- Birth name:
- Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
- Date of Birth:
- 24 January 1874 Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Engl
- 5' 8" (1.73 m)
Born in Blenheim Palace, England. Mother's name was Lady Randolph Churchill who had American lineage. On his father's side he was grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, his ancestry extending into the aristocracy. After passing through famous English public schools such as Harrow, he went on to fulfil his ambition for a life in the army. He fought in various parts of the British Empire until in 1900 when he won the Conservative seat in Oldham in the general election. From here until 1929 he held various offices in British Parliament. The 1930s saw Hitler rise to power and dominate much of Europe. When war was declared between Britain and Germany in 1939, Neville Chamberlain was British Prime Minister. On 10 May 1940 Hitler's forces struck at Holland, Belgium and France. Chamberlain was seen by many as a weak leader and they longed for a more forceful leader with whom Britain could feel safe. On 10 May, Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was chosen to become Prime Minister (at the age of 65). It could be said that Churchill's fiery energy had never been experienced before in British politics and suddenly it seemed as though Britain could face the Nazi giant. He made a speech on 13 May: "You ask: 'What is our policy?' I will say: 'It is to wage war by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime.' That is our policy. You ask: 'What is our aim?' I can answer in one word: 'Victory! Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.' " The United States entered the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. The US's participation was excellent news to Churchill and after success on D-Day and as the Nazi forces were gradually forced back, the war in Europe gradually drew to a close. He was re-elected as Prime Minister in 1951 but because of deteriorating health he left the public scene. He died at Hyde Park Gate, London, on 24 January 1965 at the age of 90. He had succeeded in the uniting of thought and deed. He had succeeded in uniting everyone in the common purpose, inspiring them with fortitude and strength to face whatever hardships that would have to be incurred in the process of first surviving and ultimately winning the war. His daughter Mary wrote to him on his death bed. 'I owe you what every Englishman, woman and child owes you - liberty itself.'