Sir Winston Churchill
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- Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
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- Vinstons Čērčils, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill; Vinstons Leonards Spensers-Čērčils, Сэр Уинстон Черчиль, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
- Freemason, General, Journalist, Member of Parliament, Military person, Minister, Nobel prize, Nobleman, landlord, WWI participant, WWII participant
- Statue of Winston Churchill, Parliament Square
- St Martin Churchyard
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA was a British politician, best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, he served as Prime Minister twice (1940–45 and 1951–55). A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
30.11.1874. Churchill was born into an aristocratic family, and was the grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. 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.
At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of the Asquith Liberal government. During the war, he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign caused his departure from government. He then briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
He returned to government as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, and Secretary of State for Air. After the War, Churchill served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Conservative (Baldwin) government of 1924–29, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy. Also controversial was his opposition to increased home rule for India and his resistance to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII.
Out of office and politically "in the wilderness" during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. On the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His steadfast refusal to consider defeat, surrender, or a compromise peace helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the War when Britain stood alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.
After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour (Attlee) government. After winning the 1951 election, he again became Prime Minister, before retiring in 1955. Upon his death, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history. Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is widely regarded as being among the most influential people in British history.
Born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the noble Spencer family, Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, like his father, used the surname "Churchill" in public life.
His ancestor George Spencer had changed his surname to Spencer-Churchill in 1817 when he became Duke of Marlborough, to highlight his descent from John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. Winston's father, Lord Randolph Churchill, the third son of John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, was a politician; and his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill (née Jennie Jerome) was the daughter of American millionaire Leonard Jerome. Winston was born on 30 November 1874, two months prematurely, in a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
1876. From age two to six, he lived in Dublin, where his grandfather had been appointed Viceroy and employed Churchill's father as his private secretary. Churchill's brother, John Strange Spencer-Churchill, was born during this time in Ireland. It has been claimed that the young Winston first developed his fascination with military matters from watching the many parades pass by the Vice Regal Lodge (now Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the President of Ireland).
Churchill's earliest exposure to education occurred in Dublin, where a governess tried teaching him reading, writing, and arithmetic (his first reading book was called 'Reading Without Tears'). With limited contact with his parents, Churchill became very close to his nanny, 'Mrs' Elizabeth Anne Everest, whom he called 'Old Woom'. She served as his confidante, nurse, and mother substitute. The two spent many happy hours playing in the Phoenix Park.
Independent and rebellious by nature, Churchill generally had a poor academic record in school, for which he was punished.
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. Within weeks of his arrival at Harrow, Churchill had joined the Harrow Rifle Corps.
Churchill was rarely visited by his mother, and wrote letters begging her either to come to the school or to allow him to come home. His relationship with his father was distant; he once remarked that they barely spoke to one another.
1895. His father died on 24 January 1895, aged 45, leaving Churchill with the conviction that he too would die young and so should be quick about making his mark on the world.
Churchill had a lisp that continued throughout his career, reported consistently by journalists of the time and later. Authors writing in the 1920s and 1930s, before sound recording became common, also mentioned Churchill having a stutter, describing it in terms such as 'severe' or 'agonising' . Churchill described himself as having a "speech impediment" which he worked to overcome. The Churchill Centre and Museum says the majority of records show his impediment was a lisp, while Churchill's stutter is a myth.
His dentures were specially designed to aid his speech (Demosthenes' pebbles). After many years of public speeches carefully prepared not only to inspire, but also to avoid hesitations, he could finally state, "My impediment is no hindrance".
1904. Churchill met his future wife, Clementine Hozier, in 1904 at a ball in Crewe House, home of the Earl of Crewe and Crewe's wife Margaret Primrose(daughter of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery and Hannah Rothschild). In 1908, they met again at a dinner party hosted by Susan Jeune, Baroness St Helier. Churchill found himself seated beside Clementine, and they soon began a lifelong romance. He proposed to Clementine during a house party at Blenheim Palace on 10 August 1908, in a small Temple of Diana.
On 12 September 1908, they were married in St. Margaret's, Westminster. The church was packed; the Bishop of St Asaph conducted the service. The couple spent their honeymoon at Highgrove House in Eastcote. In March 1909, the couple moved to a house at 33 Eccleston Square.
On 11 July 1909 their first child, Diana, was born in London. After the pregnancy, Clementine moved to Sussex to recover, while Diana stayed in London with her nanny.
On 28 May 1911, their second child, Randolph, was born at 33 Eccleston Square.
On 7 October 1914 their third child, Sarah, was born at Admiralty House. The birth was marked with anxiety for Clementine, as Winston had been sent to Antwerp by the Cabinet to "stiffen the resistance of the beleaguered city" after news that the Belgians intended to surrender the town.
On 15 November 1918, four days after the official end of the First World War, Clementine gave birth to her fourth child, Marigold Frances Churchill,
In the early days of August 1921, the Churchills' children were entrusted to a French nursery governess in Kent named Mlle Rose. Clementine, meanwhile, travelled to Eaton Hall to play tennis with Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster and his family. While still under the care of Mlle Rose, Marigold had a cold, but was reported to have recovered from the illness. As the illness progressed with hardly any notice, it turned into septicaemia. Following advice from a landlady, Rose sent for Clementine.
On 23 August 1921 However the illness turned fatal and Marigold was buried in the Kensal Green Cemetery three days later.
On 15 September 1922, the Churchills' last child, Mary, was born. Later that month, the Churchills bought Chartwell, hich would be Winston's home until his death in 1965.
Elizabeth II offered to create Churchill Duke of London, but this was declined due to the objections of his son Randolph, who would have inherited the title on his father's death. He did, however, accept a knighthood as Garter Knight. After leaving the premiership, Churchill spent less time in parliament until he stood down at the 1964 General Election. As a mere "back-bencher," Churchill spent most of his retirement at Chartwell and at his home in Hyde Park Gate, in London.
In the 1959 General Election Churchill's majority fell by more than a thousand, since many young voters in his constituency did not support an 85-year-old who could only enter the House of Commons in a wheelchair. As his mental and physical faculties decayed, he began to lose the battle he had fought for so long against the "black dog" of depression.
There was speculation that Churchill may have had Alzheimer's disease in his last years, although others maintain that his reduced mental capacity was merely the result of a series of strokes. 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.
Despite poor health, Churchill still tried to remain active in public life, and on St George's Day 1964, sent a message of congratulations to the surviving veterans of the 1918 Zeebrugge Raid who were attending a service of commemoration in Deal, Kent, where two casualties of the raid were buried in the Hamilton Road Cemetery. On 15 January 1965, Churchill suffered a severe stroke that left him gravely ill.
He died at his London home nine days later, at age 90, on the morning of Sunday 24 January 1965, 70 years to the day after his father's death.
Churchill's funeral was the largest state funeral in world history up to that point in time, with representatives from 112 nations; only China did not send an emissary. Only Ireland did not broadcast the service live on television in Europe, where 350 million people watched, including 25 million in Britain. By decree of the Queen, his body lay in state for three days and a state funeral service was held at St Paul's Cathedral on 30 January 1965. Unusually, the Queen attended the funeral. As his lead-lined coffin passed up the River Thames from Tower Pier to Festival Pier on the MV Havengore, dockers lowered their crane jibs in a salute.
The Royal Artillery fired the 19-gun salute due a head of government, and the RAF staged a fly-by of sixteen English Electric Lightning fighters. The coffin was then taken the short distance to Waterloo station where it was loaded onto a specially prepared and painted carriage as part of the funeral train for its rail journey to Handborough, seven miles north-west of Oxford. The funeral also saw one of the largest assemblages of statesmen in the world.
The funeral train of Pullman coaches carrying his family mourners was hauled by Battle of Britain class steam locomotive No. 34051 Winston Churchill. In the fields along the route, and at the stations through which the train passed, thousands stood in silence to pay their last respects. At Churchill's request, he was buried in the family plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, near Woodstock, not far from his birthplace at Blenheim Palace. Churchill's funeral van—Southern Railway van S2464S—is now part of a preservation project with the Swanage Railway, having been repatriated to the UK in 2007 from the US, to where it had been exported in 1965.
Later in 1965 a memorial to Churchill, cut by the engraver Reynolds Stone, was placed in Westminster Abbey.
Churchill as artist, historian, and writer
Winston Churchill was an accomplished artist and took great pleasure in painting, especially after his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915. He found a haven in art to overcome the spells of depression which he suffered throughout his life. As William Rees-Mogg has stated, "In his own life, he had to suffer the 'black dog' of depression. In his landscapes and still lives there is no sign of depression." Churchill was persuaded and taught to paint by his artist friend, Paul Maze, whom he met during the First World War. Maze was a great influence on Churchill's painting and became a lifelong painting companion.
Churchill is best known for his impressionist scenes of landscape, many of which were painted while on holiday in the South of France, Egypt or Morocco. He continued his hobby throughout his life and painted hundreds of paintings, many of which are on show in the studio at Chartwell as well as private collections. Most of his paintings are oil-based and feature landscapes, but he also did a number of interior scenes and portraits. In 1925Lord Duveen, Kenneth Clark, and Oswald Birley selected his Winter Sunshine as the prize winner in a contest for anonymous amateur artists.:46–47 Due to obvious time constraints, Churchill attempted only one painting during the Second World War. He completed the painting from the tower of the Villa Taylor in Marrakesh.
Some of his paintings can today be seen in the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art. Emery Reves was Churchill's American publisher, as well as a close friend and Churchill often visited Emery and his wife at their villa, La Pausa, in the South of France, which had originally been built in 1927 for Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel by her lover Bendor, 2nd Duke of Westminster. The villa was rebuilt within the museum in 1985 with a gallery of Churchill paintings and memorabilia.
Despite his lifelong fame and upper-class origins, Churchill always struggled to keep his income at a level that would fund his extravagant lifestyle. MPs before 1946 received only a nominal salary (and in fact did not receive anything at all until the Parliament Act 1911) so many had secondary professions from which to earn a living.
From his first book in 1898 until his second stint as Prime Minister, Churchill's income was almost entirely made from writing books and opinion pieces for newspapers and magazines. The most famous of his newspaper articles are those that appeared in the Evening Standard from 1936 warning of the rise of Hitler and the danger of the policy of appeasement.
Churchill was also a prolific writer of books, writing a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs, and several histories in addition to his many newspaper articles. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values". Two of his most famous works, published after his first premiership brought his international fame to new heights, were his six-volume memoir The Second World War and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples; a four-volume history covering the period from Caesar's invasions of Britain (55 BC) to the beginning of the First World War (1914).
He was also an amateur bricklayer, building garden walls and even his country home at Chartwell, where he also bred butterflies. As part of this hobby he joined the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers.
In addition to the honour of a state funeral, Churchill received a wide range of awards and other honours. For example, he was the first person to become an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
In 1945, while Churchill was mentioned by Halvdan Koht as one of seven appropriate candidates for the Nobel Prize in Peace, the nomination went toCordell Hull.
Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his numerous published works, especially his six-volume set The Second World War. In a 2002 BBC poll of the "100 Greatest Britons", he was proclaimed "The Greatest of Them All" based on approximately a million votes from BBC viewers.Churchill was also rated as one of the most influential leaders in history by TIME. Churchill College, Cambridge was founded in 1958 to memorialise him.
On 29 November 1995, during a visit to the United Kingdom, President Bill Clinton of the United States announced to both Houses of Parliament that an Arleigh Burke class destroyer would be named the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81). This was the first United States warship to be named after a non-citizen of the United States since 1975.
Source: wikipedia.org, mod.uk
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