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Winston Churchill is considered by many to be one of the greatest statesmen in world history. He is most famous for being prime minister of England during World War II. Churchill's courage, magic of his words and his faith in victoy inspired the British in defeating Nazi Germany. Churchill was a noted speaker, author, painter, soldier, and war reporter.
Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, in Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England. He was the elder of two sons of Lord Randolph Churchill and Lady Churchill.Winston had an unhappy childhood. As a boy he had stuttering problems and did poorly in his schoolwork. At the age of 12 , Winston entered Harrow school,a leading secondary school in England. He entered as the lowest boy in the lowest class.
Lord Randolph considered his son a boy of limited intelligence. He noticed Winston playing with toy soldiers for many hours and decided that a soldier was the only career suitable for his son. In 1893, at the age of 18, Winston entered the Royal Military College. He failed the entrance exam twice before he entered. But he soon lead his class in tactics and fortifications, the most important subjects. He graduated 8th in a class of 150. In 1895, Churchill was appointed second lieutenant in the 4th Hussars, a proud cavalry regiment.
For the next four years Winston was a war reporter writing articles for several newspapers. In 1899 a London newspaper hired Churchill to report the Boer War in South Africa. Soon after Churchill arrived in South Africa, the Boers attacked an armored train on which he was riding. He was captured and imprisoned. He made a daring escape. He scaled the prison wall one night, and slipped by the guards. Then, traveling on freight trains, he crossed 300 miles of enemy territory to safety. He became a famous hero overnight.
In 1900, Churchill returned to England and engaged in political matters. He decided to run for Parliament as a representative of Oldham. The voters were impressed by his heroism and elected him. In 1901, Churchill took his seat in the House of Commons for the first time. He was a Conservative, but he soon he changed his mind criticizing many Conservative policies openly and sharply. In the next election he ran as a liberal.
During the next few years Churchill moved through three government positions. He served as undersecretary of states for the colonies (1906-1908) president of the board of trade(1908-1910) and home secretary (1910-1911). His appointment to the board of trade was his first cabinet position. He served these positions with enormous energy.
On September 12, 1908 Winston married Clementine Hozier, the daughter of a retired army officer. He wrote that his greatest achievement was to persuade his wife to marry him. Churchill was a devoted parent to his four children:Diana,Randolph,Sarah and Mary. Another daughter, Marigold died at the age of 3.
In 1911, Winston Churchill was appointed as first lord of the admiralty by Prime Minister Herbert H. Asquith.Because of the increased number of German military and naval forces he needed a strong leader. Churchill fit the job perfectly. Churchill modernized the navy, developed antisubmarine tactics and also created Britain's first air service. When Britain entered World War 1 in 1914, the fleet was ready. Churchill planned an attack on the Dardnelles and the Gallipoli Peninsula, both controlled by Turkey. If his attack would be successful, a route could be opened to the black sea. This route would enable Britain to send aid to Russia, Britain's ally. Unfortunately, the plan was a disaster. Churchill was blamed for this event. He resigned from the admiralty.
World War 1 ended in November 1918. The next January, Winston became secretary of state for war and for air. In 1922 the election campaign for Parliament began. Churchill had to have his appendix removed.He lost the election because of his surgery and said he found himself "Without office, without a seat,without a party, and without an appendix"
On September 1, 1939 World War II started. Germany invaded Poland. On September 3 , Great Britain and France declared war on Germany. Once again,Winston Churchill was appointed first lord of the admiralty, by Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister who assigned the same post
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Winston Churchill, Leaders of the Conservative Party, Fellows of the Royal Society, Knights of the Garter, Members of the Order of Merit, Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Duke of Marlborough, Winston Churchill in politics: 190039, Later life of Winston Churchill
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