Overview - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer ChurchillEducated at Harrow and Sandhurst, he first saw active military service for the Spanish in Cuba in 1895. Thereafter, he served in the Northwest Frontier of India, the Sudan, and the Boer War. He was elected to Parliament as a Conservative in 1900. In 1906 he became a Liberal and was secretary for colonies in in the Campbell-Bannerman cabinet (1905 - 1908). President of the Board of Trade from 1908 to 1910; home secretary , 1910-11, first lord of the admiralty from 1911- 1915. He was discredited by the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign which he sponsored and was forced to resign. He returned to the cabinet as minister of munitions in 1917 and secretary of state for war and for air from 1918 to 1921. Again as a Conservative, he served as colonial secretary in 1921 and chancellor of the exchequer from 1924 to 1929. He held no cabinet positions for the next 10 years. In 1939 he was made first lord of the admiralty.
In May, 1940, when Chamberlain was forced to resign, Churchill became prime minister. He was Britain's great war prime minister. He, together with Roosevelt and Stalin, were three of the most powerful figures in the world. In 1945, just after victory in Europe, his party was defeated at the polls, and Churchill had to resign. He and his party were returned to power in 1951.
Churchill was a prolific writer of books. Among his works are Marlborough, World Crisis, The Gathering Storm, Their Finest Hour, and The Grand Alliance. He recieved the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953.
Contributed by Gifford, Katya
15 January 2003