1946 - 1965


Walk with us, through the life of a legend

Life of Churchill

Senior Statesman

Churchill’s world seemed to have ended with WWII. The British Empire was lost, Britain was bankrupt and his Conservative Party was voted out of office.

Once again, he refused to accept defeat, re-launching himself on the international stage with a powerful warning about the Soviet ‘Iron Curtain’ that the Russians were drawing down across Europe. He also made repeated appeals for closer Anglo-American unity and greater European integration, themes which continue to dominate British foreign policy.

He returned as a peacetime Prime Minister in 1951, participating in the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, but failed to get a hoped-for summit meeting with the Russians. Poor health finally forced his retirement in 1955 though he remained a Member of Parliament until June 1964. He died aged ninety on 24 January 1965, the seventieth anniversary of his father’s death, and was given a State Funeral.

This section will tell you more about the final two decades of Churchill’s life – his second premiership and his ‘long sunset’.

1946 - 1965

8 Jan 1946

Appointed to the Order of Merit

11 Feb 1946

Mary Churchill marries Christopher Soames in London

5 Mar 1946

Iron Curtain’ speech at Fulton, Missouri

23 Aug 1946

At Zurich, urges Franco-German amity

5 Nov 1946

Deplores half a million deaths in India-Pakistan violence

21 Jun 1948

Publishes The Gathering Storm

8 May 1948

At The Hague, urges European unity

24 Jun 1948

Airlift begins to Soviet-isolated West Berlin

19 Aug 1948

Publishes The Sinews of Peace

2 Nov 1948: Harry Truman elected US president

29 Mar 1949

Publishes Their Finest Hour

12 May 1949

Soviets lift Berlin blockade; Allies end Airlift

Aug 1949

Visiting Beaverbrook in the South of France, Churchill experiences his first stroke

26 Oct 1951

Becomes Prime Minister and Minister of Defence for the second time

2 Feb 1952

King George VI dies in London

3 Sep 1952

Publishes The War Speeches

4 Nov 1952

Eisenhower elected U.S. president

5-9 Jan 1953

Visits Dwight Eisenhower in New York and Harry Truman in Washington

5 Mar 1953

Marshal of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin dies in Moscow

2 Jun 1953

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey

23 Jun 1953

A second stroke is kept secret

10 Dec 1953

Delivers fine speech at party conference

14 Jun 1954

Becomes Knight of the Garter and, therefore, ‘Sir Winston Churchill’

30 Nov 1954

Churchill attends celebrations of his 80th birthday

1 Mar 1955

Churchill gives his last political speech

28 Mar 1955

His last speech in the House of Commons

5 Apr 1955: Resigns for the final time as Prime Minister

26 May 1955

Reelected MP for Woodford in general election

6 Feb 1956

Dines for the first time aboard the Christina, the yacht of Aristotle Onassis

26 Jul 1956

Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Egypt, nationalises Suez Canal

1 Jun 1958

Charles de Gaulle becomes French Premier

12 Sep 1958

Winston and Clementine celebrate their golden wedding anniversary

22 Sep - 10 Oct 1958

Churchill takes his first cruise aboard the Onassis yacht Christina

6 Nov 1958

Receives the French Order of Liberation

7 Jan - 17 Feb 1959

Last visit to Marrakesh and paints the last of more then 500 oil paintings

8 Jan 1959

Charles De Gaulle becomes President of Fifth French Republic

8 Oct 1959: Reelected MP for Woodford, his last term in Parliament

8 Nov 1960

Sends congratulations to the newly elected president, John F Kennedy

12 Apr 1961

Arrives in New York aboard the Onassis yacht Christina

6 Apr 1962

Departs Monte Carlo on the last cruise aboard the Onassis yacht Christina

28 Jun 1962

Falls and breaks a hip in Monte Carlo

9 Apr 1963

Proclaimed Honorary Citizen of the United States by President John F Kennedy

19 Oct 1963

Daughter Diana Churchill dies in London

22 Nov 1963

Watches TV reports of the assassination of JFK in tears

28 Jul 1964

Presented with an unprecedented ‘Vote of Thanks’ by the House of Commons 

15 Oct 1964

The first general election since 1895 in which Churchill does not stand for Parliament

3 Nov 1964

Lyndon Johnson elected US president

30 Nov 1964

Churchill celebrates his 90th birthday

24 Jan 1965

Churchill dies

30 Jan 1965

State Funeral, London