On This Day: April 24th


On the 24th of April as well as being my mum’s birthday it was the day Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He became Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill in 1953, he was knighted.

Churchill had a long and decorated career in British politics very often at the very centre of affairs, he was seen as a polarising figure during his tenures as British prime minister. He first became prime minister in 1940 following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain, this lasted until after victory in World War II which saw Churchill become one of the most powerful men in world politics and a historic figure in British history. He was ousted after the war in favour of Labour politician Clement Atlee, this was for much-needed change to aid the British working class, aid Churchill was unfavourable towards. It was after this he made the famous “Iron Curtain” speech in the USA in response to the Soviet Union and their grip on Eastern Europe. He served his second spell as prime minister succeeding Clement Atlee in 1951 till 1955, his second term was filled with foreign policy disasters however as the British Empire declined in the post-war era. One notable decision was dispatching British soldiers to put down a Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.

Churchill held a number of other positions of note during his life including First Lord of the Admiralty, during which he was responsible for the Gallipoli landings during World War I, Minister of Defence, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary, and Member of Parliament for a number of constituencies including Manchester and Dundee. Churchill also in 1953 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, this was for his numerous published works especially his Second World War series.

Despite his faults and failures during his career his successes have lived the longest and are probably the most prevalent in the eyes of the British people, he has regularly been voted as the most influential British person and was even awarded a state funeral. His memory has lived on in many films such as ‘Into the Storm’ played by Brendan Gleeson, tv shows such as Doctor Who and video games like Assassins Creed. He is a figure that will be long-standing in British memory and for his service to Britain and her empire his knighthood in 1953 was deserved.


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