The Great & The Greatest

Header Photo: The iconic photo of Winston Churchill. The photo in a nation's mind's eye. Whenever we think of Churchill it is that photo, that look. Or is it just me?
© J. Russell & Sons.

Essential Reading: Churchill: A Biography. Roy Jenkins as a top politician gives a unique insight into Churchill and this book is how I really learnt about the great man. More importantly, he makes every page a gripping read. Not many biographers can do that.

Winston Churchill: Biography >> Trivia >> Paintings >> Churchill, His Paintings Book >> Daily Mail - 2nd May 1945 (Hitler Dead) >> Daily Mail - 3rd May 1945 (Goebbels Dead) >> Daily Mail - VE Day - It's All Over >> Scans added of the best books of Germany during the war and after incl. definitive guide on The Nuremberg Rallies - Smartphone Page >> Best 2nd World War Book Scans Added >> British War Dvds >> Winston Churchill >> Anthony Eden >> Neville Chamberlain >> Stanley Baldwin >> Field Marshal Montgomery >> Lord Halifax >> David Lloyd George >> France During WWII

Adolf Hitler >> Heinrich Himmler >> Josef Goebbels >> Triumph of the Will >> Triumph of the Will 2 Dvd >> Leni Riefenstahl >> Rudolf Hess >> Martin Bormann >> Herman Goering >> Who Helped Hermann Goering Escape The Hangman? >> Josef Mengele >> Adolf Eichman >> Irma Grese

Kristallnacht >> The Final Solution >> Auschwitz >> Nuremberg Party Rallies

The Dreyfus Affair >> From Winston Churchill to you - Winston Churchill signed books, photographs and more @ ebay.com (direct link to signed items) - just checked and a bigger selection than I have seen anywhere else >> Advertise here >> Winston Churchill Books and Dvds available @ amazon.com >> Search Site

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Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) ~ Biography

Consider this: if Lord Halifax had become prime minster after Chamberlain instead of Churchill what would Britain be like today? What would it have meant? Would Halifax's appeasement really have worked? I mean, even a cursory glance of the history of the 2nd World War would suggest that Hitler and appeasement were a one way street. Hitler gets everything and you get to keep your name tag. If your lucky.

For Britain, you just have to look at a microcosm of life under Hitler in the Channel Islands to know any sort of 'relationship' would end in tears. It would have been a disaster. Whatever the form of 'appeasement' would have been it would have meant surrender. Surrender of ideals, of morals, of identity surrender of the British way of life. Surrender of everything. Even a tacit approval of that regime would have meant Britain would have been cast into the dark ages.

From Winston Churchill to you - Winston Churchill signed books, photographs and more @ ebay.com (direct link to signed items) - just checked and a bigger selection than I have seen anywhere else

If invasion had come then the disaster would have multiplied incalculable times. The 2nd World War was simple, probaly as simple as simple can be: it was a battle of good against evil>. You would have few arguments if you suggested that the Nazi regime was the evilest orginisation to walk the face of the earth. A regime responsible for well over 50 million deaths, of crimes against humanity never seen before or since, of suffering the like of which generations who have come since can never fully appreciate even though we want to.

For me, those who fought it in Britain will go down as the country's greatest ever citizens. No-one will come close to matching what they accomplished. The fighter pilots, the soldiers on the ground, the women pilots, those in the factories and those in the hospitals, the home guard, the men too old to fight but wanting to give something, anything, to the war effort, the spies behind enemy lines, those on the waters combatting the deadly menace of the u-boats ... every one displaying a heroism where called for when I would have not ventured from the toilet if I were ask to do the same.

The focal point, the tip of the head of this army was, of course, Sir Winston Churchill. For even wanting to continue the fight against the menace when all seemed lost (and early in the War everything really was lost and a time I don't think we fully can understand or emphathise with) would have made him special. But to have been successful makes him, for me, the greatest politician who ever lived.

I know that is a sweeping statement when you think of Gandhi, Lincoln, Mandela or Roosevelt but if Winston Churchill hadn't been Winston Churchill then what would we've had had? When he came to power the country was on its knees so to take it from that to VE. Day and victory in a few short years is just jaw-droppingly incredible. I know that without Roosevelt and American then there would have been no victory but Britain had almost nothing at the time of the Battle of Britain other than hear and a desire not to be defeated. He could have searched for an acceptable form of surrender but he fought against the mother of all odds and as part of the Allies won a victory as astonishing as it was earned.

No matter the politics; no matter the circumstances: how many others have taken a country totally unprepared for war to the greatest victory it has ever seen in, what, four years? I think you'll struggle to find one. Some one comparable.

And yet if it wasn't for four or five years the story would be completely different. If it wasn't for The World War Two years then Churchill would still have been seen as a remarkable figure (he is the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature) just not esteemed as almost a Holy figure.

A life in a few sentences: Outside of the 2nd World War the facts are thus: born 30 November 1874 and died 24 January 1965. Buried with his wife, Clementine at St Martin's Church, Bladon. Related to the Dukes of Marlboroughs and as such a related to Princess Diana; father Lord Randolph Churchill, a Chancellor of the Exchequer and his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill (born Jeanette Jerome) an American socialite (whatever one of those is). Reported on and fought in the Boar War. Twice prime minister (2nd time 1951 - 55). Held numerous positions in government during his career. For example, was twice First Lord of the Admiralty and during his first term gave Shackleton the order to proceed on his Antarctic expedition when the First World War was imminent. As Home Secretary was famously photographed at the Siege of Sidney Street. Four children and as of 2014 the youngest Mary Soames, Baroness Soames (born 1922) is the sole survivor. Given state funeral which my parents remind me had the size of crowds akin to a coronation. Absolutely huge in the streets of London. A mass of silence as the coffin went passed. 321,360 people filed past the catafalque during the three days of lying-in-state.

He and his wife bought the house and land at Chartwell, near Westerham in Kent in 1922 the same year as their last child was born. It now belongs to the National Trust and is a popular tourist attraction.

I've been twice not really to see the gardens or the house or the photo of Churchill with Charlie Chaplin. Not even to see the ginger cat Churchill stipulated must alwats be at Chartwell or read the famous quote of cats looking down on us. No, it's just to be near greatness. Seeing where he painted those paintings, where he sat in the garden and in the house ... to be near Churchill sends a shiver down the spine. My ambition in life is to one day be able to afford one of his paintings so everyday I can be in the presence of the great man.

One day perhaps though if I waste any more time writing biographies no-one reads I shall miss the boat! Though your purchases through the affiliate links and and advertising on here helps a little bit and are gratefully received. And imagine if I were responsible a 1000 copies of the Roy Jenkins book a day! Imagine that! I'd be some sort of star guess. Plus I'd earn a litle money working on these pages for a change . The book is here.

Above Text © : Paul Page, 2014.

Trivia

Sourced from: Churchill: A Biography.

If you have any trivia or photos you would like to share please e-mail me here (ihuppert5@aol.com) and I will add it. It would be great to build this up into something substantial on the great man that as many people as possible could share. A fact a day keeps the doubters away. I just made that up! Or maybe I heard it someplace else and am recycling it. Can't remember.

His biographer, the esteemed politician, Roy Jenkins (1920 - 2003), first met Churchill when he was 21 when he was introduced to him by his father when the House of Commons was meeting in its temporary home in Dean's Yard, Westminister.

Jenkins wrote his esteemed biography on Churchill when he was 80. He was a few days younger than Churchill was at the end of his second premiership.

He met the Kaiser at German army manoevres in 1909.

Churchill delivered his 'never have so many owed so much to so few' speech to the House of Commons on 20 August 1940.

The successful War Cabinet consisted of Churchill, Sir John Anderson, Clement Atlee, Anthony Eden, Arthur Greenwood, Ernest Bevin, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Kingsley Wood.

Churchill attended the Lloyd George memorial serviceat Westminister on 11 April 1945.

churchill met President Truman for the first time at Potsdam on 15 July 1945.

Lord Hugh Cecil was the best man at his wedding at St Margaret's, Westminister.

He unsuccessfully electioneered in Manchester at the 1908 bye-election.

Sidney Street Siege: Churchill and his private secretary, Eddie Marsh were driven to it from the Home Office in mid-morning. Two of the charred bodies were found in the siege, but that left one or two of the Latvians unaccounted for.

Conservative/Coalition Prime Minister 10 May 1940 - 23 May 1945.

Conservative/Caretaker Government Prime Minister 23 May 1945 - 26 July 1945.

Conservative Prime Minister 26 October 1951 - 6 April 1955.

Churchill bought Chartwell in 1922 for £5,000 (equivalent to roughly £120.000 in 2001). The house needed alot of work. It was a Victorianized house of Elizabethan origin. Churchill visited Chartwell for the last time in October of 1964.

Churchill wrote many newspaper articles throughout his life. The remuneration was needed as an essential part of the economy of the whole Churchill establishment, Chartwell and Morpeth Mansions, secretaries and research assistants. In 1937, for example, he produced 64 articles, well over one a week. One of the newspaers he wrote for, The News of the World, paid nearly £400 an article (roughly around £15,000 today).

Churchill was painted by, among others, Sir John Lavery, W.R. Sickert, Ruskin Spear and, of course, Graham Sutherland whose finished work Clementine famously disliked.

He stayed with the Queen and her family at Balmoral in September 1952.

He suffered his last and most severe stroke on 12 January 1965.

His coffin lain in state in Westminister Hall for three days. It was the first time since Gladstone in 1898 that any non-royal personage had been so treated. His funeral was in St. Paul's Cathedral. Ater the service, the coffin was taken by boat along the Thames for transfer to Waterloo Station and transit by special train and special route for burial in Bladon churchyard on the edge of Blenheim Park.

Roy Jenkins described Churchill: "as the greatest human being ever to occupy 10 Downing Street."

Sourced below, Daily Mail, Monday 1 February 1965 - Funeral

At his funeral, Lady Churchill was supported by her son Randolph on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.

Was laid to rest on a Saturday, in the country churchyard in Bladon, Oxfordshire.

When Sir Winston's coffin was taken up the Thames, even the jibs of dockside cranes dipped in salute.

His coffin was taken to Festival Pier and then Waterloo Station, where he was placed on a train to Bladon. He was buried beside his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, and his mother, Jennie.

The card on the wreath on his grave of red roses and carnations from Lady Churchill read: 'To my darling Winston, Clemmie'.

One million mourners lined the streets. 350 million tuned in on television.After the Service, the chimes of Big Ben were silenced for the rest of the day.

ITV's coverage of the funeral included Churchill's own language spoken by Sir Laurence Olivier and Paul Schofield.

The Australian premier Sir Robert Menzies and President Eisenhower were invited by the BBC to speak farewells. Sir Richard Dimbleby described the events taking place.

ITV's coverage ended at Waterloo; BBC went on from Waterloo to give a preview of Bladon churchyard, showing the open grave still with a spade in its.

Shortly before he left London for the last time, at Waterloo Station, his insignia of the Garter was removed. It had rested on his coffin throughout the long march. The honour remained but the tangible mark of it - the collar, the star and the garter - had to be returned to the Sovereign's safekeeping.

Among the mourners at St paul's Cathedral were the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margret and her husband, the Earl of Snowden, President de Gaulle and Israeli prime minister Ben-Gurion.

Guardsman Michael Kimpton, 22, was one of the two 'swing men' who helped guide the coffin. Eight Grenadier Guards were the coffin-bearers. Included were Guardsman Michael Ryan, 27, Guardsman Lance-Sergeant Lincoln Perkins of Cressex Close, Binfield, Berkshire, and the 22 year old officer commanding the party, Lieut. Anthony Mather. They were all members of the 2nd Bn of the Grenadier Guards stationed at Victoria Barracks, Windsor.

A frail Earl Atlee, 82, attended the service even though in the bitter cold it put his own health at risk.

Sourced below, Daily Mail, Thursday, December 29, 1899 - Dramatic Prison Escape

He did it on a five day trek through hostile wilderness with just four bars of chocolate to eat.

The Boer prison was in Pretoria.

He was captured on November 15. He was a Special Correspondent of the Morning Post newspaper, and also a lieutenant in Her Majesty's forces.

The armoured train in which he was travelling on a reconaissance mission was ambushed and de-railed in the vast expanse of the veldt by a large detachment of enemy sharpshooters and horsemen.

From Novemeber 15 until December 14 his fate was unclear. It was on the 14th that Reuters repored that he had escaped though there were no further details.

On December 23, the Colonial Office in London received a telegram from Sir Arthur Milner, the British High Commissioner in South Africa, stating that Mr Churchill was free.

He crossed the border of the Portuguese colony of Mozambique and presented himself to the British consul in the capital, Lourenco Marques.

The Boer authorities offered a reward of £25 for anyone who apprehended him 'dead or alive'.

He travelled to South Africa in the company of General Sir Redvers Butler, the British commander-in-chief.

Left a letter on the pillow of his bed on his escape from prison addressed to Mr Louis de Souza, the Boer Under-Secretary for War, denoucing the fact that he had been unjustly held as a prisoner of war.

He himself wrote of 'My Great Escape' in the Daily Mail.

The Mail wrote in the edition: 'A POLITICAL future may beckon Mr Churchill on his return to England'. How right they were.

Sourced below, Daily Mail, Tuesday, May 14, 1940 - Cometh the Hour...

He became Britian's new war Prime Minister. Took Office on the Friday previous. That was the day Germany invaded Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, after Neville Chamberlain handed his resignation to the King.

His War Cabinet consisted of Conservative, Labour and Liberal members. Members included Clement Atlee, Sir Archibald Sinclair and Chamberlain himself as Lord President of the Council.

Chamberlain heard himself on the invasion shortly after three o'clock in the morning after a bedside telephone call.

Churchill never actaully met Hitler but they nearly did so in 1932 when Churchill was staying at the Hotel Regina, Munich. However, a meeting didn't take place as through a third party Churchill voiced his concerns about Hitler's violent dislike to the Jews. Churchill would decline two meetings with Hitler in 1937.

Churchill, in 'The Wilderness Years', had repeatedly warned of the dangers of Nazism and how unprepared the country was for war. Here are just a few quotes:

30 July 1934
{LONDON is} the greatest target in the world, a kind of tremendous, fat, valuable cow tied up to attract a beast of prey

22 May 1935
WE ARE entering upon a period of danger and difficulty ... There is no doubt the Germans are superior to us in the air.

31 May 1935
THE whole of their {Germany's} industry is woven into an immediate readiness for war.

12 November 1936
I HAVE been staggered by the failure of the House of Commons to react against those dangers {of German re-armament}.

This was the day German forces invaded Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg by air and land. Two thousand tanks were in action on the plain north-west of the Belgian town of Liege, little more than 50 miles from France.

The House of Commons was summoned by individual telegram to appear at 2.30pm on the afternoon of the Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday, so that Mr Churchill could ask for a vote of confidence in his new Government.

In 1931, he was knocked down while trying to cross New York's Fifth Avenue by a car travelling at more than 30mph. He was bruised and suffered broken bones. He remained for eight days in the Lennox Hill Hospital.

In 1932, Churchill was taken ill with paratyphoid while on holiday in Austria.

Whilst at Chartwell in the 1930s, Churchill concentrated on his books. He built a treehouse, and, after learning how to lay bricks, a pastime he enjoyed, a small house for his youngest, Mary.

Hunted boar riding to the Duke of Westminister's hounds in northern France in the 1930s.

Winston Churchill ~ Paintings

Scans below are details ome low resolutions pictures from Churchill: A Biography. For more info and crisp reproductions you should really get the book. It's by far the best book on Churchill that I've read.

Churchill was more than a competent painter. You only have to visit Chartwell ad his painting studio to fully appreciate what he did with colour and form. They are far more easy on the eye than I was expecting.

All paintings © The Churchill Heritage Ltd.

winston churchill painting
Detail from The Garden at Hoe Farm, Winston Churchill, summer 1915.

winston churchill painting
Detail from Chartwell in Winter, Winston Churchill, late 1930s.

winston churchill painting
Detail from The Chateau at St. Georges-Motel, Winston Churchill, mid to late 1930s.

winston churchill painting
Detail from A Church in the South of France, Winston Churchill, mid 1930s

winston churchill painting
Detail from The Loup River, Provence, Winston Churchill, 1936.

winston churchill painting
Detail from Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains, Winston Churchill, January 1943.
(The only picture WSC painted during the war.)

winston churchill painting
Detail from Mrs Winston Churchill at the Launch of H.M.S. Indomitable, 1940.
(painted up by WSC 1955).

winston churchill painting
Detail from Tea Time at Chartwell August 1927.
The group consisted of WSC, Therese Sickert, Diana Mitford, Edward Marsh, Frederick Lindemann, Randolph Churchill, Diana Churchill, Clementine Churchill, Walter Richard Sickert.
Painted up by WSC from a photograph by John Fergusson.

Links

Winston Churchill: Biography >> Trivia >> Paintings >> Churchill, His Paintings Book >> Daily Mail - 2nd May 1945 (Hitler Dead) >> Daily Mail - 3rd May 1945 (Goebbels Dead) >> Daily Mail - VE Day - It's All Over >> Scans added of the best books of Germany during the war and after incl. definitive guide on The Nuremberg Rallies - Smartphone Page >> Best 2nd World War Book Scans Added >> British War Dvds >> Winston Churchill >> Anthony Eden >> Neville Chamberlain >> Stanley Baldwin >> Lord Halifax >> David Lloyd George >> Field Marshal Montgomery >> France During WWII

Adolf Hitler >> Heinrich Himmler >> Josef Goebbels >> Triumph of the Will >> Triumph of the Will 2 Dvd >> Leni Riefenstahl >> Rudolf Hess >> Martin Bormann >> Herman Goering >> Who Helped Hermann Goering Escape The Hangman? >> Josef Mengele >> Adolf Eichman >> Irma Grese

Kristallnacht >> The Final Solution >> Auschwitz >> Nuremberg Party Rallies

The Dreyfus Affair >> From Winston Churchill to you - Winston Churchill signed books, photographs and more @ ebay.com (direct link to signed items) - just checked and a bigger selection than I have seen anywhere else >> Advertise here >> Winston Churchill Books and Dvds available @ amazon.com

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