Autumn 1892 (Age 18)

The Churchills had been forced to move from 2 Connaught Place and move to 50 Grosvenor Square with the Duchess of Marlborough. In October they were also forced to relinquish Banstend. This was particularly distressing because Lady Randolph was seriously ill at the time with peritonitis.

In November Winston made his second attempt at the Entrance Examination into Sandhurst. He would not obtain his results until January but Reverend Welldon wrote the boy’s parents that he was confident of success.

Winston’s son, Randolph, would later write these comments about his father’s schooldays: “The legend, partly fostered by himself, that Winston was a preternaturally stupid little boy has doubtless encouraged habits of indolence in many generations of other school-boys, and has no doubt often afforded some solace to their parents. We have seen enough of his work to denounce this legend as false. He was not stupid; indeed he early showed originality of mind. He was obstinate, rebellious and mischievous. No one could make him do or learn anything against his will. Unthinking schoolmasters found it easier to write him off as stupid than to scrutinize and adapt their own methods. Yet despite his ostensible failure at school, these unhappy years were far from wasted. His parents kept him at a distance and this, combined with his mutinous outlook at school, early compelled him to stand on his own feet and to make his way in the world by his own exertions and by his own methods. He had to fight every inch of his road through life; nothing came easily to him, not even oratory and writing, in which he was later to excel. To achieve success he had to develop that intense power of concentration that, as it grew, was to serve him and his fellow countrymen so well.”

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