spencer Churchill" as his pen name to avoid confusion with the American novelist of the same name, with whom he struck up a friendly correspondence. His output included a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs, several histories, and numerous press articles. Two of his most famous works, published after his first premiership brought his international fame to new heights, were his twelve-volume memoir, The Second World War, and the four-volume A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. For many years, he relied heavily upon his press articles to assuage his financial worries: in 1937, for example, he wrote 64 published articles and some of his contracts were quite lucrative. In recognition of his "mastery of historical and biographical description" and oratorial output, Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953.
In 1938, Churchill warned the government against appeasement and called for collective action to deter German aggression. In March, the Evening Standard ceased publication of his fortnightly articles, but the Daily Telegraph published them instead. Following the German annexation of Austria, Churchill spoke in the House of Commons, declaring that "the gravity of the events[…] cannot be exaggerated". He began calling for a mutual defence pact among European states threatened by German expansionism, arguing that this was the only way to halt Hitler. This was to no avail as, in September, Germany mobilised to invade the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. Churchill visited Chamberlain at Downing Street and urged him to tell Germany that Britain would declare war if the Germans invaded Czechoslovak territory; Chamberlain was not willing to do this. On 30 September, Chamberlain signed up to the Munich Agreement, agreeing to allow German annexation of the Sudetenland. Speaking in the House of Commons on 5 October, Churchill called the agreement "a total and unmitigated defeat".
On 3 September 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany, Chamberlain reappointed Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty and he joined Chamberlain's war cabinet. Churchill later claimed that the Board of the Admiralty sent a signal to the Fleet: "Winston is back". As First Lord, Churchill was one of the highest-profile ministers during the so-called "Phoney War", when the only significant action by British forces was at sea. Churchill was ebullient after the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December 1939 and afterwards welcomed home the crews, congratulating them on "a brilliant sea fight" and saying that their actions in a cold, dark winter had "warmed the cockles of the British heart". On 16 February 1940, Churchill personally ordered Captain Philip Vian of the destroyer HMS Cossack to board the German supply ship Altmark in Norwegian waters and liberate some 300 British prisoners who had been captured by the Admiral Graf Spee. These actions, supplemented by his speeches, considerably enhanced Churchill's reputation.
On 20 August 1940, at the height of the Battle of Britain, Churchill addressed the Commons to outline the war situation. In the middle of this speech, he made a statement that created a famous nickname for the RAF fighter pilots involved in the battle:
In September 1940, the British and American governments concluded the Destroyers for Bases Agreement, by which fifty American destroyers were transferred to the Royal Navy in exchange for free US base rights in Bermuda, the Caribbean and Newfoundland. An added advantage for Britain was that its military assets in those bases could be redeployed elsewhere.
Churchill's good relations with United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped secure vital food, oil and munitions via the North Atlantic shipping routes. It was for this reason that Churchill was relieved when Roosevelt was re-elected in 1940. Upon re-election, Roosevelt set about implementing a new method of providing necessities to Great Britain without the need for monetary payment. He persuaded Congress that repayment for this immensely costly service would take the form of defending the US. The policy was known as Lend-Lease and it was formally enacted on 11 March 1941.
On 26 December, Churchill addressed a joint meeting of the US Congress but, that night, he suffered a mild heart attack which was diagnosed by his physician, Sir Charles Wilson (later Lord Moran), as a coronary deficiency needing several weeks' bed rest. Churchill insisted that he did not need bed rest and, two days later, journeyed on to Ottawa by train where he gave a speech to the Canadian Parliament that included the "some chicken, some neck" line in which he recalled French predictions in 1940 that "Britain alone would have her neck wrung like a chicken". He arrived home in mid-January, having flown from Bermuda to Plymouth in an American flying boat, to find that there was a crisis of confidence in both his coalition government and himself personally, and he decided to face a vote of confidence in the Commons, which he won easily.
Churchill was determined to fight back and ordered the commencement of the Western Desert campaign on 11 June, an immediate response to the Italian declaration of war. This went well at first while the Italian army was the sole opposition and Operation Compass was a noted success. In early 1941, however, Mussolini requested German support and Hitler sent the Afrika Korps to Tripoli under the command of Generalleutnant Erwin Rommel, who arrived not long after Churchill had halted Compass so that he could reassign forces to Greece where the Balkans campaign was entering a critical phase.
In August 1941, Churchill made his first transatlantic crossing of the war on board HMS Prince of Wales and met Roosevelt in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. On 14 August, they issued the joint statement that has become known as the Atlantic Charter. This outlined the goals of both countries for the future of the world and it is seen as the inspiration for the 1942 Declaration by United Nations, itself the basis of the United Nations which was founded in June 1945.
On 7–8 December 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was followed by their invasion of Malaya and, on the 8th, Churchill declared war on Japan. Three days later came the joint declaration of war by Germany and Italy against the United States. Churchill went to Washington later in the month to meet Roosevelt for the first Washington Conference (codename Arcadia). This was important for "Europe First", the decision to prioritise victory in Europe over victory in the Pacific, taken by Roosevelt while Churchill was still in mid-Atlantic. The Americans agreed with Churchill that Hitler was the main enemy and that the defeat of Germany was key to Allied success. It was also agreed that the first joint Anglo-American strike would be Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa (i.e., Algeria and Morocco). Originally planned for the spring of 1942, it was finally launched in November 1942 when the crucial Second Battle of El Alamein was already underway.
Meanwhile, Japanese operations in Burma had begun in December 1941. Rangoon fell in March 1942 and the Japanese advance gathered pace until they had occupied most of the country by the end of April. Campaigning was effectively halted through the May to December monsoon season and then the Allies mounted the first of several offensives from India. Efforts were hampered by disordered conditions in Bengal and Bihar, not least the severe cyclone which devastated the region in October 1942 and, with vital rice imports from Burma curtailed by the Japanese, led ultimately to the Bengal famine of 1943. British wartime policies, and the restriction of food imports by Churchill's cabinet, exacerbated the famine, although their relative impact on the death toll remains a matter of controversy.
In the end, however, it was the population's demand for reform that decided the 1945 general election. Labour was perceived as the party that would deliver Beveridge. Arthur Greenwood had initiated its preceding social insurance and allied services inquiry in June 1941. Attlee, Bevin and Labour's other coalition ministers through the war were seen to be working towards reform and earned the trust of the electorate.
While he was away, the Eighth Army, having already relieved the Siege of Tobruk, had pursued Operation Crusader against Rommel's forces in Libya, successfully driving them back to a defensive position at El Agheila in Cyrenaica. On 21 January 1942, however, Rommel launched a surprise counter-attack which drove the Allies back to Gazala.
Churchill already had grave concerns about the fighting quality of British troops after the defeats in Norway, France, Greece and Crete. Following the fall of Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February 1942, he felt that his misgivings were confirmed and said: "(this is) the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British military history". More bad news had come on 11 February as the Kriegsmarine pulled off its audacious "Channel Dash", a massive blow to British naval prestige. The combined effect of these events was to sink Churchill's morale to its lowest point of the whole war.
As 1942 drew to a close, the tide of war began to turn with Allied victory in the key battles of El Alamein and Stalingrad. Until November, the Allies had always been on the defensive, but from November, the Germans were. Churchill ordered the church bells to be rung throughout Great Britain for the first time since early 1940. On 10 November, knowing that El Alamein was a victory, he delivered one of his most memorable war speeches to the Lord Mayor's Luncheon at the Mansion House in London, in response to the Allied victory at El Alamein: "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Churchill could not ignore the need for post-war reforms covering a broad sweep of areas such as agriculture, education, employment, health, housing and welfare. The Beveridge Report with its five "Giant Evils" was published in November 1942 and assumed great importance amid widespread popular acclaim. Even so, Churchill was not really interested because he was focused on winning the war and saw reform in terms of tidying up afterwards. His attitude was demonstrated in a Sunday evening radio broadcast on 26 March 1944. He was obliged to devote most of it to the subject of reform and showed a distinct lack of interest. In their respective diaries, Colville said Churchill had broadcast "indifferently" and Harold Nicolson said that, to many people, Churchill came across the air as "a worn and petulant old man".
In January 1943, Churchill met Roosevelt at the Casablanca Conference (codename Symbol), which lasted ten days. It was also attended by General Charles de Gaulle on behalf of the Free French Forces. Stalin had hoped to attend but declined because of the situation at Stalingrad. Although Churchill expressed doubts on the matter, the so-called Casablanca Declaration committed the Allies to securing "unconditional surrender" by the Axis powers. From Morocco, Churchill went to Cairo, Adana, Cyprus, Cairo again and Algiers for various purposes. He arrived home on 7 February having been out for the country for nearly a month. He addressed the Commons on the 11th and then became seriously ill with pneumonia the following day, necessitating more than one month of rest, recuperation and convalescence – for the latter, he moved to Chequers. He returned to work in London on 15 March.
Churchill went from Cairo to Tunis, arriving on 10 December, initially as Eisenhower's guest (soon afterwards, Eisenhower took over as Supreme Allied Commander of the new SHAEF just being created in London). While Churchill was in Tunis, he became seriously ill with atrial fibrillation and was forced to remain until after Christmas while a succession of specialists were drafted in to ensure his recovery. Clementine and Colville arrived to keep him company; Colville had just returned to Downing Street after more than two years in the RAF. On 27 December, the party went on to Marrakesh for convalescence. Feeling much better, Churchill flew to Gibraltar on 14 January 1944 and sailed home on the King George V. He was back in London on the morning of 18 January and surprised MPs by attending Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons that afternoon. Since 12 January 1943, when he set off for the Casablanca Conference, Churchill had been abroad and/or seriously ill for 203 of the 371 days.
The most important conference of the year was soon afterwards (28 November to 1 December) at Tehran (codename Eureka), where Churchill and Roosevelt met Stalin in the first of the "Big Three" meetings, preceding those at Yalta and Potsdam in 1945. Roosevelt and Stalin co-operated in persuading Churchill to commit to the opening of a second front in western Europe and it was also agreed that Germany would be divided after the war, but no firm decisions were made about how. On their way back from Tehran, Churchill and Roosevelt held a second Cairo conference with Turkish president Ismet Inönü, but were unable to gain any commitment from Turkey to join the Allies.
On 7 May 1945 at the SHAEF headquarters in Reims the Allies accepted Germany's surrender. The next day was Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) when Churchill broadcast to the nation that Germany had surrendered and that a final ceasefire on all fronts in Europe would come into effect at one minute past midnight that night (i.e., on the 9th). Afterwards, Churchill went to Buckingham Palace where he appeared on the balcony with the Royal Family before a huge crowd of celebrating citizens. He went from the palace to Whitehall where he addressed another large crowd: "God bless you all. This is your victory. In our long history, we have never seen a greater day than this. Everyone, man or woman, has done their best."
With a general election looming (there had been none for almost a decade), and with the Labour ministers refusing to continue the wartime coalition, Churchill resigned as Prime Minister on 23 May 1945. Later that day, he accepted the King's invitation to form a new government, known officially as the National Government, like the Conservative-dominated coalition of the 1930s, but sometimes called the caretaker ministry. It contained Conservatives, National Liberals and a few non-party figures such as Sir John Anderson and Lord Woolton, but not Labour or Archibald Sinclair's Official Liberals. Although Churchill continued to carry out the functions of Prime Minister, including exchanging messages with the US administration about the upcoming Potsdam Conference, he was not formally reappointed until 28 May.
Churchill continued to lead the Conservative Party and, for six years, served as Leader of the Opposition. In 1946, he was in America for nearly three months from early January to late March. It was on this trip that he gave his "Iron Curtain" speech about the USSR and its creation of the Eastern Bloc. Speaking on 5 March 1946 in the company of President Truman at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Churchill declared:
The Conservatives won the general election in October 1951 with an overall majority of 17 seats and Churchill again became Prime Minister, remaining in office until his resignation on 5 April 1955. Eden, his eventual successor, was restored to Foreign Affairs, the portfolio with which Churchill was preoccupied throughout his tenure. Future Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was appointed Minister of Housing and Local Government with a manifesto commitment to build 300,000 new houses per annum, Churchill's only real domestic concern. He achieved the target and, in October 1954, was promoted to Minister of Defence.
Churchill had been obliged to recognise Colonel Nasser's revolutionary government of Egypt, which took power in 1952. Much to Churchill's private dismay, agreement was reached in October 1954 on the phased evacuation of British troops from their Suez base. In addition, Britain agreed to terminate her rule in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by 1956, though this was in return for Nasser's abandonment of Egyptian claims over the region. Elsewhere, the Malayan Emergency, a guerrilla war fought by Communist fighters against Commonwealth forces, had begun in 1948 and continued past Malayan independence (1957) until 1960. Churchill's government maintained the military response to the crisis and adopted a similar strategy for the Mau Mau Uprising in British Kenya (1952–1960).
Churchill was nearly 77 when he took office and was not in good health following several minor strokes. By December, George VI had become concerned about Churchill's decline and intended asking him to stand down in favour of Eden, but the King had his own serious health issues and died on 6 February without making the request. Churchill developed a close friendship with Elizabeth II. It was widely expected that he would retire after her Coronation in May 1953 but, after Eden became seriously ill, Churchill increased his own responsibilities by taking over at the Foreign Office. Eden was incapacitated until the end of the year and was never completely well again.
Churchill was uneasy about the election of Eisenhower as Truman's successor. After Stalin died on 5 March 1953, Churchill sought a summit meeting with the Soviets but Eisenhower refused out of fear that the Soviets would use it for propaganda. By July of that year, Churchill was deeply regretting that the Democrats had not been returned. He told Colville that Eisenhower as president was "both weak and stupid". Churchill believed that Eisenhower did not fully comprehend the danger posed by the H-bomb and he greatly distrusted Eisenhower's Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. Churchill met Eisenhower to no avail at the Three-Powers (French Prime Minister Joseph Laniel being the third participant) Bermuda Conference in December 1953 (with Churchill as the host, as the conference was on British territory) and in June/July 1954 at the White House. In the end, it was the Soviets who proposed a four-power summit, but it did not meet until 18 July 1955, three months after Churchill had retired.
Planning for Churchill's funeral had begun in 1953 under the code-name of "Operation Hope Not" and a detailed plan had been produced by 1958. His coffin lay in state at Westminster Hall for three days and the funeral ceremony was at St Paul's Cathedral. Afterwards, the coffin was taken by boat along the River Thames to Waterloo Station and from there by a special train to the family plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, near his birthplace at Blenheim Palace.
On the evening of 23 June 1953, Churchill suffered a serious stroke and became partially paralysed down one side. Had Eden been well, Churchill's premiership would most likely have been over. The matter was kept secret and Churchill went home to Chartwell to recuperate. He had fully recovered by November. He retired as Prime Minister in April 1955 and was succeeded by Eden.
Contrary to this depiction, Churchill's views on race as a whole were judged by his contemporaries, within the Conservative Party itself, to be extreme; he once described Indians as "a beastly people with a beastly religion". His personal doctor, Lord Moran, said of other races that: "Winston thinks only of the colour of their skin". In 1955, Churchill expressed his support for the slogan "Keep England White" because he opposed immigration from the West Indies. Churchill held a hierarchical perspective of race, believing white people were most superior and black people the least. He advocated against black or indigenous self-rule in Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, the Americas and India, believing that British imperialism in its colonies was for the good of the "primitive" and "subject races". During an interview in 1902, while discussing his views on the Chinese, Churchill stated that the "great barbaric nations" would "menace civilised nations", but "the Aryan stock is bound to triumph".
At the fourth Moscow conference (codename Tolstoy) from 9 to 19 October 1944, Churchill and Eden met Stalin and Molotov. This conference has gained notoriety for the so-called "Percentages agreement" in which Churchill and Stalin effectively agreed the post-war fate of the Balkans. By that time, the Soviet armies were in Rumania and Bulgaria. Churchill suggested a scale of predominance throughout the whole region so as not to, as he put it, "get at cross-purposes in small ways". He wrote down some suggested percentages of influence per country and gave it to Stalin who ticked it. The agreement was that Russia would have 90% control of Romania and 75% control of Bulgaria. The UK and the USA would have 90% control of Greece. Hungary and Yugoslavia would be 50% each. In 1958, five years after the account of this meeting was published (in Churchill's The Second World War), Soviet authorities denied that Stalin had accepted such an "imperialist proposal".
By the time of the 1959 general election, however, he seldom attended the House of Commons. Despite the Conservative landslide in 1959, his own majority in Woodford fell by more than a thousand. He spent most of his retirement at Chartwell or at his London home in Hyde Park Gate, and became a habitué of high society at La Pausa on the French Riviera.
In June 1962, when he was 87, Churchill had a fall in Monte Carlo and broke his hip. He was flown home to a London hospital where he remained for three weeks. Jenkins says that Churchill was never the same after this accident and his last two years were something of a twilight period. In 1963, US President John F. Kennedy, acting under authorisation granted by an Act of Congress, proclaimed him an Honorary Citizen of the United States, but he was unable to attend the White House ceremony. There has been speculation that he became very depressed in his final years but this has been emphatically denied by his personal secretary Anthony Montague Browne, who was with him for his last ten years. Montague Browne wrote that he never heard Churchill refer to depression and certainly did not suffer from it.
Churchill suffered his final stroke on 12 January 1965. He died nearly two weeks later on the 24th, which was the seventieth anniversary of his father's death. He was given a state funeral six days later on 30 January, the first for a non-royal person since W. E. Gladstone in 1898.
Worldwide, numerous memorials have been dedicated to Churchill. His statue in Parliament Square was unveiled by Clementine in 1973 and is one of only twelve in the square, all of prominent political figures, including Churchill's friend Lloyd George and his India policy nemesis Gandhi. Elsewhere in London, the wartime Cabinet War Rooms have been renamed the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms. An indication of Churchill's high esteem in the UK is the result of the 2002 BBC poll, attracting 447,423 votes, in which he was voted the greatest Briton of all time, his nearest rival being Isambard Kingdom Brunel some 56,000 votes behind.
He is one of only eight people to be granted honorary citizenship of the United States; others include Lafayette, Raoul Wallenberg and Mother Teresa. The United States Navy honoured him in 1999 by naming a new Arleigh Burke-class destroyer as the USS Winston S. Churchill. Other memorials in North America include the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, where he made the 1946 "Iron Curtain" speech; Churchill Square in central Edmonton, Alberta; and the Winston Churchill Range, a mountain range northwest of Lake Louise, also in Alberta, which was renamed after Churchill in 1956.
On the nights of 13–15 February 1945, some 1,200 British and US bombers attacked the German city of Dresden, which was crowded with wounded and refugees from the Eastern Front. The attacks were part of an area bombing campaign that was initiated by Churchill in January with the intention of shortening the war. Churchill came to regret the bombing because initial reports suggested an excessive number of civilian casualties close to the end of the war, though an independent commission in 2010 confirmed a death toll between 22,700 and 25,000. On 28 March, he decided to restrict area bombing and sent a memorandum to General Ismay for the Chiefs of Staff Committee:
Winston's mother, Jennie Jerome, was a popular American socialite. Winston married Clementine Hozier on September 12, 1908 and they had five children together.
|#1||Jack Churchill||Brother||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||89||War Hero|
|#5||Sarah Churchill||Daughter||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||68||Actor|
|#6||Lord Randolph Churchill||Father||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#9||Randolph Leonard Spencer-Churchill||Great-grandchild||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#10||Lady Randolph Churchill||Mother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#12||Clementine Churchill||Spouse||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||134||Political Wife|
Currently, Winston Churchill is 147 years, 11 months and 28 days old. Winston Churchill will celebrate 148th birthday on a Wednesday 30th of November 2022. Below we countdown to Winston Churchill upcoming birthday.
CELEBRATE WINSTON CHURCHILL'S BIRTHDAY & OUR NEW CATALOGUE - Chartwell Booksellers
Happy 145th Birthday Winston Churchill! Our new catalogue is out, in celebration: "CHURCHILL ON TRUTH AND DEMOCRACY." Read it now.