Portrait of Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was born in 1874 and died in 1965. He was famous for leading the UK at a time of war and eventually went on to win World War 2 for Britain.

Becoming prime minister

He became Prime Minister on the 10th May 1940, shortly after Neville Chamberlain resigned after a vote of no-confidence by his own party and the beginning of the Nazi invasion of France. Chamberlain originally chose Halifax, who turned down the post because he didn’t believe that he could lead the country during a war.

Chamberlain then chose Churchill, as he believed that he would have the support of all the three major political parties in Parliament (where all of the big decisions are made.) However, Chamberlain was still the party leader until he died of cancer in November 1940, but Churchill was prime minister.

‘We shall never surrender’

We shall never surrender
Winston Churchill

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat
Winston Churchill

Churchill: “This is your victory”
Crowd: “No, it’s yours”

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour’
Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was prime minister from 10th May 1940 until the end of WW2.
He became Prime Minister on the 10th May 1940, shortly after Neville Chamberlain resigned.
Through many inspirational speeches and press conferences, he encouraged the British people to never give up and to never dampen their spirits. One of his quotes was:

Let us go forward together!
Winston Churchill

And so, with Winston’s help, we eventually won World War 2. Here is a video (by us) summarising what he did:

Just a note: Hitler’s bunker in Berlin was surrounded by Russian troops. We didn’t know this when we made this video, and we’re just making you aware.

Not In The Curriculum box (What is this?)

At a time when talking about mental health was frowned upon, Winston Churchill talked about having depression whilst he was prime minister in World War 2. He called it his “black dog” and would also wonder about jumping in front of an oncoming train whilst waiting on the platform.

Some people think that his depression may have helped him see the German problem more clearly than those around him. You can find out more about it here.