1901 - 1932


Walk with us, through the life of a legend

Life of Churchill

Rising Politician

Churchill was first elected to Parliament as a Conservative for the town of Oldham in 1900. He was only twenty-five, and Queen Victoria was still on the throne. He quickly made a name for himself as a rising politician, though he was controversial, and in 1904 he switched parties and joined the Liberals. His early career was a mix of radicalism and reaction. He helped introduce labour exchanges and early unemployment insurance, but he also opposed strikers and refused to support votes for women.

He held a succession of senior Government roles. When WWI broke out he was the Minister in charge of the Navy, but fell from office dramatically over his leadership of the disastrous Dardanelles campaign. A short spell commanding a battalion in the trenches was followed by a return to high office and, in 1924, by a return to the Conservative Party as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was clearly talented but many mistrusted him.

This section will tell you more about his rise to prominence in politics and his ups and downs in office – the colourful and varied trajectory of his early political career.

1901 - 1932

22 Jan 1901

Queen Victoria Dies

Queen Victoria in 1887

Queen Victoria in 1887

Winston S Churchill as a young politician

Winston Churchill as a young politician © National Portrait Gallery, London

31 Jan 1901, Final lecture, Carnegie Hall in New York

2 Feb 1901

Embarks for England

14 Feb 1901

Takes his seat in the House for the first time

18 Feb 1901

Makes his Maiden Speech in the House

Read the full speech

27 Sep 1902

First visit as a guest at Balmoral Castle

10 Oct 1902

Proposes a Tory-Liberal central coalition

20 Apr 1903

Publishes Mr Brodrick’s Army

Young Winston and Clementine

Young Winston and Clementine

Mar 1904

Meets Clementine Hozier for the first time

31 May 1904

Breaks with the Conservative Party

13 Jan 1906

Elected as MP for Manchester NW

Mar 1906

Publishes For Free Trade

2 Oct 1907

Begins official tour to British East Africa

22 Oct 1907

Clementine breaks her engagement

5 Apr 1908

Campbell-Bannerman resigns as Prime Minister

12 Apr 1908

Meets Clementine for the 2nd time

12 Apr 1908

Joins Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade

24 Apr 1908

Defeated in Manchester NW and seeks new seat

9 May 1908

Elected Member of Parliament for Dundee

11 Aug 1908

Proposes to Clementine in the Temple of Diana at Blenheim Palace and is accepted

12 Sep 1908

Winston and Clementine marry at St Mary’s Churchill in London

Dec 1908

Publishes My African Journey

11 Jul 1909

Birth of first child, Diana

12 Sep 1909

Kaiser Wilhelm II’s guest at German Army manoeuvres

Dec 1909

Lords vetoes the Liberals ‘People’s Budget’

The People's Budget

Dec 1909

Publishes The People’s Rights

22 Jan 1910

Reelected MP for Dundee

14 Feb 1910

Named Home Secretary

8 Nov 1910

Tonypandy riots begin in Wales

3 Jan 1911

Battle of Sidney Street

29 May 1911

Birth of only son, Randolph

13 Aug 1911

Churchill’s cabinet paper predicts WW1

25 Oct 1911

Appointed First Lord of the Admiralty

21 May 1914

Argues for compromise on Irish Home Rule

17 Jun 1914

Persian oil supply secured for Royal Navy.

28 Jun 1914

Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated at Sarajevo

1 Aug 1914

British fleet ordered to its war station at Scapa Flow

4 Aug 1914

Great Britain declares war on Germany

4-5 Sep 1914

Britain, France and Russia sign Treaty of London

3-6 Oct 1914

Leads the defence of Antwerp

7 Oct 1914

Birth of the Churchill’s second daughter, Sarah

30 Oct 1914

Appoints Admiral Lord Fisher as First Sea Lord

2 Nov 1914

Russia declares war on Turkey

8 Dec 1914

Royal Navy victorious in the Battle of the Falkland Islands

3 Jan 1915

Proposes naval and military attack on the Dardanelles

18 Mar 1915

Franco-British naval attack on Dardanelles fails

More on the Dardanelles

15 May 1915

Lord Fisher abruptly resigns as First Sea Lord

27 May 1915

Appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

19 Nov 1915

Attached to 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards in France

7 May 1916

Returns to London and Parliament

1-18 Dec 1916

Battle of the Somme

6 Dec 1916

David Lloyd George becomes PM

6 Apr 1916

United States enters World War I

9-12 Apr 1917

Canadian triumph at Vimy Ridge

18 Jul 1917

Appointed Minister of Munitions by PM David Lloyd George

30 Jul 1917

Wins by-election at Dundee

2 Nov 1917

Balfour Declaration announcing support for the establishment of a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ in Palestine

1 Apr 1918

Royal Air Force (RAF) Created

15 Nov 1918

Birth of third daughter, Marigold

9 Jan 1919

Appointed Secretary of State for War and Air

29 Jun 1919

Versailles Peace Treaty signed

16 Jan 1920

League of Nations convenes in Geneva, Switzerland

14 Feb 1921

Appointed Colonial Secretary

15 Apr 1921

Bill Hozier, Clementine’s brother, commits suicide

29 June 1921

Lady Randolph Churchill dies

23 Aug 1921

Marigold Churchill dies of septicemia

6 Dec 1921, Helps negotiate the Irish Treaty

3 Jun 1922

Government issues White Paper on Palestine

14 Sep 1922

Successfully offers to buy Chartwell in the Kent countryside


15 Sep 1922

Birth of fourth daughter, Mary

18 Oct 1922

BBC is formed

19 Oct 1922

PM David Lloyd George resigns

15 Nov 1922

Stricken by appendicitis and defeated in Dundee

The surgeon who saved Churchill

7 Dec 1922

Parliament of Northern Ireland votes to remain part of the UK

6 Apr 1923

Publishes The World Crisis, Vol. I

26 Apr 1923

Wedding of the Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

23 May 1923

Stanley Baldwin becomes Prime Minister

6 Dec 1923

Defeated in the West Leicester by-election

24 Jan 1924

First Woman to be Appointed Government Minister

19 Mar 1924

Defeated in the Abbey Division of Westminster by-election

23 Apr 1924

1st Broadcast by King George V, opening the British Empire Exhibition

29 Oct 1924

Elected as a ‘Constitutionalist’ member for Epping

7 Nov 1924

Appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer

Past Prime Ministers

29 Apr 1925

First budget and return to Gold Standard

19 Jul 1925

Adolf Hitler Publishes Mein Kampf

Oct 1925

Officially rejoins Conservative Party

1 Dec 1925

Germany joins the League of Nations

2 May 1926

General Strike begins (ends eleven days later on 13 May)

15 Jan 1927

Visits Mussolini in Rome

2 Mar 1927

Publishes The World Crisis, Vol. III

Spring 1927

Begins bricklaying at Chartwell

22-23 Sep 1928

Joins Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers

29 Jan 1929

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I is published

11 Feb 1929

Lateran Treaty signed establishing Vatican City

4 Mar 1929

Herbert Hoover inaugurated as the 31st US President

7 Mar 1929

Publishes The Aftermath

30 May 1929

Baldwin government defeated

4 Jun 1929

Resigns as Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to Minister of Treasury)

Jun 1929

Beginning of his so-called ‘Wilderness Years’

27 Jul 1929

The Geneva Convention Addresses the Treatment of POWs

3 Aug 1929

Embarks for North America

9 Aug 1929, Arrives in Canada

Sep 1929

A Farewell to Arms, a novel by American writer Ernest Hemingway is first published

13 Sep 1929

Hosted by William Randolph Hearst

24 Sep 1929

Meets Charlie Chaplin

29 Oct 1929

New York Stock Market crash

18 Apr 1930

BBC Radio from London reports on this day that ‘There is no news’

7 Aug 1930

R B Bennett takes office as the eleventh Prime Minister of Canada

20 Oct 1930

Publishes My Early Life

16 Aug 1930

The first British Empire Games open in Hamilton, Ontario

1 May 1931

Construction completed for Empire State Building

27 May 1931

Publishes India

10 Sep 1931

The Japanese invasion of Manchuria

22 Sep 1931

The UK abandons the Gold Standard

Nov 1931

Publishes The Eastern Front

5 Dec 1931

Embarks for New York


Film version of A Farewell to Arms opens

29 Jan 1932

Conflict between Japan and China in the Battle of Shanghai

28 Jan 1932

Lecture tour resumes in Brooklyn, New York

4 Feb 1932

The 1932 Winter Olympics open in Lake Placid, New York

Feb-Mar 1932

Lectures in many cities across the US and Canada

11 Mar 1932

Embarks for England

13 May 1932

First speech warning of German rearmament

8 Nov 1932

Franklin Roosevelt elected president

10 Nov 1932

Publishes Thoughts and Adventures

Finest Hour

Search online archives for articles, documents and more..

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Writing, Articles & Books

In his lifetime, Churchill published more than 40 books in 60 volumes.

View his writing

Young Churchillians

Working to celebrate the life and achievements of a great leader.

Young Churchillians


In his lifetime, Churchill published more than 40 books in 60 volumes.

View Publications



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