Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winston Churchill Born

Winston S. Churchill
(1874-1965)

Sir Winston Spencer Churchill was born on November 30, 1874 at Blenheim Palace, the home built for his famous ancestor the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, who led an allied victory against the French at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. As the future Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill would lead his nation to win even greater battles, first in the Battle of Britain and later in the ultimate defeat of Germany and Japan in World War II.

Winston Churchill was a soldier, journalist, writer, politician, historian and even an artist. A brilliant orator and a man of genius, he made many grave mistakes in his career but he was instrumental in keeping Great Britain and its Empire in the fight against Hitler's Germany in the early years of the Second World War when a Nazi victory seemed certain. When the United States finally declared war against the Axis powers (Germany, Japan, Italy) in December of 1941 Churchill knew that although the fighting was far from over, the war was all but won.

Throughout his life Churchill was a fervent supporter of the British Empire. As a soldier and a journalist he fought on the North-West frontier of India and took part in the Sudan expedition that culminated in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898. He was taken prisoner in the Boer War and escaped to write about his exploits. During the First World War he fought again as an officer on the Western Front.

Following in his fathers footsteps, Lord Randolph Churchill, he became a member of Parliament. He was First Lord of the Admiralty in both World Wars before becoming Prime Minister in 1940. He served as Prime Minister from 1940-1945 and again in 1951-1955.

Upon his death in 1965, Sir Winston S. Churchill was given an official state funeral, an honor generally reserved for royalty in Great Britain.