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Winston Churchill (1874-1965, KG 1953) Conservative politician, Prime Minister 1940-5 and 1951-5. Perhaps the most determined and inspirational war leader in Britain’s history, it was during that darkest summer of 1940 that Churchill’s astonishing oratory seemed to rally the nation, from his opening statement to the House of Commons on May 13th that he had ’nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat’. Each successive crisis produced phrases that have resounded ever since, from the danger of invasion after the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk (’their finest hour’) to the Battle of Britain (his tribute to the ’Few’). However, he lost the general election in June 1945. But he returned to Downing Street in 1951, finally retiring in 1955.

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