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"WINSTON IS BACK" honors the life and accomplishments of the "Person of the Twentieth Century" and "Greatest Briton," Sir Winston S. Churchill (1874-1965), and considers the British Empire into which he was born and to which he was so devoted throughout his 90 years of life.


Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain invited Churchill to join the Government's War Cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty the day Germany invaded Poland, September 1, 1939. Two days later Britain and France declared war on Germany. The Board of Admiralty upon hearing of Churchill's appointment signaled to all ships and naval bases: "WINSTON IS BACK." Churchill was to reassume the cabinet post he had held almost a quarter of a century previously. Churchill (age 64) settled into his former office in Admiralty House on September 4, 1939; there he found the very same sea maps, showing the disposition of ships, he had used when he left the Admiralty in 1915.

"WINSTON IS BACK" also is appropriate to signal Churchillís return as Prime Minister of Great Britain on October 26, 1951 (Churchill now 77 years old), when the Conservative Party succeeded in gaining a majority over Clement Attleeís Labor Party. Churchill's first term as Britain's Prime Minister was during World War II, 1940-1945. In between Churchillís two terms as Prime Minister, the Labor Party, then in power, enacted a sweeping program of nationalization of services and industry, not the least of which included the Bank of England, the railways, the coal mines, iron and steel, oil, gas and airways, and the creation of a free National Health Service. Churchill had not wholeheartedly endorsed this economic plan as a means for revitalizing post-war Britain. Story has it that during a brief break in one heated Parliamentary session, both Churchill and Attlee were making a bolt to the menís room. Attlee, who succeeded in entering ahead of Churchill, was standing at the urinal when he caught a glimpse of Churchill behind him taking a giant step backwards. Attlee responded, "A bit standoffish today are we, Winston?" To which Churchill replied, "Every time you see something big you want to nationalize it!"

Churchillís second term as Prime Minister was not characterized as memorable or distinguished. Nevertheless, Churchill had backed the agreement to end the Korean War and was involved in persuading the United States not to intervene to rescue the French from Ho Chi Minhís guerrilla army in Indochina at Dien Pien Phu. Perhaps Churchill reasoned, why should the French retain Indochina when Britain had lost India? Churchillís major objective, to organize a summit at which the United States, Britain, and the USSR would work to resolve outstanding differences, failed to materialize.

Churchill remained Prime Minister until 1955 when he relinquished the position to his successor, Anthony Eden (who was married to Churchillís niece). Churchill continued on in Parliament, representing his constituency of Woodford, until 1964. Churchill died less than a year later, age 90.

The background image on the home page is a color portrait of Churchill painted by Richard Deane Taylor. It first appeared on the cover of COLLIER'S magazine, September 22, 1951.