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Quotes

Quotes Falsely Attributed to Winston Churchill

These quotes make for good storytelling but popular myth has falsely attributed them to Winston Churchill

Conservative by the Time You’re 35

‘If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart.  If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.’

There is no record of anyone hearing Churchill say this. Paul Addison of Edinburgh University made this comment: ‘Surely Churchill can’t have used the words attributed to him. He’d been a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35!  And would he have talked so disrespectfully of Clemmie, who is generally thought to have been a lifelong Liberal?’

Courage

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

This quote is very often attributed to Churchill but appears nowhere in the Churchill canon.

Cross of Lorraine

“The hardest cross I have to bear is the Cross of Lorraine.”

This remark about the intractable Charles de Gaulle was actually made by General Spears, Churchill’s envoy to France.

Going Through Hell

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

We haven’t seen any correct attribution of this quote that appears frequently on the Internet and printed on motivation posters. It’s not a phrase that is contained anywhere in the canon of Winston Churchill’s written or spoken words.
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Churchill’s Fighting Speech to US Congress

Churchill tells the US Congress that Britain is committed to fighting Japan

“It is the duty of those who are charged with the direction of the war to overcome at the earliest moment the military, geographical and political difficulties and begin the process so necessary and desirable of laying the cities and other munition centres of Japan in ashes, for in ashes they must surely lie before peace comes back to the world. ”

‘And here let me say: let no one suggest that we British have not at least as great an interest as the United States in the unflinching and relentless waging of war against Japan. But I am here to tell you that we will wage that war side by side with you, in accordance with the best strategic employment of our forces while there is breath in our bodies and while blood flows in our veins.

The African war is over. Mussolini’s African Empire and Corporal Hitler’s strategy are alike exploded. One continent at least has been cleansed and purged forever from Fascist and Nazi tyranny.

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The International Churchill Society (ICS), founded in 1968 shortly after Churchill's death, is the world’s preeminent member organisation dedicated to preserving the historic legacy of Sir Winston Churchill.

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