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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 both 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. 
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. 



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.

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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.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICE MAJOR INITIATIVES* RESULT* BOOKS PUBLISHED
(Note: Ministers must be Members of Parliament - MPs)
None (1900-1905)
(Member of Parliament)
Elected 1900 as a Conservative; in 1904 switched to Liberal Party Success
Success
The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898)
The River War (1899); Savrola (1899)
London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900)
Ian Hamilton's March (1900)
Mr. Brodick's Army (1903)
Colonial Under-Secretary 1905-1908 Transvaal constitution Success Lord Randolph Churchill (1906)
For Free Trade (1906)
President, Board of Trade
1908-1910
(out of Parliament 24 Apr 1908 - May 09)
Labor dispute mediation
Arbitration courts
Labor Exchanges
Minimum wage
Success
Mixed
Success
Success
My African Journey (1908)
Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909)
Home Secretary
1910-1911
Strike intervention
Home rule for Ireland
Prison reform
Insurance Act
Labor and Shop Acts
Mixed
Inconclusive
Mixed
Success
Success
The People's Rights (1910)
First Lord of the Admiralty
1911-1915
Naval staff reorganization
Fleet power conversion (coal to oil)
Naval Air Corps
Ship development project
Tank development project
Dardanelles
Success
Success

Success
Success
Success
Failure
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
28 May 1915 - 11 Nov 1915
Only serious duty is to appoint County magistrates; a sinecure.
None (1915-1916)
(Member of Parliament)
Battalion commander, France Success
Minister of Munitions
1917-1919
Streamlining of ministry
Output increases
Success
Success
Secretary of State for Air & War 1919-1921 Russian intervention
Demobilization
Failure
Success
Colonial Secretary
1921-1922
Home Rule for Ireland
Middle East reorganization
Mixed
Success
Out of Parliament
16 Nov 1922 - 29 Oct 1924
1924 Returns to Conservative Party The World Crisis (vol. 1 & 2/5) (1923)
Chancellor of the Exchequer 
1924-1929
Gold standard restoration
Income tax reduction
Sweeping tax reform
Coal strike mediation
General Strike 1926
Failure
Success
Failure
Failure
Mixed
The World Crisis ( vol. 3 & 4/5) (1927-29)
None (1929-1939)
(Member of Parliament)
"Wilderness Years"
Opposed India Bill
Campaign for rearmament
Defended Edward VIII
Failure
Failure
Mixed
The World Crisis ( vol. 5/5) (1931)
My Early Life: A Roving commission(1930)
India (1931)
Thoughts and Adventures/Amid These Storms (1932)
Marlborough: His Life and Times(1933-38)
Great Contemporaries (1937)
Arms and the Covenant/While England Slept (1938)
First Lord of the Admiralty 1939-1940 Norwegian offensive
Attacking German Fleet
National Broadcasts
Failure
Success
Success
Step by Step 1936-1939 (1939)
Prime Minister and
Minister of Defence

1940-1945
Mobilized English Language
WW2 - vs. Germany/Italy
WW2 - vs. Japan
Opposed Soviet hegemony
Success
Success
Success
Failure
Into Battle/Blood Sweat and Tears(1941)
The Unrelenting Struggle (1942)
The End of the Beginning (1943)
Onward to Victory (1944)
Prime Minister 1945 Caretaker Government The Dawn of Liberation (1945)
None
Leader of the Opposition

(1945-1951
Tory domestic policy
Warned of Soviet threat
Supported Labour's Foreign Policy
Success
Success

Mixed

Secret Session Speeches (1946)
The Second World War 6 vol. (1948-53)
Sinews of Peace (1948)
Europe Unite (1950)
Prime Minister 1951-1955 Cold War mediation Failure In the Balance (1951); Stemming the Tide (1953)
None 1955-1964
(Member of Parliament)
Intercedes with Eisenhower over Suez Failure History of the English-Speaking Peoples 4 vol. (1956-58); The Unwritten Alliance (1961)
Winston S. Churchill: The Complete Speeches 8 vol. (1974)
The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill 4 vol. (1975)


*Major initiatives and evaluations compiled by Steven F Hayward, from his book Churchill on Leadership (Rocklin, CA: Prima, 1998). p.24, and Richard M. Langworth, Editor, The Churchill Centre. May be reprinted for educational purposes, but only with attribution to Steven F. Hayward and The Churchill Centre.

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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.

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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

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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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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.

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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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