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Prime Minister Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

Male 1874 - 1965  (90 years)    Has more than 100 ancestors and 15 descendants in this family tree.

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    Name Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill  [1, 2, 3
    Prefix Prime Minister 
    Birth 30 Nov 1874  Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Death 24 Jan 1965  Bladon, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Burial Bladon, near Woodstock. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Prominent People (2) Click the arrow on the left to show/hide these 2 events. 
    Siblings 1 Sibling 
    Person ID I39742  Geneagraphie
    Links To This person is also Winston Churchill at Wikipedia 
    Last Modified 23 Dec 2000 

    Father Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill,   b. 13 Feb 1849, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 24 Jan 1895, Bladon, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 45 years) 
    Mother Jeanette Jerome,   b. 9 Jan 1854, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 26 Jun 1921, Mells Manor Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 67 years) 
    Marriage 15 Apr 1874  British Embassy, Paris, Île-de-France, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F16882  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Clementine Ogilvy Hozier,   b. 1885   d. 12 Dec 1977 (Age 92 years) 
    Marriage 12 Sep 1908  St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    +1. Diana Spencer-Churchill,   b. 11 Jul 1909   d. Abt 1963 (Age 53 years)
    +2. Randolf Federick Howard Spencer-Churchill,   b. 28 May 1911, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 6 Jun 1968, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 57 years)
     3. Sarah Milicent Hermione Spencer-Churchill,   b. 7 Oct 1914   d. Abt 1982 (Age 67 years)
     4. Marigold Frances Spencer-Churchill,   b. 15 Nov 1918   d. 1921 (Age 2 years)
    +5. Living
    Family ID F16889  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 29 Aug 2000 

  • Event Map Click to hide
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 30 Nov 1874 - Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 12 Sep 1908 - St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProminent People - Prime minister England Nobel Prize in Literature writer - 1953 - Great Britain Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

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  • Notes 
    • Leader of Britain through WW2
      Educated at Harrow 1888-1892, Royal Military Coll. (Sandhurst) 1893-95.
      Officer in India 1895-98, in action on the Northwest Frontier against Afghans.
      Cavalry Officer in Sudan, 1898, in action at Battle of Omdurman.
      Officer in Boer War (1899-1900), taken prisoner of war in 1899; escapes.
      Elected 1st time to Parliament in 1900 as a Tory, crosses to LIberal Party 1904.
      Home Secretary 1910-11. First Lord of the Admiralty, 1911-15, 1939-1940.
      Served on Western Front, WWI, 1915-16. Minister of Munitions, 1917-18.
      Secretary of State for War & Air 1919-21. Colonial Secretary of State 1921-22.
      Chancellor of the Exchequer 1921-29. Returns to Tory Party, 1925.
      Prime Minister 1940-5 and 1951-5, 1953 K.G.
      Minister of Defense 1940-45. Opposition Leader 1945-51.
      Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature 1953.
      Churchill College, Cambridge, founded in his honor.

      Winston Churchill, three times Prime Minister of England, was born at Blenheim Palace, the Churchill family home which lies in the heart of England, eight miles from the City of Oxford. It was a fitting birthplace for one who was to make English history, with traditions going back long before the Churchills came.
      Here, in ancient times stood the palace of Woodstock, with the bower built for Fair Rosamond by King Henry II. It gave the name to one of Sir Walter Scott's romances of which Fair Rosamond's well was a reminder long after the medieval palace had crumbled into ruins. A new tradition began when the place was granted by Queen Anne to her illustrious commander, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, to be the house of his heirs forever. Parliament added a sum of just under a half-million pounds for the building of the grandiose mansion that stands amid a park thirteen miles round.
      Here down the generations, seven dukes passed their lives with varying degrees of credit to themselves and service to the state. Here Lord Randolph, son of the seventh Duke brought his bride, the American beauty, to make her home with her mother-in-law. And here Lord Randolph's heir was born.
      Through Marlborough, Londonderry and Spencer, duke, marquis and earl and their ramifications, he was related to half the peers in the kingdom. His ancestral tree is ripe with distinguished figures of the past. There were rich strains that contributed to the making of him. But hereditary riches are not enough, The same strains went to the production of his brother John who made no stir in the world at all. Provide the strains as well as you may and there is still something needed, the individual spirit to spark off genius.
      Of Winston Churchill's genius there was little evidence in his childhood days. Had those capabilities, indeed, been more apparent, his career would have been in the law and he might have sat in wig and ermine upon the judge's bench. But Fate decided otherwise and tin soldiers were in this case Fate's instrument.
      Tin soldiers were the chief amusement of Winston's boyhood. He commanded one army, and his brother Jack another. They were forces on a continental scale, fifteen hundred men in all, organized as an infantry division with a cavalry brigade. By a treaty for the limitation of armaments, his brother Jack was only allowed colored troops. Even these were not given artillery - a very important point, since Winston's army could muster eighteen field guns, besides fortress pieces.
      One day Lord Randolph came, like a field marshal, on a visit of inspection. All the troops were drawn up ready for immediate attack. Lord Randolph spent twenty minutes studying the scene. He then turned toward Winston and asked him if he would like to become a soldier. The boy thought it would be splendid to command an army, so he said "yes" at once. It was a fateful answer. His father took him at his word and Winston henceforth was committed to an army career. How strangely the minor and the major things are linked across the years -the small chances of the individual's life and the turning points in the lives of nations. Had Paul who was called Saul never ridden one day to Damascus, had Hitler never gone as a housepainter to Vienna, how different history would have been.
      And had Winston Churchill never played with tin soldiers he would have gone to the Bar and not to the Army; he would not then have found fame in the Boer War, become a figure in public life before he was thirty, and been First Lord before 1914 came. Even the tin soldiers might not have been the instruments of fate had Lord Randolph had a higher opinion of his son's abilities, but he had considered that Winston was not clever enough for a career at the Bar - and so tin soldiers and the Army.
      He reached the Royal Military College at Sandhurst by way of Harrow. Eton was the family tradition; but Winston had a weak chest and it was considered that the school on the hill would be better for him than the rival establishment by the river.
      But for the discerning eye of Dr. Weldon, then headmaster, Harrow's doors would have been closed to him after the limitations of his learning had been disclosed by the papers he sent in at the entrance examination. There was the terrible Latin prose paper -a blot, a smudge, and a pair of brackets as the total output for two hours' effort. "It was from these slender indications of scholarship," wrote Winston in his later years, "that Mr. Weldon drew the conclusion that I was worthy to pass into Harrow. It is very much to his credit. It showed that he was a man capable of looking beneath the surface of things: a man not dependent upon paper manifestations. I have always had the greatest regard for him."
      Harrow days were not happy days, but days of work that Winston found anything but congenial, an unending spell of worries that did not seem trivial. It was not only that school tasks were difficult- they seemed purposeless. He sighed for something practical. If only he had had to run errands as a messenger boy, or to toil as a bricklayer's mate -that would have been something real. Better to have been the son of a grocer and to have helped dress the front windows of the shop- "it would have taught me more and I should have got to know my father, which would have been a great joy to me."
      There is a cry straight from the heart in these words of regret that he did not get to knew his father better, that father of meteoric brilliance who in Winston's school days thrust himself into the front ranks of politics and then threw all away. Winston did get to know his father, but only after his father's death when he came to tell the story of his career. In life he had no more than three or four long, intimate conversations with Lord Randolph, who died when Winston was twenty-one. "All my dreams of comradeship with him, of entering Parliament at his side and in his support were ended. There remained for me only to pursue his aims and vindicate his memory."
      Harrow days and Sandhurst days - no release from school for the proper business of life was ever more welcome. The schoolboy who for all his terms was bored to tears because he had hardly ever been asked to learn anything , which seemed to be of the slightest use to him, found life transformed as a cavalry cadet. Now there was use in everything he had to learn.
      Gone were the tedium of Latin and Greek. In their place were the enchantments of military studies with a purpose. He had now to learn tactics, fortification, topography, military law, and military administration. In place of the games which failed to amuse, there were gymnastics, and above all riding. There were some curious blanks in the military studies of the nineties. Winston was never taught anything about bombs or hand grenades. These weapons were known to be long obsolete, gone out of use in the eighteenth century, and the military mind could not conceive that they could be useful in modern war.
      While he was still at Sandhurst, young Winston made his maiden speech in a public, if not exactly a political, cause. He and his fellow cadets were in the habit, when in London on leave, of visiting the old Empire Theatre in Leicester Square. At that time a purity campaign was being conducted against the music halls, and in particular the promenade of the Empire by a Mrs. Ormiston Chant, member of the London County Council.
      The defenders of the liberties of the music hall had the powerful backing of the Daily Telegraph, which ran a "Prudes on the Prowl" campaign. An Entertainments Protection League was formed, of which Winston became a member, and he pawned his gold watch to aid the league's finances. Mrs. Chant, though she did not carry everything before her, was successful in getting a light canvas screen erected between the offending bars at the Empire and the promenade.
      On the first Saturday after its appearance, Churchill and his friends visited the theater. Many sympathizers were present. Comment led to action and a crowd of some 200 to 300 persons stormed the barricades and tore them down.
      At this moment of triumph young Churchill made his maiden speech. Mounting the debris, he harangued the throng and pointed to the moral of the occasion. "You have Seen us tear down these barricades tonight: see that you pull down those responsible for them at the next election." These words, we are assured, were received with rapturous applause.
      Churchill's career at Sandhurst ended in 1894. He graduated eighth in his class of 150. In March of the following year he was appointed to the Fourth Hussars.

  • Sources 
    1. [S14] Brian Tompsett, University of Hull Royal Database (England), (copyright 1994, 1995, 1996 , , Repository: WWW, University of Hull, Hull, UK HU6 7RX

    2. [S106] Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life, (Henry Holt & Company, New York ,).

    3. [S275] Mark Humphrys, Royal Descents of Famous People, (copyright 1995, 1996 , , Repository: WWW).

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