Churchill’s world seemed to have ended with the 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’.
The Story Behind the Investiture
BY DAL NEWFIELD
Finest Hour 20, July-August 1971
The origins of the Cinque Ports are lost in antiquity, but it is generally agreed that the confederacy began long before 1066. Alfred the Great is credited with the establishment of the British Navy, but his appreciation of the use of sea power in war did not survive him, and England offered no effective naval resistance to subsequent Danish and Norman invasions. So it was that Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich formed an association to provide and man a naval defense force. Winchelsea and Rye were added later to these “head ports” and some 30 other inland towns became supporting “limbs.” William the Conqueror found it advantageous to deal with the Cinque Ports, giving tax exemptions and the right to make their own by-laws in return for the Cinque Ports’ commitment to maintain a fleet “to keep the Narrow Seas,” a function which they strenuously discharged throughout the Middle Ages. Read More >
By Kjell Stromberg
On occasion, the Swedish Academy has surprised everyone by its choice of Nobel laureates. It happened in 1953, when after awards for literature to Per Lagerkvist and Francois Mauriac in the preceding two years, the Academy chose Sir Winston Churchill. Whatever may have been the literary merits of this extraordinary laureate, it is certain that for most people throughout the world he was chiefly, if not exclusively, the great statesman who had been the architect of victory in the greatest of all wars. Another point was that, after six years out of power, Churchill had become once again Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1951, and it was generally believed that the Swedish Academy had assumed a tacit obligation not to crown any writer who was either holding a government position or playing a political role of first rank in his country at the time his candidacy might be presented. Read More >