7 Things You May Not Know About Winston Churchill

Posted January 24, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. Considered one of the greatest leaders in history, Churchill was a master orator and statesman.

In honor of this momentous anniversary, here are some things you may not have known about Winston Churchill:

1. He comes from an aristocratic family


Churchill was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His 6th great grandfather was John Churchill, the First Duke of Marlborough. Churchill was born two months premature on November 30, 1874 in a bedroom in Blenheim Palace, a monumental country house rewarded to John Churchill for his military triumphs.

2. He was nicknamed “Copperknob” in school


As a young boy, Churchill had red hair and talked with a stutter and lisp. While attending Harrow School, he was given the nickname “Copperknob” because of his hair color. Although a poor student, Churchill grew to love the English language. His stutter and lisp would continue throughout his career.

3. He almost didn’t make it into military school


It took Churchill three tries before passing the entrance exam for the Royal Military College. He applied to be trained for the cavalry rather than infantry because the required grade as lower and he would not need to learn mathematics.

4. He escaped from a POW camp in the Second Boer War

NPG x44648,'Home from the War',by Unknown photographer

During the Second Boer War, he was commissioned to act as a war correspondent for The Morning Post. While accompanying a scouting expedition in an armored train, Churchill was captured and imprisoned in a POW camp in Pretoria. He escaped by scaling a wall during the night. He stumbled upon a British coal mine manager, who hid him in a mineshaft for three days. He then helped hide him in a wool-filled rail truck to Mozambique. Instead of returning home, Churchill hopped right back onto a ship to head back to South Africa. His escape earned him some fame and made him a minor national hero.

5. He bred butterflies


One of Churchill’s hobbies at his country home in Chartwell was tending to his garden and breeding rare butterflies. He kept a butterfly house and hoped to reintroduce some of the lost British species of butterfly.

6. He received a Nobel Prize in Literature


In 1953, Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his numerous published works, including his six-volume set The Second World War. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received the honor.

7. He is an honorary citizen of the United States


In 1963, Churchill was named an honorary citizen of the United States. He is one of eight to be given the honor and is only one of two to receive it during his lifetime.

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

See all posts by