Monday 8 April 2013

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Sir Winston Churchill

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Here are ten things you may not know about the British Prime Minister who helped built morale during the dark days of the London Blitz.

1.  Although Churchill was British (his father was Lord Randolph Churchill, related to the Dukes of Marlborough) he was also half American (his mother was the daughter of the American millionaire Leonard Jerome).  Also, his paternal grandmother was reportedly a relative of George Washington's.

Image of Jennie (Jerome) Churchill courtesy 

2.  Winston Churchill had impeccable timing:  he was born prematurely in a Blenheim Palace cloakroom as his mom was attending a party there.  He died on the same day as his father seventy years later.

3.  Churchill was an accomplished artist, painting 600 paintings in his old age.  "View from Tinherir" (1951) was sold for 612,800 pounds in 2006.

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4.  In 1889, Boer War correspondent Churchill escaped a prisoner of war camp.

5.  Churchill was a proficient writer, novelist and historian, writing such epics as The Second World War (6 volumes) and A History of the English Speaking Peoples.  In 1953, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his works.

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6.  Churchill did an excellent gorilla imitation and had a good sense of humour.  Once a lady said to him:  "Sir, you are drunk."  He replied:  "Madam, you are ugly.  In the morning I will be sober."

7.  The Prime Minister was declared Time's Man of the Year twice -- in 1940 and again in 1949.

8.  Churchill served in British Parliament under six monarchs:  Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI, Elizabeth II.

9.  Churchill struggled in elementary and high school, remaining in the bottom half of the class.  Recalling his love of toy soldiers, his father enrolled him in Sandhurst Military Academy, but it took him three tries just to pass the entrance exam.

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10.  Serving with Spanish forces in Cuba in 1895, Churchill grew accustomed to taking a siesta every afternoon.  He continued the tradition in his old age, helping him to recover from a major stroke.  He would often hold meetings of state at his bedside.


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