Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill served as British Prime Minister during World War II. A great speaker and orator, Churchill is still revered as one of Britain’s greatest ever leaders. Churchill led an extraordinary life. He served in the army and worked as a journalist before he entered politics. This article explores Churchill’s origins and rise to power.
Early life Born in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England in 1874, Churchill was the grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. Following his education, Churchill enlisted as a cavalry officer and served in India and Sudan until the outbreak of the Boer War. Churchill resigned his commission to become a war correspondent, covering the war for the Morning Post. After being captured by the Boers in South Africa, Churchill shot to fame following a daring escape. Political career Churchill became a Member of Parliament in 1901, at the young age of 26. He served in both the Conservative and Liberal parties and became Home Secretary in 1910 and head of the navy in 1911, just before the outbreak of the first world War. During the next decade, he served in several positions of high office, including Chancellor of the Exchequer. War years Churchill became a prominent opponent to the policies of Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939. Following Lord Neville Chamberlain’s resignation at the outbreak of World War II, Churchill was instilled as Prime Minister, leading Britain to victory. Post war period Churchill lost the post-war election of 1945, but was again elected Prime Minister in 1951. He died in 1965 but received many honours throughout his life, including a British Knighthood and the Nobel Prize for Literature.