Who was Winston Churchill? Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the British Prime Minister who is best known for his leadership during World War 2.

Facts About Winston Churchill’s Childhood and Early Life

  • Winston Churchill was born on 30th November 1874 at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
  • His parents were Lord and Lady Randolph Churchill.

  • Winston Churchill was not a very good pupil at school.
  • Winston did not have a very close relationship with either of his parents. He was, however, close to his nanny, Elizabeth Anne Everest.
  • Winston’s father died at the age of 45 in 1895.
  • Churchill had quite a severe lisp which he worked hard to deal with when giving speeches.
  • Winston got married to Clementine Hozier on 12th September 1908.
  • Winston had five children, Diana, Randolph, Sara, Marigold and Mary. Marigold died when she was very young – she got septicaemia.

Winston Churchill’s Military Record

  • In 1893 Churchill applied to join the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He chose to join the calvary and became a Second-Lieutenant in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.
  • Alongside his military career, Churchill also wrote about the conflicts he witnessed. This made him extra money and it also allowed him to experience a range of different battles, strategies and military situations.
  • Winston Churchill was sent to Cuba (where he discovered Cuban cigars), India and Sudan.
  • Churchill left the British Army on 5th May 1899.
  • As a war reporter he went to South Africa to cover the Second Boer War. He was captured and made a Prisoner of War in Pretoria. Winston managed to escape from the POW camp.
  • Churchill joined the South African Light Horse (although he was still a war reporter).
  • Winston Churchill was made First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911. In this role, Churchill set about modernising Britain’s battleships.
  • He was forced to resign from his post in 1915 because he had been heavily involved in planning the Battle of Gallipoli (World War 1) – which was a massive disaster.
  • Churchill rejoined the British Army and served as a Lieutenant-Colonel.

Winston Churchill and Politics

  • Churchill won the seat for Oldham in 1900. He started off as a member of the Conservative Party but he defected to the Liberal Party in 1904.
  • In 1908 Churchill introduced a bill to set up Britain’s first minimum wages.
  • Churchill rejoined the Conservative Party in 1925.
  • Churchill was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, but he didn’t really do very well in this job.
  • During the build-up to World War 2, Winston Churchill gave numerous speeches about the need to rearm against Germany.

Winston Churchill and World War 2

  • On the day that Britain declared war on Germany, Winston Churchill was made First Lord of the Admiralty (the post he held during World War 1) and a member of the War Cabinet.
  • Neville Chamberlain resigned on 10th May 1940. Churchill became Prime Minister.
  • Churchill gave many memorable speeches that inspired the British public, such as the ‘finest hour’ speech and the speech given before the Battle of Britain.
  • At the end of World War 2, Churchill was a hero to the British people and many thought his leadership was the biggest reason for the defeat of Hitler.
  • Churchill was defeated in the 1945 election. Churchill was seen as a fantastic war leader, but the public didn’t think he could lead the country in times of peace.
  • Churchill served as Leader of the Opposition for 6 years.
  • Churchill became Prime Minister for the second time in October 1951. He resigned in April 1955.

Winston Churchill – Retirement

  • Winston Churchill suffered a series of strokes during the 1950s.
  • He left Parliament by standing down at the 1964 General Election.
  • Churchill died on Sunday 24th January 1965 at the age of 90. This was exactly 70 years after his father had died.
  • Churchill’s state funeral was massive. 350 million people watched on television and 112 nations sent representatives to St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Churchill is buried at St Martin’s Church, Bladon.

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