The Greatest People in History Series - Winston Churchill, the British Bulldog

One of the Greatest People in History - Winston Churchill

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Winston Churchill Quotes

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

A Young Sir Winston Churchill

This young man became one of the greatest people in history.
This young man became one of the greatest people in history. | Source

The Greatest People in History and What We Can Learn from Them

Churchill was born into a wealthy family with all the privileges and opportunities needed for an ambitious man to go far in life. He was born November 30, 1874 in an enormous and grand palace called Blenheim, in Oxfordshire, England. Already, the Churchills were one of the foremost aristocratic families of Britain. Winston's father, Lord Randolph Churchill was a member of Parliament and the son of the Duke of Marlborough, who was Viceroy of Ireland. His mother, Jenny Churchill, was the daughter of a wealthy New York stockbroker, a member of high society who spent her teenage years at the court of Napoleon III in Paris. His parents had met at a ball for the Prince of Wales. During the 1940s, when Winston was addressing the United States Congress, he said: "If my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way round, I might have got here on my own."

Quote by Winston Churchill

"You have enemies? Good, that means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

The Birthplace of Winston Churchill

The birthplace of one of the greatest people in history and possibly the greatest prime minister Britain has ever seen.
The birthplace of one of the greatest people in history and possibly the greatest prime minister Britain has ever seen. | Source

Churchill War Rooms

A markerChurchill War Rooms Clive Steps King Charles Street London SW1A 2AQ -
Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, Clive Steps, King Charles St, London, Greater London SW1A 2A
[get directions]

Deep beneath the bustle of London lie the original Cabinet War Rooms - today part of the Churchill War Rooms - which sheltered the people

A Failure at School

When Winston was seven he was sent off to school, the first in a series of educational disasters. One teacher called him "a regular pickle;" another said "he has no ambition" and a third reported "he is constant trouble to everybody and is always in some scrape or other." He was a failure both academically and socially. His parents responded by sending him off to another school, where the teachers at least saw promise, if not performance. Then they arranged to get him into the prestigious public school Harrow, even though on his entrance exam he'd written only his name and the number one. He was placed in the lowest division of the lowest grade and it took him three years to earn a promotion. Teachers complained of his slovenliness, tardiness, tendency to lose his books and papers, and of course his low grades. He did, however, have a flair for writing and speaking. One of his few achievements in school was an award for reciting a 1200 line poem without error, and he also wrote for the school paper.

Quote by Winston Churchill

"My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me."

Winston Churchill as a Young Man

A Worthy Member of this List of Greatest People in History
A Worthy Member of this List of Greatest People in History | Source

Character Traits of Winston Churchill

Character Traits
Achievement
Courage
Fought in and survived several wars, often in the thick of the action.
Great writer and speaker
Known for his ability with words and sharp wit, Churchill excelled at capturing the attention and hearts of his audience.
Perseverance
The death of Churchill's father is said to have spurred him on to greater heights in an effort to live up to his expectations.
Resilience
Churchill was known for his incredible resilience both whilst fighting in the war when he could fall asleep at will and his never-say-die attitude during the turmoil of the Second World War.

Winston Churchill in Uniform

One of the greatest people in history, Winston Churchill.
One of the greatest people in history, Winston Churchill. | Source

Little Known Facts about Winston Churchill

  • Churchill's favorite drink was Champagne.
  • As a young man, Churchill once worked as a greeting card designer for Hallmark.
  • In a BBC Poll in 2004, of the 100 greatest Britons, Winston Churchill headed the list at number one.
  • Winston's mother Jenny Jerome, was one quarter Iroquois Indian.

Sir Winston Churchill the Soldier

Once his schooling was complete, Churchill's parents decided to send him to Sandhurst military college to train as an officer as they were convinced he wouldn't be able to get into university due to his lack of academic acumen. Winston was ecstatic and finally felt that he was doing something worthwhile and challenging. He was a young man who preferred practical, 'hands-on-work' and once said, "I would rather have apprenticed as a bricklayer's mate, or run errands as a messenger boy, or helped my father dress the front windows of a grocer's shop. It would have been real; it would have been natural; it would have taught me more; and I should have done it much better. Also, I should have got to know my father, which would have been a joy to me." Finally, he was able to excel and was ranked twentieth out of a group of 130 students at Sandhurst.

One of the defining moments of his life came when as a 24-year-old officer serving with the British Cavalry In the rolling hills of the Sudan in North Africa, 1898, he along with 399 other men faced off against what they first thought were 600 Egyptian Dervish soldiers. The British soldiers were members of the 21st Lancers - a superbly trained and experienced regiment that included some of England's best fighting men.The Dervishes were well-known for their fearsome fighting ability, but that didn't faze Winston Churchill and the other men. British soldiers were renowned for their bravery and as one, they charged across the sun-baked land to meet them in battle.However, just as they reached the halfway point, another 3,000 Dervishes leaped out of a dry riverbed in front of them. The British Lancers' charge never faltered and they continued on, charging full speed into the enemy formation, slashing, shooting and fighting for their lives with no thought of retreat. Winston Churchill was at the front of the charge and fought just as bravely as the rest. 48 Lancers were killed and hundreds more wounded before they managed to form and hold a defensive position but Winston Churchill who embodied British courage and Idealism, was unscathed.

Winston Churchill Quote

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

A Lesson From Winston Churchill

Learn this lesson from one of the greatest people in history.
Learn this lesson from one of the greatest people in history. | Source

Greatest People Poll

Who was Britain's best Prime Minister?

  • Winston Churchill
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Clement Atlee
  • William Pitt
  • Tony Blair
  • Charles Grey
  • Herbert Asquith
  • Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
See results without voting

Greatest People in History - Winston Churchill's Famous Speech

Churchill's Lesson: Improve Yourself Each Day in the Areas that You Feel Will Bring You Closer to Success

Churchill may not have excelled as a student but that didn't mean failure for him, on the contrary, it unpredictably gave him the chance to explore areas that he was interested in. Perhaps if he had gone to university, he would never have become one of the greatest prime ministers in British history.

During his time in India when there wasn't any fighting to be done, he spent his time studying philosophy, history and religious texts as well as the Annual Register of Parliamentary Debates, which he used to sharpen his opinions and gain an understanding of politics. What are you doing in your spare time?

Are you constantly honing and improving your skills?

Create a success library of books you wish to read to assist you in gaining more knowledge in the area you wish to excel in, and you could even create a success folder which you could fill with useful information in your area. Read and study for at least a few minutes each night and within a surprisingly short time, you will have become an expert in your chosen field as Winston Churchill no doubt did. If you find you are failing at something, don't lose heart. It is probably because you have no real interest in it, and your real interests lie elsewhere. It is up to you to find them. What inspires you? Who are your role models? Answering those questions will give you some clues as to where your real ability lies.


Quote by Winston Churchill

"Never, never, never give up."

More Articles from the Greatest People in History Series

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What do you think about Winston Churchill? Is he one of the greatest people in history? 20 comments

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Goes to show there is a bit of greatness in all of us. All we need are the tools to use to bring out our potential. Very good. I knew little about Churchill before. This was very interesting. He has great memory also to recite a 1200 word poem without error. He is definitely a man who prefers hands-on work.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Good to have the great Cardisa as my first commenter!

Thank you!

Yes,during my research of him I became so involved in reading about him and feeling proud to be British that I nearly didn't write the hub.

Glad I did though.

You take care and I'll see you very soon. :)


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Great series going Rich. I've never read a bio on Churchill so you had many new and interesting facts here. Fave Churchill quote: "Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few." You should be proud of your British heritage as I am by my British roots.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Thank you Alastar!

I'm really glad to hear you learned something new about the great Winston Churchill!

My aim is to write as many hubs and teach as many people as possible but if I was to only teach my two favorite hubbers Alastar and Cardisa, I'd still be a happy chappy!

Oh by the way, please tell your Ma to put that paddle away for I shan't be going anywhere for a while. My botty shall remain unbruised!

Take care my friend.


calpol25 profile image

calpol25 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

HI Richawriter

I absolutely love Winston Churchill have loved your hub too, you capture his life perfectly. Just had to comment because this hub was a fantastic read, going to have a good look through your others.

I love history and especially reading and researching famous and not so famous people. x

One of my favourite quotes is this one

Secretary - "Mr Churchill your drunk again!"

Churchill - "Yes madam your ugly, but I will be sober in the morning."

Hope you enjoy this quote too.

Take Care Richawriter


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Thank you Calpol25!

Winston Churchill is an inspiring figure for us Brits, especially with his excellent skills in answering his critics. Yes, I do love that exchange and I haven't heard it in quite a while so thanks for reminding me of it. Classic!

I think you got the right idea with the project mentality you have here on hubpages. It is hard work but if you love history and writing, hours pass by unnoticed.

Take care Mate. Keep up the good work!


calpol25 profile image

calpol25 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

Thanks Richawriter your very right there, many hours do pass by but I just love history and learning about people. Like today I have learned about 5 more people that I did not know about, but all though the time flies and the work is quite hard, it really does make such a difference with the knowledge that we gather and bring to light.

You take care too mate and look forward to reading much more of your hubs. :)


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Yes, my friend.

Through doing this, we gain a wealth of knowledge and we also share that wealth with others. It is what life is for, learning and taking what others who came before us left behind and making it a part of our and other people's lives, helping us grow.

This will also open more doors of opportunity for us. As we continue here on this path, the answers will come to us.

Take care Calpol and I'll see you at your hubs very soon. :)


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

It's amazing how quickly Churchill fell out of favor with the Brits. Today, Americans seem to have far more affection for this grand old man than the Brits do.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Yes, you may be right there WillStarr but I myself see him as one of my idols. A great man indeed!

Really, I wasn't aware that the Americans adored him so much, but it is a nice surprise to find that out!

I also have a soft spot for Abe Lincoln as he was a great president and had to educate himself in order to reach such a prestigious position. Just goes to show, if we know what we want and are willing to put in the work, we shall surely attain our goal.

Take care.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

His mother was an American, so he viewed the US with the same sort of fondness that we had for him. He gratefully acknowledged many times the role the US played in saving both Britain and Europe from the Nazis, something that many US haters in Europe now deny.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Ah yes, there do appear to be more of those US haters these days. Just looking for someone to blame, I guess.

There is no doubt that the US saved our bacon. We English may have been able to hold out for a while longer, but I think we may have eventually succumbed to their power and might should you guys have left us be.

Man, I may well have been speaking German today!! Frightful thought! haha


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

A little known fact was the secret shipments of millions of US small arms to Britain at Churchill's request in order to adequately arm the Home Guard, who would have to help defend the homeland. Most were armed with no more than shotguns and pitchforks.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Yes, that is indeed a little known fact. I have never heard that. We would have been in a similar situation to the ruskies, with their unarmed soldiers charging into battle in defense of their homeland.

You are full of facts, WillStarr. Thanks for enlightening me!


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

My father considered Churchill the greatest statesman of the 20th century and so do I. He may have been the one man in the world to make Hitler lose sleep. He inspired a nation and the world to defeat the Nazi's and those allied with them.

England was the first nation with the guts to face down the Nazi's and declare war on them. They overcame great odds to defeat the Nazi's in the battle of Britain with the royal airforce. They prevailed over the Nazi's on the sea and on land with help from the United States. Churchill himself was pivital in the destiny of the entire world.

I think people become great because of great obstacles that need to be overcome, churchill is a good example of that!


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Thank you wba.

Yes, he was a truly inspirational man and remains one of my role models to this day.

I agree. Overcoming obstacles is what makes us great. Without obstacles life would be far too easy and become boring due to the lack of learning and improving.

Thanks for coming over.

Peace. :)


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

We all get strength to know that even these great people had their own weaknesses. No one is perfect but we can bank on our strengths to overcome our weakness. I enjoyed reading this, Voted up and interesting.


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World Author

Thanks for stopping over here for a while dwachira.

Yes, it is a good idea to gain our inspiration and strength from those who came before us and achieved success, despite the difficulties they may have faced in getting there.

Have a great day my friend!

:) Peace


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 5 months ago from Philippines

I am a great admirer of Winston Churchill. He truly overcame the odds, and he was at his best when at his weakest. How many people can turn depressive episodes into 500 paintings and 52 books? He not only overcame himself (usually oneself is the hardest to overcome) but he defeated Hitler and changed the world for the better. How many men have done that?


Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 5 months ago from On Top of the World Author

Not many at all, Grand Old Lady. And I think the hardest (surprisingly) challenge is to overcome yourself.

I think quite often, we fail to learn the lessons of our youth until much later, and some not at all.

He was a rare breed of man, that's for sure.

Thanks again. :)

Richard

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