Credit: Shutterstock/Winston Churchill

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter

As Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940, hours before the German invasion of France, through to 1945 and Victory in Europe Day, Winston Churchill is one of the most celebrated leaders in history.

Born at his family’s ancestral home, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Winston Churchill was a direct descendant of the Dukes of Marlborough. He disliked education at an early age, performing poorly in school, and felt the need to make up for it in later life. He read everything from Plato to Darwin while on military duty at the turn of the century. He would be deeply involved in the military and politics throughout his life but also maintained a keen interest in the arts as both a painter and writer.

In the lead up to World War II, he used his skills as a writer, speaker and political mover to keep the Nazi threat at the front of politics. He aggressively opposed Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement with Germany. He also actively encouraged taking back a percentage of Britain’s industrial sector for creating arms, a policy which was vital to a successful war effort by the allies. When Germany invaded France, Chamberlain not only stepped down but also recommended that Winston Churchill replace him, despite their previous conflict. The new Prime Minister’s first official act was to write to Chamberlain, thanking him for his support.

Winston Churchill continued in political life for many years after the war, but focused more and more on his writing and art. For his written record of World War II, The Second World War, alongside numerous other works, Winston was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.