Autumn 1918 (Age 44)

Speaking to munitions workers in Glasgow in early Ortober, Churchill said, “I cannot say that I am over-sanguine at the present time of the speedy termination of the conflict … We must make certain that whatever may be the course of the war in 1918, the year 1919 will see our foe unable to resist our legitimate and rightful claims…” He particularly opposed a negotiated peace. Unconditional surrender was the only arrangement he would accept.

The moment for which he and his nation had fought occurred on November 11th. Churchill would later describe it in The World Crisis. “It was a few minutes before the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. I stood at the window of my room looking up Northumberland Avenue towards Trafalgar Square, waiting for Big Ben to tell that the War was over. My mind strayed back across the scarring years to the scene and emotions of the night at the Admiralty when I listened for these same chimes in order to give the signal of war against Germany to our Fleets and squadrons across the world. And now it was all over! … All the Kings and Emperors with which we had warred were in flight or exile. All their Armies and Fleets were destroyed or subdued …

“The minutes passed. I was conscious of reaction rather than elation. The material purposes upon which one’s life had been centred … crumbled into nothing … leaving a void.

“And then suddenly the first stroke of the chime … The bells of London began to clash … I could see that Trafalgar Square was swarming … Flags appeared as if by magic … Almost before the last stroke of the clock had died away, the strict war- straitened, regulated streets of London had become a triumphant pandemonium. Yes, the chains which had held the world were broken.

“My wife arrived and we decided to go and offer our congratulations to the Prime Minister … in the midst of a widely cheering multitude we were impelled forward through Whitehall … We had driven together the opposite way along the same road on the afternoon of the ultimatum. There had been the same crowd and almost the same enthusiasm.’

The Churchills lived at 3 Tenterden Street, near Hanover Square. On November 15th, Clementine gave birth to their fourth child, Marigold Frances.

Looking beyond Germany, Churchill noted that “Russia is being rapidly reduced by the Bolsheviks to an animal form of barbarism. On the final day of the year he was invited to attend the Imperial War Cabinet where, in opposition to the views of the Prime Minister, he supported intervention in the Russian civil way by the Allied Powers.

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