Friday, 24 April 2015

5 Fun Facts About Winston Churchill

Fun Facts About Winston Churchill
1. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born on the 30th November 1874 in a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, the seat of the Duke of Marlborough.
2. Winston Churchill is best known as the war time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the World War 2.

3. Churchill had many honours bestowed upon him during his lifetime, including a knighthood in 1953. He was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, granted a State Funeral, something usually reserved only for the Monarch, and voted Greatest Briton of All Time in a poll of more than a million voters.

4. He was also the first person to be awarded an Honorary Citizen of the United States of America. And, to top it all, Did You Know: Winston Churchill was an amateur bricklayer.

5. Churchill was pretty good at seeing into the future. He predicted he would die on the same day as his father. And he did. Winston Churchill died on 24th January 1965 (aged 90), and his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, died the same day in 1895 (aged 45).

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5 Fun Facts And Myths About British Laws - Part One
5 Fun Facts And Myths About British Laws - Part Two

Bonus Round
6. Winston Churchill's was extremely accident prone. The guy was a klutz. As a little nipper, Churchill threw himself off a bridge, as you do, and suffered a concussion and ruptured a kidney.

He also nearly drowned in a Swiss lake, dislocated his shoulder disembarking a ship in India, fell off more horses than you can shake a donkey at, and was hit by a car when he looked the wrong way crossing a street in New York.
He even tried learning to fly - and crashed the plane. And this guy won the war for us. Sheesh. Good job he didn't actually have to shoot a gun.
7. Churchill decided to join the army as a teenager. He failed the entrance exam for the Royal Military College at Sandhurst three times, but finally made it in, and graduated 8th in his class of 150.
8. Before he could do any army-ing, he took a leave of absence and travelled the world reporting for London newspapers. He covered an uprising in Cuba, a tit-for-tat in India, very hot weather in the Sudan, Scots getting sunburned in Ibiza, and then, in 1899, he took a trip to South Africa after the 2nd Boer War broke out.
9. Churchill was a prisoner of war. A few weeks after he arrived in South Africa during the 2nd Boer War, he accompanied a Scouting trip (why the heck are they sending boy scouts into a war zone?) in an armoured train.
The train was ambushed. Churchill fought bravely and with courage and valour, however, he was taken prisoner and sent to a POW camp in Pretoria.
10. Churchill staged a very daring jail break. As the saying goes: Never give up, never surrender. Even when you're a prisoner. Churchill had a cunning plan. To escape. Which he did by climbing a very large wall in the pitch black of night. It was dangerous. Very dangerous. So dangerous that two of his fellow prisoners turned back.
Churchill kept going, though. And going. All through the night.
Luck happened upon him. He bumped into the house of a British coal mine manager. Well, it was dark. The fellow Brit hid him in a mineshaft for three days. After that, when the heat had died down, Churchill made the 300 mile trek to Mozambique and safety.
Churchill returned to England a hero. But didn't stay. He re-enlisted in the army, rushed back to Pretoria and fought on the front lines, capturing the city.
Image result for winston churchill11. Queen Elizabeth II offered to create Winston Churchill the Duke of London.
He turned it down, though.
His son, Randolph, objected, as it meant he would inherit the peerage upon his father's death. Back in the day, there was no facility to disown a hereditary peerage.
Since being a Duke would mean Randolph couldn't sit as an MP in the House of Commons, he persuaded his father not to take up the title.
As it happens, Randolph died shortly after his father, so it wouldn't have made any difference.
12. Winston Churchill was the last non-royal to be offered a Dukedom.
The latest person to be created a Duke was Prince William, eldest son of Prince Charles, upon his marriage to Kate Middleton. He was created the Duke of Cambridge, a vacant Dukedom that goes back hundreds of years.
Winston Churchill's Duke of London would have been a new Dukedom, created especially for him.
13. The man who led Britain in a time of war, was not the man to lead Britain in a time of peace. In July 1945, to everyone's surprise, apart from those who didn't vote for him, Winston Churchill lost the General Election in a landslide victory to the opposition Labour Party.
And this was just after defeating the Germans in the Second World War. The guy was a hero. Loved by the whole country. And the world. And they kicked him out. Bit harsh.
14. Upon hearing of his defeat, Churchill took a long drag of his cigar, made from dried out flattened hedgehogs which are then rolled in tobacco leaves, and muttered, "They have a perfect right to kick us out That is democracy. That is what we have been fighting for."
15. Churchill didn't quit parliament. He also refused to step down as leader of the Conservatives. He stayed on as Leader of the Opposition, even after losing the following General Election in 1950.
16. He'd get his opportunity again. Another General Election was called in 1951 and Churchill won, returning to 10 Downing Street and the Premiership.

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5 Fun Facts And Myths About British Laws - Part Two

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