Winston Churchill - Prime Minister, British Military Leader & Statesman Of Great Britain

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. His father, Lord Randolph a British statesman and mother, Jeanette, an independent-minded New York socialite.


At first, Churchill grew up in Dublin, Ireland as his father was employed by his grandfather the 7th Duke of Marlborough, John Spencer-Churchill. April 1888 enrolled in Harrow school and building his path to a military career. It took him three tries to pass his exam for the British Royal Military College and graduated 20th in his class of 130.

Churchill wrote letters to his parents, particularly mothers to come to visit him, but she seldom came. Thus, his relationship with his parents was distant. His father died when he turned 21.


By 1895, Churchill joined the Fourth Queens own Hussars and by 1898 served in the battle of Omdurman in the Indian northwest frontier and Sudan. He wrote military reports for the Pioneer Mail and the Daily Telegraph as well as two books on his experiences The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898) and The River War (1899).


Churchill left the army in 1899 and began working as a war correspondent for the Morning Post (conservative daily newspaper). As he was reporting the Boer War in South Africa, he was taken hostage by them during a scouting expedition. He escaped and wrote a book upon his experience called London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900).


By 1900, he followed his fathers footsteps by joining the British Parliament in the conservative party for Oldham, Manchester, and supported social reforms. He became a member by 1908 and appointed to the prime minister's cabinet as president of the Board of Trade. 1904, Churchill switched to the Liberal Party.


Winston Churchill married Clementine Ogilvy Hozier and they had five children; Diana, Randolph, Sara, and Marigold who died as a toddler of tonsillitis.


David Lloyd George as Chancellor together with Churchill opposed the expansion of the British Navy. Sir Churchill set up multiple new reforms for the prison system, the first minimum wage, and labor exchange as well as unemployment insurance. The House of Commons passed "The People's Budget" by 1909 as it was initially defeated in the House of Lords in 1910, introducing taxes on the wealthy for new social welfare programs.


A controversial visit to a police siege in London with two alleged robbers led to the burning of the building in January 1911. According to reports, Churchill asked to let the house burn down and the bodies of the robbers were left inside in the ruins. Around the same time, he became First Lord of the Admiralty and continued improving the British Navy and exchanged the coal-fired for oil-fired warships. Enthusiastic about aviation, he joined on promoting military aircraft and Royal Navy Air Service as well as took flying lessons himself.


Due to the horrific Battle of Gallipoli during World War I, Churchill became forced to resign by 1915. Eventually, he rejoined the British Army commanding and seeing action in the Western Front as well as "No man's land". In the final year of the war, he was appointed the minister of munitions, handling the production of tanks, airplanes, and munitions.


During 1919-1922, he worked as minister of war and air under the Prime minister David Lloyd George. The ordering of airpower and poisonous gas to be used on rebellious Kurdish tribesmen in Iraq which were a British territory led to ye another controversy. The gas was considered but not used.


The heavyweights on the Libera Party led to Churchill returning to the Conservative party and by 1929 with the defeat of the Conservative, he left the government and became a distant right-wing extremist. During such hard times, he turned to paint Plein air and portraits of over 500 paintings as a way of helping his power of observation and memory. A controversial painting was made of Churchill by Graham Sutherland, which was burned on a bonfire by his wife by 1954.


WORLD WAR


Adolf Hitler, began rising to power in the 1930s at the same time as Churchill a leading advocate for British rearmament, First Lord of the Admiralty again and a member of the war cabinet, and by 1940 he became the chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee. Churchill was not a supporter of the Prime minister, Neville Chamberlain as Chamberlain's policy of appeasement towards the Nazis was failing. As Germany began invading the neighboring countries in 1938, Britain finally declared war by September 3, 1939.


On May 10, 1940, Chamberlain resigned and King George VI announced Churchill as prime minister and minister of defense. Winston began formed alliances with the United States and the Soviet Union. Churchills great relationship with U.S. President F.D.R. passed the Lend-Lease Act allowing Britain to order war goods from United States. Meetings were held in Tehran, 1943, at Yalta Conference 1945 and Postdam Conference 1945 with the Allies against the Axis Powers with the United Nations in the center. Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945 and yet Churchill was defeated in the general election in July 1945.


In March 1946, Churchill held his famous speech "Iron Curtain" in the United States to warn of the Soviet domination on Eastern Europe and advocate Britain's independence fro European coalitions. By October 1951, he was elected Prime minister for the second time. He introduced reforms such as Mines and Quarries Sct in 1954 to improve working conditions in mines and the Housing Repair and Rent Act in 1955 to improve standards for housing. However, his accomplishments were not in focus due to the foreign policy crisis in colonies of Kenya and Malaya. Even though the rebellions were put down, this began to be the end fo Britain's ability to sustain colonial ruling.


Elizabeth II knighted Churchill in 1953, and in the same year he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for "his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values," - The Nobel Prize committee.


Sir Winston Churchill suffered a heart attack in 1941 during a visit to the White House, had previously battled pneumonia, endured a series of stroked in 1953, He retired as prime minister in 1955 and on January 24, 1965, nine days after a stroke, Churchill passed away. Speculations about him suffering from Alzheimers disease surfaced, although medical experts indicated the cause of the stroked being reduced mental capacity.


Reference

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

  2. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Winston-Churchill

  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/history/past-prime-ministers/winston-churchill

Image Cover Creidt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

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