Saturday, 23 January 2010

Sir Winston Churchill - 45 years since he died

Full name: Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965)
born 30th of November, 1874, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England
died  24th of  January, 1965, London

Tomorrow it is the 45th year since Sir Winston Churchill passed.

Son of Lord Randolph Churchill, a prominent Tory politician, and the American Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill was born on 30 November 1874 at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. He had an unhappy childhood and was an unpromising student who attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, before embarking on an army career. After joining the 4th Hussars in 1895, he saw service as both a soldier and a journalist, and his dispatches from India and South Africa attracted wide attention. While working as a journalist during the Boer War he was captured and made a prisoner-of-war before escaping.
Fame as a military hero helped him win election to the House of Commons in 1900 and become a Member of  Parliament (MP) for Oldham. But he became disaffected with his party and in 1904 joined the Liberal Party. When the Liberals won the 1905 election, Churchill was appointed undersecretary at the Colonial Office. In 1908 he entered the Cabinet as president of the Board of Trade, becoming home secretary in 1910. The following year he became first lord of the Admiralty (1911-1915). He held this post in the first months of World War One but after the disastrous Dardanelles expedition, for which he was blamed, he resigned. He joined the army, serving for a time on the Western Front. In 1917, he was back in government as minister of munitions. From 1919 to 1921 he was secretary of state for war and air, and from 1924-1929 was chancellor of the exchequer.
In the years before World War II, his warnings of the threat posed by Adolf Hitler’s Germany were repeatedly ignored. When war broke out, he was appointed to his old post as head of the Admiralty. After Neville Chamberlain resigned, Churchill headed a coalition government as prime minister (1940–45). He committed himself and the nation to an all-out war until victory was achieved, and his great eloquence, energy, and indomitable fortitude made him an inspiration to his countrymen, especially in the Battle of Britain. With Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, he shaped Allied strategy through the Atlantic Charter and at the Cairo, Casablanca, and Tehran conferences. Though he was the architect of victory, his government was defeated in the 1945 elections. After the war he alerted the West to the expansionist threat of the Soviet Union. He led the Conservative Party back into power in 1951 and remained prime minister until 1955, when ill health forced his resignation.
For his many writings, including The Second World War (6 vol., 1948–53) he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953; his later works include his History of the English-Speaking Peoples (4 vol., 1956–58). He was knighted in 1953; he later refused the offer of a peerage. He was made an honorary U.S. citizen in 1963. Among other majors contributions to the history of the mankind it is worth mentioning that he came up with the term “Iron Curtain”. In his late years he attained heroic status as one of the titans of the 20th century.
Sit Winston Churchill died on 24 January 1965 and was given a state funeral.

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