Winston Churchill

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The Right Honourable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born in 1874 and died in 1965, the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and an American mother, was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst. Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family.

 

His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. He was educated at three independent schools: St. George’s School, Ascot, Berkshire; Brunswick School in Hove, near Brighton (the school has since been renamed Stoke Brunswick School and relocated to Ashurst Wood in West Sussex); and at Harrow School from 17 April 1888.

 

As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Sudan, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns. He held many high posts in Liberal and Conservative governments during the first three decades of the century.

 

In May, 1940, he became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and remained in office until 1945. He took over the premiership again in the Conservative victory of 1951 and resigned in 1955. However, he remained a Member of Parliament until the general election of 1964, when he did not seek re-election.

 

Queen Elizabeth II conferred on Churchill the dignity of Knighthood and invested him with the insignia of the Order of the Garter in 1953.

 

In 1897, Churchill attempted to travel to both report and, if necessary, fight in the Greco-Turkish War, but this conflict effectively ended before he could arrive. Later, while preparing for a leave in England, he heard that three brigades of the British Army were going to fight against a Pashtun tribe in the North West Frontier of India and he asked his superior officer if he could join the fight.

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In 1905, the Liberal Party won the national election and Churchill was asked to become the Under-Secretary of State at the Colonial Office. Churchill’s dedication and efficiency earned him an excellent reputation and he was quickly promoted. He was nearly continuously writing books, articles, and speeches as well as holding important government positions.

 

However, he made time for romance when he met Clementine Hozier in March 1908. The two were engaged on August 11 of that same year and married just a month later on September 12, 1908, had five children together and remained married until Winston’s death at age 90.

 

In that same year, he was made President of the Board of Trade (a Cabinet position) and in 1910; Churchill was made Home Secretary (a more important Cabinet position). Churchill had always been energetic, determined, and confident.

 

Couple these traits with the fact that Churchill liked to be part of the action and you have Churchill trying to have his hands in all military matters, not only those dealing with the navy. Many felt that Churchill overstepped his position.

 

Among Winston’s closest friends were Professor Lindemann and the “the three B’s” (none popular with Clementine), Birkenhead, Beaverbook, Bracken. The Churchills entertained widely, including among their guests Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein and Lawrence of Arabia.