Winston Churchill Biography

A biography of Winston Churchill, the greatest British statesman of the 20th Century and how he saved the civilized world.

Winston Churchill, who came to symbolise staunch opposition to Nazi tyranny, was the eldest son of Lord Randolph Churchill, a British MP and the grandson of a Duke. He was born on 30 November, 1874 at Blenheim Palace, Marlborough. As a child young Winston was sickly, having been born two months early as a result of his mother, Lady Randolph falling while pregnant. As an upper class child he was raised by nannies and as a result his parents were virtual strangers to him.

School records show young Winston to be an angry, troublesome boy. He was also very headstrong, refusing at age twelve, for instance, to do home-work in the holidays because "˜ it would hang like a dark shadow' over his pleasure.

Lord Randolph died on January 24, 1895. A few weeks later Winston became a second lieutenant in the 4th Queen's Hussar Regiment stationed at Aldershot. Determined to follow his father into politics he spent long hours studying political works, all set to use his job as a junior officer into a launch-pad for a political career. To further cement his position, he also became a journalist. He used his family influence to get postings to exotic and exciting locations around the globe, where he would write articles, sending them back to the British press. In September 1897, he was stationed to the North-West frontier in India, where a revolt had broken out. Here Churchill saw action for the first time, distinguishing himself as a valiant fighter.

In March 1898, Churchill published a book on his exploits in India. In July of that year he addressed his first political meeting. Then in August, he was posted to Cairo in Egypt where his unit set out to engage the Dervishes. Despite the fact that Churchill's regiment were outnumbered nearly two to one, they were victorious, with Winston once more distinguishing himself.

Churchill's next adventure was in South Africa, where a war was brewing with the Boer farmers. Upon arrival, however, he promptly got himself captured by the Boers and held as a prisoner of war. Thus, he spent his 25th birthday in a prison camp in Pretoria. Before long, though, he had managed to escape. After further adventures, he was smuggled back into British territory under bales of wool. After seeing action again, he returned to England in July, 1900.

Within four months Churchill had been elected as an MP, representing the constituents of Oldham as a Conservative. He soon, however, found himself at odds with his party, becoming an outspoken proponent of free trade. In 1904, he broke with his party and stood as a Liberal. When the Liberals became the Government in 1905, Churchill was given the office of Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. In 1908, he entered Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade.



Winston's personal life was also looking good. On 12 September, 1908 he married Clementine Hozier. After honeymooning in Italy, he was back to work, vociferously implementing social reforms. In the minority Liberal government of 1910, Churchill became Home Secretary.

During the First World War, Churchill was transferred to the Admiralty. However, he championed the ill-fated Dardenelles expedition. He was personally held responsible for the slaughter of the Allies. The result of this disaster was that the Liberals were ousted from Government and Churchill himself was in limbo for two years. In 1917, Lloyd George appointed him as Minister of Munitions. In 1922, however, Churchill was stunned to find himself voted out of office.

Throughout the twenties and thirties Churchill constantly warned his countrymen about the looming danger of Hitler's Germany. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his Government ignored his pleas however. Churchill managed to build a public following and managed to get himself returned to the Admiralty. When Chamberlain resigned after his appeasement policy collapsed, Churchill became Prime Minister on May 10, 1940. He now headed a Coalition Government with just one aim - to defeat the Nazis.

The 2nd World War brought out the best in Churchill. He was everywhere, bolstering the nation and overseeing war plans. In December 1941 he managed to bring together the United States and the Soviet Union along with Great Britain in a grand alliance against Germany. After Pearl Harbor, Churchill dogmatically worked on President Roosevelt to focus on the defeat of Germany ahead of the war with Japan.

Despite the impending victory of the war, Churchill returned to England following the Yalta conference of February 1945 to find that the Coalition Government had been voted out of power. He was forced to resign as Prime Minister. He remained in parliament, however, and won a second term of office as P.M. in 1951. During this four year term he took on the mantle of elder statesman receiving many honours, including the title Sir Winston. In April 1955 he resigned as Prime Minister at the age of 80.

Throughout his life Churchill was plagued by depression, which he called "˜the black dog.' In January 1965 he suffered a terrible stroke and died on the exact same day that his father, Lord Randolph, had passed away 70 years earlier. He was 90 years of age.

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