Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 1874. This was the home of his grandfather, the seventh Duke of Marlborough. On his father’s side he was a child of the aristocracy; his father was the Conservative politician, Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill. His mother was the American-born beauty, Jennie Jerome, daughter of a stockbroker, financier and newspaper proprietor. They were a glamorous high society couple but distant parents.
Churchill was brought up by his nanny, Mrs Everest, with his younger brother, Jack, and was sent away to boarding schools in Ascot and Brighton before going to Harrow School. He was a wilful and rebellious child, who clashed with school discipline, and who was not thought clever enough to go to university. He only passed the entrance exam for the officer training school at Sandhurst on his third attempt. This section will tell you more about his early life and the people and places that shaped him.
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