Honours of Winston Churchill
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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill received numerous honours and awards throughout his career as a statesman and author. Perhaps the highest of these was the state funeral held at St Paul's Cathedral after his body had lain in state for three days in Westminster Hall, a signal honour only rarely granted to anybody but a monarch or consort. The funeral also saw one of the largest assemblages of statesmen in the world.
Throughout his life, Churchill also accumulated other honours and awards. He was awarded 37 other orders and medals between 1885 and 1964. Of the orders, decorations and medals Churchill received, 20 were awarded by the United Kingdom, three by France, two each by Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain, and one each by Egypt, Libya, Nepal, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States. Ten were awarded for active service as an Army officer in Cuba, India, Egypt, South Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium. The greater number of awards were given in recognition of his service as a minister of the British government.
Coat of Arms
Sir Winston Churchill was a grandson of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, but was not a peer, never held a title of nobility, and remained a commoner all his life. He bore his grandfather's arms, mantling, and motto. Also, since Churchill was a Knight of the Garter, his arms are encircled by the ribbon and motto of the Garter. The helms are open, which is the mark of a knight. They support his crests, which are the crests of the Churchill family and the Spencer family.
In 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, acting under authorisation granted by an Act of Congress, proclaimed Churchill the first honorary citizen of the United States. Churchill was physically incapable of attending the White House ceremony, so his son and grandson accepted the award for him.
In 1955, after retiring as Prime Minister, Churchill was offered elevation to the peerage in the rank of duke. By custom, retiring Prime Ministers from the Commons were usually offered Earldoms, so the dukedom was a sign of special honour. One title that was considered was Duke of London; that capital has never been used in a peerage title. Churchill had represented three different counties in Parliament and his home, Chartwell, was in a fourth, so the city he had spent the most time in during his 50 years in politics was an appropriate choice.
Although Churchill initially considered the offered dukedom, he eventually declined it; the lifestyle of a duke would have been very expensive, and accepting the title would have caused problems for a possible career in the British House of Commons for his son Randolph. (At the time there was no procedure for disclaiming a title. Upon inheriting it, Randolph would immediately have lost his place in Parliament.) Since then, only British royalty have been made dukes. Randolph was to die only three years after his father, so the dukedom would have had little time to affect his career - which had ended in 1945 in any case. Randolph's oldest son Winston did serve as an MP from 1970 until 1997, by which time provision existed for disclaiming a peerage.
On 4 April 1939, Churchill was made an Honorary Air Commodore of No. 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron ("Churchill's Own") in the Auxiliary Air Force. In March 1943, the Air Council awarded Churchill honorary wings. He retained the appointment until 11 March 1957 when 615 Squadron was disbanded. He did however continue to hold the rank of Honorary Air Commodore.
He was the Colonel in Chief of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (his old regiment) and after its amalgamation, the first Colonel in Chief of the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars which he held until his death in 1965 and was known[by whom?] as the "Greatest Hussar of all time". He was also Colonel in Chief of the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars.
From 1941 to his death, he was the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, a ceremonial office. In 1941 Canadian Governor General Alexander Cambridge, Earl of Athlone, swore him into the King's Privy Council for Canada. Although this allowed him to use the honorific title The Honourable and the post-nominal letters PC, both of these were trumped by his membership in the Imperial Privy Council which allowed him the use of The Right Honourable. He was also appointed Grand Seigneur of the Hudson's Bay Company in December 1955.
In 1945, he was mentioned by Halvdan Koht among seven candidates that were qualified for the Nobel Prize in Peace. However, he did not explicitly nominate any of them. Actually he nominated Cordell Hull.
In 1953, he was awarded two major honours: he was invested as a Knight of the Garter (becoming Sir Winston Churchill, KG) and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".
In 1956, Churchill received the Karlspreis (known in English as the Charlemagne Award), an award by the German city of Aachen to those who most contribute to the European idea, and European peace.
When Churchill was 88 he was asked by the Duke of Edinburgh how he would like to be remembered. He replied with a scholarship like the Rhodes scholarship but for the wider masses. After his death, the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established in the United Kingdom and Australia. A Churchill Trust Memorial Day was held in Australia, raising A$4.3 million. Since that time the Churchill Trust in Australia has supported over 3,000 scholarship recipients in a diverse variety of fields, where merit, either on the basis of past experience, or potential, and the propensity to contribute to the community have been the only criteria.
One of four specially made sets of false teeth, designed to retain Churchill's distinctive style of speech, which Churchill wore throughout his life, is now kept in the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
On 10 March 2001, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) was commissioned into the United States Navy. The launch and christening of the ship two years earlier was co-sponsored by Churchill's daughter, Lady Soames.
In September 1947, the Southern Railway named a Battle of Britain class steam locomotive No. 21C151 after him. Churchill was offered the opportunity to perform the naming cerement, but he declined. The locomotive was later used to pull his funeral train, and is now preserved in the National Railway Museum, York.
Pol Roger's prestige cuvée Champagne, Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, is named after him. The first vintage, 1975, was launched in 1984 at Blenheim Palace. The name was accepted by his heirs as Churchill was a faithful customer of Pol Roger. Following Churchill's death in 1965, Pol Roger added a black border to the label on bottles shipped to the UK as a sign of mourning. This was not lifted until 1990.
Churchill has been included in numerous polls, mostly connected with greatness. Time named him its Man of the Year for 1940, and "Man of the Half-Century" in 1949. A BBC survey, of January 2000, saw Churchill voted the greatest British prime minister of the 20th century. In 2002, BBC TV viewers and web site users voted him the greatest Briton of all time in a ten-part series called Great Britons, a poll attracting almost two million votes.
Buildings, highways and statues in his honour
Many statues have been created in likeness and in honour of Churchill. Numerous buildings and squares have also been named in his honour. The most prominent example of a statue of Churchill is the official statue commissioned by the government and created by Ivor Roberts-Jones which now stands in Parliament Square. It was unveiled by Churchill's widow, Lady Churchill, on 1 November 1973, and was Grade II listed in 2008. Another Roberts-Jones statue of Churchill displaying the V sign is prominently placed in New Orleans (1977). In addition several other statues have also been made, including a bronze head of Churchill by Jacob Epstein (1946), several statues by David McFall at Woodford (1959), William McVey outside the British embassy in Washington D.C. (1966), Franta Belsky at Fulton, Missouri (1969), at least three from Oscar Nemon: one on the front lawn of the Halifax Public Library branch on Spring Garden Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1980); one in the House of Commons (1969); bust of his head along with that of Franklin Roosevelt commemorating the Quebec Conference, 1943 next to Port St. Louis in Quebec City (1998); and one in Nathan Phillips Square outside of Toronto City Hall, Ontario (1977), and Jean Cardot beside the Petit Palais in Paris (1998). A statue of Churchill and Roosevelt, sculpted by Lawrence Holofcener is located in New Bond Street, London.
After Churchill was declared the greatest Briton of all time in the BBC poll and television series Great Britons (see above), a statue was erected in his honour and now stands in BBC television studios. Churchill is also memorialised by many statues and a public square in New York, in recognition of his life, and also because his mother was from New York. His maternal family is also memorialised in streets, parks, and neighbourhoods throughout the city.
The national and Commonwealth memorial to Churchill is Churchill College, Cambridge, which was founded in 1958 and opened in 1960. It is also home to the Churchill Archives Centre, which holds the papers of Sir Winston Churchill and over 570 collections of personal papers and archives documenting the history of the Churchill era and after.
Many schools have been named for him:
Ten schools in Canada are named in his honour: one each in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Kingston, St. Catharines, Lethbridge, Calgary, Toronto (Scarborough) and Ottawa. Churchill Auditorium at the Technion is named after him.
The City of Edmonton, Canada, has a stop on the Edmonton LRT system and a public square named in his honour. Churchill Square, is the main square in that city and was renovated in 2004 for the city's 100th anniversary of incorporation. There are several other squares named after him, one in Brighton and one in Newfoundland. The South end of Churchill Avenue in Ottawa was the site of the Churchill Arms Hotel, which many residents of Ottawa remember with a 15 foot silhouette of Winston Churchill. Churchill Avenue was itself renamed from Main Street after the Second World War. In St. Albert, Alberta Sir Winston Churchill Ave runs east to west through the city. Winston Churchill Boulevard in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada is also named in his honour.
Many smaller, less significant streets and public buildings, particularly in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have been named in honour of Churchill.
List of honours
- Order of the Garter (Knight Companion) (1953)
- Order of Merit (1946)
- Order of the Companions of Honour (1922)
- The India Medal with clasp, Punjab Frontier 1897–8 (1898)
- The Queen's Sudan Medal, 1896–8 (1899)
- The Queen's South Africa Medal, 1899–1902, with six clasps (1901)
- 1914-15 Star (1919)
- British War Medal 1914-1918 (1919)
- Victory Medal (United Kingdom) 1914-1919 (1920)
- 1939-1945 Star
- Africa Star (1945)
- Italy Star (1945)
- France and Germany Star (1945)
- War Medal 1939-1945
- King George V Coronation Medal (1911)
- King George V Silver Jubilee Medal (1935)
- King George VI Coronation Medal (1937)
- Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953)
- Territorial Decoration (1924)
- Cross First Class of the Order of Military Merit, Red Ribbon (War Service) (Spain, 1895)
- Cross of Liberty for Military Leadership, Grade I (Estonia, 1925)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (Belgium) with Palm (Belgium, 1945)
- Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Netherlands Lion (Netherlands, 1946)
- Grand Cross, Order of the Oak Crown (Luxembourg, 1946)
- Grand Cross with Collar, Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav (Norway, 1948)
- Knight of the Order of the Elephant (Denmark, 1950)
- Companion of the Ordre de la Libération (France, 1958)
- Most Refulgent Order of the Star of Nepal, First Class (Nepal, 1961)
- Grand Sash of the High Order of Sayyid Muhammad ibn Ali as-Senussi (Libya, 1962)
- Distinguished Service Medal (Army) (United States, 1919)
- Croix de Guerre with Palm (Belgium, 1945)
- Military Medal 1940-45 (Luxembourg, 1946)
- Medaille Militaire (France, 1947)
- Croix de Guerre with Palm (France, 1947)
- Cuban Campaign Medal, 1895-98 (Spain, 1914)
- Khedive's Sudan Medal (clasp: Khartoum) (Egypt, 1899)
- King Christian X's Liberty Medal (Denmark, 1947)
(Although some references report Churchill was awarded the French Legion of Honour, it is not listed among his honours at the Churchill Centre. However, it is significant that Churchill received the Medaille Militaire, which is only awarded (for high leadership) to holders of the Legion's Grand Cross).
- Rector of the University of Aberdeen (1914–18)
- Rector of Edinburgh University (1929–32)
- Chancellor of the University of Bristol (1929–1965)
- Honorary doctorates from British universities including University of Aberdeen, University of Liverpool, University of London, Queens University, Belfast
- Honorary doctorates in Law from Rochester and Harvard universities in the United States, and McGill University in Canada
- Honorary doctorate in philosophy from the University of Copenhagen
- Honorary doctorate from Leiden University
- Honorary doctorate from the University of Miami in Florida (1947)
- Fellow of the Royal Society (1941)
- Privy Councillor (1907)
- Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1914-1915
- Honorary Air Commodore of No. 615 Squadron RAF (1939)
- Colonel in Chief of 4th Queen's Own Hussars 1941 (later Queen's Royal Irish Hussars) (1957)
- Colonel in Chief of Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars
- Lieutenant-Colonel-6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers
- Major-2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards
- Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (1941)
- Queen's Privy Council for Canada (1941)
- Nobel Prize in Literature (1953)
- Grand Seigneur of the Hudson's Bay Company (1955).
- Karlspreis (1956)
- 1st World Citizenship Award from Civitan International (1964)
- Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
- Royal Society of St George (Vice President)
- Society of the Cincinnati (1952)
- Sons of the American Revolution
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- Cuban Campaign Medal, 1895-98
- Khedive's Sudan Medal 1896 -1908