Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA – was not only a politician and war leader, but also an historian, soldier, escaped prisoner of war, prolific writer, watercolour artist and general bon viveur.
Here, we have collated just 10 interesting facts about the man who led Britain and arguably the world to victory against Nazi Germany in World War Two.
1. He was a prolific alcohol drinker
Sir Winston Churchill usual day would start with a ‘mouth wash’, a weak whiskey and soda, around 9:30am.
This would be followed by a pint of champagne at lunch which in turn was followed by a cheeky cognac.
According to the the Telegraph, before having his second pint of champers at dinner, he was known to drink some sherry.
In the evening, port or 90-year-old brandy was the custom after which he would work for a further four hours.
2. He strictly adhered to an afternoon nap everyday
At 5pm everyday he would return to bed for a siesta for one and a half hours allowing him to effectively work one and a half days every 24 hours.
3. He successfully escaped from a prisoner of war camp
After being captured and imprisoned in South Africa by enemy forces during the Second Boer War in 1899, he made a daring escape.
Following which, instead of returning home, he rejoined the British army.
4. He participated in the last meaningful British cavalry charge
During the Battle of Omdurman in Sudan in 1898, he rode alongside the 21st Lancers, a light cavalry regiment, who undertook arguably the last ever cavalry charge in British military history.
The regiment earned four Victoria Crosses as a result of the action.
5. He created a maxim we should all use – KBO
Short and simple, it means ‘Keep Buggering On’ as Churchill reminded friends and colleagues who seemed to take on defeatist attitudes.
6. He died on the same day as his father
Exactly 70 years to day after after his father died on January 24 1895, Sir Winston died in 1965 aged 90.
7. He didn’t have a problem with nudity…at all
So the story goes, while visiting the White House in 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, President Franklin D Rooselvelt paid a visit to Churchill’s room.
On finding the British Prime Minister standing naked and pink from having a hot bath, Churchill is alleged to have said: ‘The Prime Minister of Great Britain has nothing to hide from the President of the United States.’
8. He was half-American
His mother Jennie Churchill (nee Jerome) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
9. He wrote a huge amount of books
He wrote 43 books in 72 volumes including a six-volume work on the Second World War but only wrote one novel.
Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.
10. He suffered from depression
Describing it as the ‘black dog’, he kept it at bay through painting watercolours, laying bricks and writing.
11. He turned down a dukedom of London
This was enable his son Randolph to continue his career in the House of Commons.