Reference

Churchill’s Chart of Achievements

A concise look at the achievements of Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill held many government offices during his political career which spanned sixty years. He had a number of failings during this time and a remarkable number of achievements.

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Interesting Facts About Winston Churchill

Here are some of the most interesting facts about the life of the former British Prime Minister

Family Life

  1. Winston Churchill married Clementine Ogilvy Hozier in 1908, but before they were married he proposed to three different women when he was in his twenties–each of whom refused his proposal.
  2. Churchill’s mother Lady Randolph Churchill went into labour prematurely while visiting her parents-in-law and Winston was born at Blenheim Palace, the home of his grandparents the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough.

Personal Life

  1. Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 for his lifetime body of work.
  2. Churchill’s mother Lady Randolph (Jennie Jerome) was an American born in Brooklyn, which of course made Winston half American.

Churchill and Islam

One of Winston Churchill’s first books was titled The River War, which he published in 1899. The book documented his experiences as a young Lieutenant when he was, with the help of his influential mother, able secure a British Army commission with General Gordon in Khartoum, Sudan.

The leader of the ‘dervishes’ that were defeated in the 1896–1899 conflict was The Mahdi—Mohammed Ahmed ibn Abdallah—who led a jihadist uprising by the Ansar, as the Mahdi’s followers were known, against Turco-Egyptian rule in Sudan at the end of the 19th century.

At the annual International Churchill Conference held outside London in 2015, The Mahdi’s grandson and current Mahdi, Imam Ahmed Abdel Rahman El Mahdi spoke passionately to the assembled group.

You can read a transcript of his remarks here. You can also watch his presentation below, along with the Q&A session that followed.

The British Parliamentary System In the Age of Churchill

by Don C. Graeter

A basic understanding of the terminology and workings of the British Parliamentary System of Government is essential to an understanding of the long public life of Sir Winston Churchill. While the British system is democratic, it differs in significant respects from the American system.

The Branches of Government-Overview

Besides the judiciary, the British structure consists of the monarch, legislative and executive branches. The term “Parliament” technically refers to both chambers of the legislative branch which is divided into the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Colloquially, “Parliament” is sometimes used to refer only to Commons.

In medieval times, the monarch was supreme, but the position has evolved almost entirely into that of a figurehead. Many formalities are observed to honor the tradition of the monarch as head of state, but virtually no legal authority remains with the Crown.

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Churchill the Great? Why the Vote Will Not Be Unanimous

by Douglas J. Hall

Eight of Finest Hour’s nine articles nominating Churchill for Time magazine’s designation as “Person of the Century,” which concluded in the last number, were written by Americans, Canadians and an Australian. Churchill was British, why the discrepancy? For one thing, non-Britons tend to see the Churchill of the world’s stage: statesman, sage, even saviour. In Britain he may be seen as all those things, and more, but invariably with some modification, arising from his record as a party politician. And, it must be said, that is where the water begins to get muddy. Read More >

Churchill Residences

Thanks to Lady Soames’s Speaking for Themselves, we are able to provide a comprehensive list of residences, including country houses and temporary quarters.

Official residences such as Admiralty House and Downing Street are marked in bold and are listed only for the periods the Churchill’s actually resided there. Asterisked (*) London addresses carry the blue historical plaque. (It is not clear whether the Churchill’s fully vacated Hyde Park Gate during the 1951-55 Premiership.)

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Rules of the Other Club

These are the original Rules, though as Sir Colin noted, some have altered. Rule 3 was immediately and frequently violated. As for Rule 6, “the Club is not immune from inflation; and these figures are variable”–but imagine what £2, a week’s wage for a workingman, bought for dinner in 1911. Rule 7 had the clear purpose of altering no votes between Government and Opposition. Although Rule 11 remains unchanged, there has been no Executive Committee since 1970 and its powers are exercised by the honorary secretaries. The Rules are read aloud at every meeting and graduate Members have long known them by heart:

  1. The Club shall be called the Other Club.
  2. The object of The Other Club is to dine.
  3. The Club shall consist of no more than fifty Members and not more than twenty-four Members of the House of Commons.
  4. So long as this number is not exceeded, any Member may propose a Candidate for election to the Committee, and the Committee may circulate the name of any other Candidate or Candidates (but not singly) to the Club for election at such time as they think fit.
  5. The Club shall dine on alternate Thursdays at 8.15 punctually, when Parliament is in session.
  6. There shall be an entrance fee of £5 and an annual subscription of £7 10s. £2 shall be charged for each dinner.The Members of the House of Commons shall be paired from 8 o’clock until 10.30 p.m. unless they arrange to the contrary through the co-secretaries.
  7. The Members of the House of Commons shall be paired from 8 o’clock until 10.30 p.m. unless they arrange to the contrary through the co-secretaries.The Executive Committee shall settle all outstanding questions with plenary powers.
  8. The Executive Committee shall settle all outstanding questions with plenary powers.There shall be no appeal from the decision of the Executive Committee.
  9. There shall be no appeal from the decision of the Executive Committee.The names of the Executive Committee shall be wrapped in impenetrable mystery.
  10. The names of the Executive Committee shall be wrapped in impenetrable mystery.
  11. The Members of the Executive Committee shall nominate the Secretary, who shall receive no remuneration and shall be liable for all unforeseen obligations.

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Sovereigns and Prime Ministers

CHURCHILL’SHRH Queen Victoria SOVEREIGNS

Queen Victoria, 1837-1901
King Edward VII, 1901-1910
King George V, 1910-1936
King Edward VIII, 1936
King George VI, 1936-1952
Queen Elizabeth II, 1952-present Read More >

Churchill’s Commissions and Military Attachments

Compiled by Douglas Russell & Paul Courtenay

COMMISSIONS HELD BY WINSTON S. CHURCHILL

  1. 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, 20 Feb 1895.
  2. Lieutenant, 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, 20 May 1896.
  3. Lieutenant, South African Light Horse, Jan 1900.
  4. Captain, Imperial Yeomanry, Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, 4 Jan 1902.
  5. Major, Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, 25 May 1905.
  6. Lieutenant-Colonel (temporary), QOOH, posted to 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers, 5 January 1916.

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Churchill’s Elections

Douglas J. Hall

Published in Finest Hour 103
pp. 49-50

In a parliamentary career spanning sixty-four years Churchill represented five constituencies and served under thirteen Prime Ministers (Lord Salisbury, Balfour, Campbell-Bannerman, Asquith, Lloyd George, Bonar Law, Baldwin, MacDonald, Chamberlain, Attlee, Eden, Macmillan and Douglas-Home) -and, of course, his own Premierships, 1940-45 and 1951-55. Read More >

British Political Parties in Churchill’s Time

By Prof. John Ramsden, Queen Mary & Westfield College

British Union of Fascists
Formed by Sir Oswald Mosley in 1932 after he had left both the Conservative and Labour Parties; a small fringe group that never won a parliamentary seat and whose violent activities were quickly stopped by the British Government in 1934-36. Mosley’s later Union Movement (1948-1979) was even less successful. Read More >

Churchill’s Political Offices, 1906 – 1955

churchill-on-budget-dayChancellor of the Exchequer Winston S Churchill, his wife Clementine, their daughter Sarah and son Randolph, on the way to the House of Commons on Budget Day, 15th April 1929. (Photo © by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Undersecretary of State for the Colonies
9 Dec 1905 – 24 Apr 1908. Chief assistant to the Colonial Secretary with responsibility for directing all colonial affairs worldwide. Since the Colonial Secretary at this time was Lord Elgin, Churchill was the nominal spokesman (much to Elgin’s angst) on colonial matters in the Commons.

President of the Board of Trade
24 Apr 08-14 Feb 10. Equivalent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Appointment date is the official one, but per the rule of the day, Churchill had to refight his Manchester seat to confirm this Cabinet office. He lost on 23 April, but was elected MP for Dundee on 9 May.

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The Armorial Bearings of Sir Winston Churchill

By Paul Courtenay

Mr. Courtenay is Hon. Secretary of ICS (UK); he is also a member of the (British) Heraldry Society.

Introduction

Churchill ArmsThe Churchill coat-of-arms ought to be familiar enough to members. But how many understand what it is saying to us? In trying to answer this question, I cannot avoid giving an elementary Heraldry lesson; I should therefore apologise to those readers who already know a fair amount about the subject. Some of the terminology used is a little arcane so, rather than break up the narrative with frequent explanations, I have defined unfamiliar terms in a glossary at the end. By referring to this, and to the accompanying illustrations, it should be easy enough to follow the thread. Read More >

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WinstonChurchill.org

The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

At a time when leadership is challenged at every turn, that legacy looms larger and remains more relevant than ever.