World War 2
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1964)
Winston Churchill was born in 1874 at Blenheim palace, near Oxford, into a famous aristocratic family. A descendant of the brilliant general, the Duke of Marlborough, Churchill began his career in the army, fighting on the Indian frontier, in Sudan, and in South Africa. After making a name for himself as a war correspondent during the Boer War, he entered politics in 1900 and soon became a Cabinet Minister in the Liberal government.
In 1916 he rejoined the army and fought on the western front. Between the wars he resumed his political career, but found himself increasingly at odds with the government over its policy of appeasement towards the Fascist dictators. Time and again Churchill warned the western democracies of Hitler's true intentions. Therefore, when the war eventually came, it was to Churchill that the British nation turned to lead them. His fierce determination and stirring speeches soon became legendary; more than anyone else he held Britain together when it stood alone against the Nazis.
Churchill was defeated in the general election which followed victory in Europe in 1945, and he became leader of the Conservative opposition. He served his final term as Prime Minister between 1951 and 1955 before age and ill-health forced him to retire, allowing him to concentrate on his writing and painting. When he died in 1965, Britain and the entire world paid tribute to this great and distinguished man.