For Educators

Churchill Archive for Schools Get free access to the Churchill Archive for Schools

The entire Churchill Archive has been digitised and is now online and available free of charge to schools worldwide until 31 December 2020. The digital archive is normally only available only by annual subscription. However, this project was very generously funded by Laurence Geller CBE, Chairman of the Churchill Centre. To read a letter of thanks from the Chairman of the Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust to Mr Geller, follow this link.

For Access, registration needs to be completed on The Churchill Archive for Schools website here.

Bloomsbury Publishing created The Churchill Archive for Schools website in partnership with the Churchill Archives and The Churchill Centre. The Churchill Archive for Schools website has a wealth of classroom-ready resources for teachers and students. The website provides an expanding range of resources specially written and developed by leading history educators to support the teaching of History at the secondary level.

The Churchill Archive for Schools provides teachers and students with an accessible and exciting entry point into the complete online Churchill Archive, which is now available free of charge.

Visit Churchill Archive for Schools


What is the Churchill Archive?

Churchill Archives

©Churchill Archives Centre. Char 9/140A

The Churchill Archive is a digital library containing more than 800,000 pages of original documents including Churchill’s private letters, speeches, telegrams, manuscripts, government transcripts and other key historical documents produced between 1874 and 1965.
The Archive is a treasure-trove for historians, including students at school level and is much more than just the personal collection of one prominent man. The documents can be used to reveal much more about Churchill, his times and the people around him. Working with the archive is an excellent training ground for young historians, and it is also excellent training in problem-solving and lateral thinking.

How to gain free access to the complete online Churchill Archive

The Churchill Archive is now available free of charge to schools worldwide (normally available by annual subscription) until 31 December 2020, exclusively through JSC Online Resources.

To gain full access to the Churchill Archive for free, simply register your details online here or contact them via email here.


Find out more about the Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge University here.

Documents for Lesson Plans

National Endowment for the Humanities
American Citizens’ Letters to Churchill in response to his radio broadcast to America on 16 October 1938.

  • Speech (“The lights are going out”)
  • Audio excerpt with the memorable phrase We Must Arm
  • Anonymized facsimiles of four letters with transcriptions of two handwritten ones
  • Psalm-style format of a single page from The Defence of Freedom and Peace Speech, 16 October 1938, beginning with “We must arm.”
  • Lesson plan (Hart) using the speech and four letters
  • Lesson plan (see Patrick, under The Path to World War II) using this speech and two other speeches in 1939 and 1941

Churchill Centre. Churchill for Young People
This sixteen-page booklet, developed by Debby Hern and the Churchill Centre, is free for download here. Individual pages may also be printed.

Churchill, Winston. Churchill and the “The Flying Peril,1913-1955
Quotes from Churchill’s speeches on the topic of air power and bombing, selected by Richard M. Langworth. The title quote, so quintessential Churchill, reads, “The flying peril is not a peril from which one can fly. It is necessary to face it where we stand. We cannot possibly retreat. We cannot move London.”

Churchill, Winston. “Be Ye Men of Valor,” (Annotated) May 19, 1940
This annotated version of of Churchill’s first radio broadcast as prime minister (on the BBC) includes helpful information for students and teachers, plus a map. See here for a non-annotated, printable copy.

Churchill, Winston. “Be Ye Men of Valor” Single Page Primary Document
Psalm-style format of a single page from the “Be Ye Men of Valor” Speech, 19 May 1940, beginning with “I have received from the Chiefs of the French Republic . . .”

Churchill, Winston. “The Scaffolding of Rhetoric”
Churchill wrote this unfinished essay on his theory of oratory in 1897 at the age of twenty-three. He never published it, but it appeared in Finest Hour 94, the quarterly Journal of Winston Churchill, published by The Churchill Centre, in the Spring of 1997.

Gilbert, Martin. Winston S. Churchill, Volume VII, Road to Victory, 1941-1945. London: Heinemann, 1986

This excerpt from the official biography highlights the bombing of Dresden and general Allied bombing policy during March and April of 1945.

Gilbert, Martin. Churchill and Bombing Policy The Fifth Churchill Centre Lecture. Washington, D.C. 2005
Aviation, air power and bombing were part of Churchill’s life for half a century. As a thirty-four-year-old member of the British Government’s Committee of Imperial Defence, he told his colleagues on 25 February 1909: “The problem of the use of aeroplanes is a most important one, and we should place ourselves in communication with Mr. Wright, and avail ourselves of his knowledge.” In 1913, Churchill learned to fly. Gilbert’s lecture reviews Churchill’s thinking on air power and bombing over the course of his life.

Harmon, Christopher C., Are We Beasts?” Churchill and the Moral Question of World War II “Area Bombing.” Naval War College Press, 1991
A frequent question in our educational programs is why the Allies bombed Dresden, whether Churchill was responsible for that decision, and why the decision was made. Dr. Christopher C. Harmon, formerly Kim T. Adamson Chairman of Insurgency and Terrorism, Marine Corps University, and presently Professor of Counter Terrorism at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, wrote a monograph on this subject that was published by the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Mansdorf, Arnie., Churchill: the Right or Wrong Man for the Job 1933-1940? (PowerPoint)

Teaching Materials

Lesson Plans are developed as personal responses of teachers who have attended The Churchill Centre’s seminars and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institutes and by The Churchill Centre and our scholars. Teachers designed the lessons for their own classrooms, often adding to curricula they already use. Decisions on using these lessons remain the responsibility of individual teachers. Information in the lesson plans is factually correct. Read More >

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's 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.