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Winston Spencer Churchill

Churchill_portrait_NYP_45063The British ‘Bulldog spirit’ was never best suited by one character at exactly the right time than by Winston (later Sir Winston) Churchill. His steadfast leadership during the perilous days of the Second World War became a great source of comfort and a great boost to the moral of an embattled nation.

Churchill had an ignominious start to his career. Having attended Harrow school he found that he and examinations were not suited. His father, Randolph Churchill, a high ranking Cabinet Minister in the late nineteenth century, was thought to have been disappointed with his son. It was his mother, Lady Jennie Churchill, an American by birth who supplied the young Winston with both encouragement and a much needed affection.

Churchill began his public career as a reporter during the British campaign against the Mahdi in the Sudan. His trade took him to South Africa when the Boer War began. He was captured and famously escaped from his Afrikaans captors. His fame became a springboard for him to follow his father into the world of politics as the MP for Oldham.

Churchill’s political career was not without question, his involvement in such disasters as the Allied landings at Gallipoli in the First World War led to him receiving notice for the wrong kind of reasons. It was the Second World War which gave Churchill the chance to shine. His inspirational speeches which celebrated the nations resilience and eventual victory have immortalised him.

In 1945 when the first post-war General Election was held Churchill was, astonishing as it may seem, voted out of office. He returned to Number Ten in 1951 and was Prime Minister until 1955. Ten years after he left office this icon of the twentieth century died. Up until that of Diana, Princess of Wales, Sir Winston’s was the last British State funeral of the twentieth century.

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