Winston Churchill : An inspirational leader in time of needs

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill is one of the most famous figures throughout World War II mainly for his leadership of the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War.  But what many people don’t realize is just how inspirational the man really was on so many different fronts.  Churchill was not only a brilliant military leader, an inspirational political leader, and the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, but he overcame so much during his life that many people consider him to be one of the most inspirational leaders still today.

Winston Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, two months premature, and worked all his life to overcome a speech impediment.  Although the Churchill Center explicitly denies that he had a speech impediment, they do confirm that he did have a lisp and had difficulty pronouncing the letter “S”, just as his father did.  While he grew up as part of the famous Spencer family, both he and his father used the surname Churchill in public life both to tie them to their descent from the first Duke of Marlborough and to distance them from some of the famous family members that they had.  Since he was part of such a very wealthy family, Churchill actually did very poor in school and was often punished for it.  Due to his rebellious nature, he went to three different independent schools; the third one was what pushed him into a military career.  Just a few weeks after arriving at the Harrow School in April 1888, he joined the Harrow Rifle Corps and began to earn extremely high marks in History and English and became the school’s fencing champion.

Unfortunately, during his time away at school, his mother very rarely came to visit him and he constantly wrote her letters begging her to come see him or allowing him to come home to visit. Since his relationship with his father was a very distant one as well, he became very close to his nanny.  And, even though he was not close to his father at all, when he passed away at age 45, it left Churchill with the belief that he too would die young so that he should do whatever he could to leave his mark on the world quickly.

Due to this belief, he found himself entangled in many of the military wars and skirmishes as a war correspondent for several newspapers in England.  His love of both military strategy and writing led him into several battles and fronts, even going as far as getting captured and thrown into a POW camp, where he managed to escape and then use his family connections to get the remaining prisoners freed.  During his time as a war correspondent, he not only wrote thousands of pieces but he also wrote and published several novels: “The River War” (which was a two-volume book),  “London to Ladysmith”, and “Ian Hamilton’s March”.  When he left the military in 1899, he traveled all over Britain, the United States, and Canada giving speeches.

Of course, he could not stay away from military matters of war, and when the First World War started, he gained command of a battalion, and then was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel over the 6th Battalion.  After this, he served on several committees in Parliament, as well as helping to pass several influential laws and bills.  He rose quickly through the ranks in Parliament, and soon found himself Home Secretary.  When the Conservatives were defeated in 1929, he went into a sort of isolation, concentrating instead on his writing.  During this time, he wrote “Marlborough: His Life and Times” which was a biography of his ancestor and “A History Of The English Speaking Peoples”.  He also wrote many different articles for newspapers, speeches, and became one of the highest paid writers of his time.  He even published his political views as “Parliamentary Government and the Economic Problem” in 1930, then “Thoughts and Adventures” which was a collection of his essays in 1932.

When the Second World War started brewing, he began writing over several different areas, including Hitler.  He wrote essays, articles, and more, then a book in 1937 titled “Great Contemporaries” where he expressed a hope that Hitler would bring Germany back to peace.  In 1934, he gave his first major speech over defense and the need to rebuild the Royal Air Force.  He continued to give some of his most brilliant speeches of his life during this time, provoking England to again arm itself in preparation for war.  In fact, since his voice had become so strong during this time, when Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, he was appointed the First Lord of the Admiralty.

As the war was brought home to Britain, Churchill’s speeches and writings were a great inspiration to the embattled British.  In fact, in his very first speech as the Prime Minister, he spoke the famous “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat”… during this time, his speeches became some of the most inspirational throughout the war and the world at the time.  His speech during the height of the Battle of Britain even promoted an enduring nickname to the few RAF fighter pilots who won it, calling them “The Few” after a line in his speech that stated “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

As he continued his writings throughout his time as Prime Minister, throughout the Second World War, and beyond, his words only continued to influence people all over the world – including enemies as well as friends.  He was such a brilliant man, a brilliant writer, that even the Queen herself was touched by his words and actions.  When Churchill passed away on January 24, 1965, the Queen decreed that his body would lie in state for three days and granted him a state funeral service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  His funeral saw one of the largest assemblages of statesmen in the world and a very elaborate funeral procession that had his coffin traveling throughout the country for those to mourn his loss.

Even many years after his death, Winston Churchill continues to be an inspirational figure in writing as well as military strategies.  His many years spent writing war correspondence, novels, articles, speeches and more won the hearts and minds of both his countrymen and women and those around the world.

Jason Corrado is the author of Famous Quotes Index, a large database of famous quotes and sayings, all categorized by topics and authors. Discover more Winston Churchill Quotes on FamousQuotesIndex.com.

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