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Churchill, Winston Spencer, 1874-1965



  • Existence: 1874 - 1965

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born November 30, 1874 in Oxfordshire, England. He was educated at Harrow and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet (second lieutenant) in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars on 20 February 1895 after which he traveled to Cuba to report on the Cuban War of Independence for the "Daily Graphic." In 1896, Churchill was transferred to Bombay, India and in 1897 had a chance to participate in the fight of the British Army with the Pashtun tribe in North West Frontier of India. In 1898, he was transferred to Egypt, serving with the 21st Lancers in Sudan. Churchill resigned from the British Army on May 5, 1899. On 12 October 1899, the Second Boer War between Britain and the Boer Republics broke out and he obtained a commission to act as war correspondent for "The Morning Post." He was captured and imprisoned in a POW camp from which he escaped. In 1900, he returned to England and rejoined the military, and in September 1916, he transferred to the territorial reserves of officers, where he remained until retiring in 1924, at the age of fifty. After a few failed attempts, Churchill began his political career in 1900 winning the seat of Oldham at the general election. From 1903-1905, Churchill was also engaged in writing "Lord Randolph Churchill," a two-volume biography of his father, which was published in 1906. During his time in parliament he changed from the Conservative Party to the Liberal Party. From 1905-1908, he was the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, dealing mainly with South Africa after the Boer War. In 1908, he became President of the Board of Trade. In 1910, he was promoted to Home Secretary and from 1911-1915 he was the First Lord of the Admiralty. In 1917, Churchill was appointed Minister of Munitions, and in January 1919, Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for Air. He rejoined the Conservative party in 1924 and became Chancellor or the Exchequer, a position he held until 1929. He continued in government on and off over the next years, not always with success and/or support. On September 3, the day Britain declared war on Germany, he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty again. He was Minister of Defense from 1940-1945 and from 1951-1952. Churchill became Prime Minister on May 10, 1945. He served in that position until 1945, and was reelected in 1951. Churchill died on January 24, 1965.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Winston S. Churchill collection

Identifier: MS-196
Overview Winston S. Churchill (1874-1965), prime minister of England. The collection consists of six letters from Churchill to a variety of people, and galleys of volumes 2 and 3 of his "A history of the English-speaking peoples," and volume 6 of his "Triumph and Tragedy (The Second World War)."