Talk:Winston Churchill/Archive 7

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Backnumber, I have placed this assertion on the talk page temporarily as it was recently added without a reference: But the fact that Churchill was seen to be associated with press barons, raffish financiers and aristocrats hurt his career. This seems like pov, I think it should be rewritten (especially the term raffish financiers...) and then the claim acknowledged by a reputable historical source. Thank you, LordHarris 17:03, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Point taken, its taken from Cannadine's essay, (not quite word for word) but it has been rewrittenBacknumber1662 (talk) 00:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for doing that. LordHarris 10:25, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

This is not really true

In 1959, he became Father of the House, the MP with the longest continuous service: he had already gained the distinction of being the only MP to serve under both Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. Churchill won his seat in the 1900 general election, but he didn't take his seat until Feb 1901. So he didn't actually serve under Victoria. (talk) 01:29, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

This has been amended by User:Sad mouse to elected rather than served. Thank you for pointing it out. LordHarris 16:49, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Marriage and children section

Last sentence: His daughter Marigold could not have died on August, 21 1918, as she was born in November of that year. I believe she died in 1921. (talk) 16:30, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

You are indeed right, Marigold died in 1921. Thank you bringing this to our attention. LordHarris 16:52, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't know how I made that mistake... The correct date is August 23 1921. Thanks for pointing out the error. — DarkFalls talk 10:46, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Featured article

Why isn't this a featured article? It's exceptionally well written, and I believe it's more than deserving of FA status. I could be wrong, though I doubt it. -- Xompanthy (talk) 18:04, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment on behalf of everyone who had been improving the article! At present I am awaiting a peer review by User:Awadewit so that any remaining reference/style problems can be eliminated. Then I will be nominating the article at FAC somewhen in the next few weeks. I hope you will come along and comment when it goes to FAC. Thank you. LordHarris 18:16, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately I'm a little uncomfortable about whether the range of the article is enough for it to be promoted to FA. There is work to be done with Churchill's role in the Cold War, and his personal life needs to be covered more thoroughly. For example, his attack by militant suffragette Theresa Garnett in 1909 is never mentioned, and the phrases, Soviet Union and Iron Curtain, were only mentioned once and twice respectively, after the end of World War II... Funnily enough, "Stalin" isn't mentioned once after World War II. — DarkFalls talk 10:39, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I will get to work on expanding it. Keep you updated on my additions. Thanks. LordHarris 16:42, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I've added some information on the suffragette movement (include his attack.. he was whipped! by Theresa Garnet!). I've also added greatly to the liberal reforms section which I thought needed expanding. I've added some information to expand his personal life especially his painting hobby. I've also expanded and referenced the writer section. In regards to expanding the coverage of Churchills relationship with Stalin and Soviet Union after the war to what do you refer? Aside from the fulton speech, the council of Europe and Stalins death Jenkins biography is quiet on the cold war on the Communist side (it mentions Eisenhower, special relationship etc) but very little with regard to SU and Stalin. Do you have any instances/examples which you think should be added or any specific events which I might be able to research further? LordHarris 20:53, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm... To be frank, I can't seem to find many sources on his correspondences or incidents with Stalin after the war. Let me work on it. The main problem is that Churchill is in Category:Cold War leaders, and the Cold War isn't mentioned once in the article, except for the template. I seem to recall something he said about the Iron Curtain from a written source, but can't seem to locate it either... — DarkFalls talk 07:32, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Well the Iron Curtain was Churchills phrase from a speech he made. That is included in the article but when it comes to Churchill being a leader in the cold war I believe that his main actions were at the start (depending on when people think it began). Some observers argue the Cold War began when the US/UK/USSR met and set up 'spheres of influence' e.g. Churchill and Stalin over Greece. Others see it beginning with the dropping of the nuke or with the arms race. I recall reading someone who said it began in the 30s. Likewise though I'm still having trouble locating anything of notable addition re the cold war and Stalin in his second term. Of course all Churchills foreign policy actions were influenced by the cold war in his 2nd term, most especially stopping former parts and indeed current parts of the British Empire from developing communist governments; but notable examples seem scare. Perhaps someone else knows more about this subject? I've left a message on the Cold War article asking if anyone has sources/references etc. LordHarris 15:49, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Also on looking at Category:Cold War leaders it appears that it is a list of leaders who served during the Cold War, rather than say leaders who had a major impact on events of the cold war. LordHarris 15:55, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone have a reference for the following: Churchill looked old and sorrow when he stood at the window of his London home, 28 Hyde Park Gate, to greet the photographers on his ninetieth birthday in November 1964. LordHarris 20:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Can't seem to find one... My sources were sketchy over the details of his life after retirement and prior to his death. — DarkFalls talk 08:02, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Help wanted please: I have been adding to the between the Wars section, and have been dealing by topic (India/ Rearmament /Abdication) these overlap in time. Is it better to deal topically or by year. Your thoughts please Backnumber1662 (talk) 01:09, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Congratulations to the editors! Churchill is clearly a complicated figure to write about (I had no idea how complicated until I read this article) and they have done an admirable job. Here are suggestions as they ready themselves for the FAC gauntlet. Please understand that the reason I list so many little things is because FAC reviewers look at all of these little things!

Churchill raped Nancy Aster in April 1945. He was then spotted by his neighbor mr. bullini who was of italian dessent and had good hearing. Bullini called the po on his motorola razor and they drove up in their corvettes and shot his house with beam rifles. He died on April,26,2008. he was burried in rome,england and is their still today. He was an evil man. He was old and abused drugs. He smoked pot every day. And he was homosexual, altough some think he was bisexual or asexual. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dangdangdangdang1234 (talkcontribs) 14:59, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Larger issues:

  • The article is 15,000 words long - this needs to be cut to at least 10,000 words, if not fewer. Readers simply will not get to the end. Examples of places to cut:
  • Family history
  • Details of the wedding
  • Details of the children
  • "Political isolation" can be tightened up.
  • Details about his health and traveling in WWII section
  • "Churchill as historian" section is unnecessary - this material is well-covered in the article
  • "Honours" section is unnecessary - list most important ones in article and then link to article
  • The lead, while factually accurate, does not give the reader a very good impression of why Churchill is an important personage. I would list fewer positions and include more explanation of Churchill's historical significance.
  • It is odd to have the marriage and children clumped together and then go back in time to when he had no wife and children. I would add the marriage and children in chronologically, when they appear, as much as possible.
    • Purely my opinion, but I think it is much easier for a reader wanting details on a particular topic to navigate through the article if it is separated into the personal and professional life instead of a complete time-based method. — DarkFalls talk 05:53, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
      • This way of writing tends to sideline women and children in history. :) Awadewit | talk 07:31, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
        • Clementine played a crucial part in Churchill's political career and decisions made in the war, and she was deeply involved in politics herself so I see what you mean about how Churchill's family life could be overlooked and its importance forgotten. On the other hand, it is going to be hard integrating it into the text. I'll see what I can do though... :) — DarkFalls talk 07:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
          • I'm also a little concerned about how the method suggested may reduce critical detail and potentially, be lost among the rest of the text, and cause inconsistencies. For example, a person reading about Churchill's career as a journalist could skip topics that doesn't interest him and end up with half the picture. — DarkFalls talk 07:49, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
          • There is no perfect solution, as you are well aware. :) I just wanted to highlight what I see as a serious drawback of this particular arrangement. I was curious if Winston's family life was appropriately sidelined (that is, if it could be summarized in two paragraphs) or perhaps inappropriately sidelined. If Clementine played a crucial role in Churchill's career, perhaps that should be mentioned at those points in the article where a reader would expect to find them. Does a Bill and Hillary Clinton analogy work here? Or a Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt analogy? Awadewit | talk 04:07, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
            • Eh... the analogy would run more with the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, as Clementine Churchill did not have a notable political life of her own, as Hillary Clinton does; her involvement was channeled through her husband. However Clementine's involvement is a little more tricky than Eleanor's, she rarely enacted policies of her own and her relationship with Churchill in regards to politics is more of a "intelligent ear"... There is a minimal amount of information regarding her involvement, which will make it very difficult to source. The information I gathered were assertions from Soames' book, Speaking for Themselves, from the letters between Clementine and Winston; so basically it's WP:OR. — DarkFalls talk 04:47, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Does the buggering accusation really deserve a whole paragraph? Perhaps this is undue weight?
    • I'm confused... which accusation? — DarkFalls talk 06:31, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
      • This paragraph: Churchill's official biographer Martin Gilbert noted in a 1991 interview about his book, Churchill: A Life,[27] that Churchill was accused of buggering other students while at Sandhurst. In the book Gilbert states that Churchill immediately filed a libel case against his accuser, who was the father of a young officer snubbed by Churchill and his peers in the Hussars. According to Gilbert the father withdrew the charge and settled out of court with Churchill for a sum of £400. Awadewit | talk 07:31, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • The context of the Tonypandy Riot is not made clear - the details cannot be understood by readers without some broader statements. What were the major issues at stake? The same is true for the Siege at Sidney Street paragraph.
  • Is all the information on Baldwin's representation in Churchill's later book really necessary?
  • The Rothermere incident is not explained very clearly - the details are there, but the stakes of the incident are not readily apparent. Neither is the Hoare/Derby incident. If the reader doesn't already know about the intricate politics, they might see trees instead of forest.
  • As Churchill's mental and physical faculties decayed, he began to lose the battle he had fought for so long against the "black dog" of depression. - Perhaps some mentions of this need to be made throughout the article, then? It comes as kind of a shock.
  •  Done — A short point has been summarized in the article. —Dark (talk) 06:49, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Small things:

  • Personally, I am not a fan of infoboxes. This one is a bit out of control, too, in my opinion. I think removing it would make the page look more elegant and would focus attention on the image. The information is already in the article, anyway.
  • By that time, Clementine was deep into pregnancy with their first child - "deep into pregnancy" is an awkward phrase
    •  Done — Sentence has been removed. — DarkFalls talk 05:38, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Why are there italicized quotations? Are these italicized in the original source? If so, there should be an [emphasis in original] after them.
  • About this time he read Winwood Reade's Martyrdom of Man, a classic of Victorian atheism, which completed his loss of faith in Christianity and left him with a sombre vision of a godless universe in which humanity was destined, nevertheless, to progress through the conflict between the more advanced and the more backward races. - The reader is unaware at this point that churchill was losing his faith - it is jarring.
  • He lost whatever religious faith he may have had through reading Edward Gibbon, he said and took a particular dislike, for some reason, to the Catholic Church, as well as Christian missions. - But the earlier sentence says Churchill lost his faith through Reade - not really clear - lost faith in Christianity through Reade and in God through Gibbon, perhaps?
  • During his time he encountered two future military officers of the First World War: Douglas Haig, then a captain and Earl Jellicoe, then a gunboat lieutenant. - Why is this significant?
    •  Done I have clarified. Churchill worked with Jellicoe closely when First Lord and was a friend of Haig during the War, visiting him while in the Army. He worked with both of them when later in cabinet. Although this is not an important aspect of his life, its one of those interesting historical 'its a small world' facts - it could be removed to lower article size however without sacrificing on comprehensiveness? What are other editors thoughts? LordHarris 11:04, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Mark Twain, who introduced him, had already, it seems, caught on to Churchill. In a brief satirical speech, Twain slyly suggested that, with his English father and American mother, Churchill was the perfect representative of Anglo-American cant. - This is engimatic. I have currently hidden it as it does not really seem to fit with the section as a whole.
    •  Done — It's been deleted as the source saying this was misleading. — DarkFalls talk 00:48, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • As President of the Board of Trade he supported David Lloyd George, the newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, in opposition to the huge expenditure for the construction of Navy dreadnought warships proposed by then First Lord of the Admiralty, Reginald McKenna. - A person is placed in opposition to an expenditure for ships here - it is an odd juxtaposition
    •  Done Reworded, in a way that's both shorter and I hope less awkward. -- Zsero (talk) 05:47, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
  • The "People's Budget" needs to be briefly explained and some of the details of its passing removed.
    •  Done Budget briefly explained and passing shortened. LordHarris 09:15, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • His term as Home Secretary was to prove controversial, after his responses to the Siege of Sidney Street and the dispute at the Cambrian Colliery. - Any further information explaining the nature of the controversy, so that readers don't have to click, would be nice.
  • Furthermore the suffragettes affected Churchill throughout his Home Secretaryship (Churchill himself was accosted with a whip by Theresa Garnett, a suffragette in 1909). - I don't know what I think about including this anecdote - it makes suffragettes look crazy. There is always that one crazy activist, but of course most of them just wanted the vote. Also, I think we can find a better word than "affected".
  • He was the main architect of the Ten Year Rule, but the major preoccupation of his tenure in the War Office was the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. - Explain the Ten Year Rule.
  • Churchill always disliked Éamon de Valera, the Sinn Féin leader. - This information needs to be related to the rest of the information in the paragraph - why is it important to know? How did affect negotiations, etc.?
  • As the President of the Air Council, he advocated the use of tear gas against insurgents, arguing that it was ridiculous to "lacerate" a man with lead but "boggle" at making his eyes water. - This sentence is just sitting there by itself - it needs context or it needs to be removed. Who are these "insurgents"?
    •  Done I've removed the quote as its already on wikiquote. I am also unsure about the context and who the insurgents are. I originally got a source for it during the GA review from wikiquote as it was unsourced at the time. LordHarris 11:20, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • In 1920, as Secretaries of State for War and Air, Churchill was responsible for quelling the rebellion of Kurds and Arabs in British-occupied Iraq. - This sentence does not introduce the paragraph well as the rest of the paragraph is not about this topic - either delete or add more information on this topic.
  • Even the D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd, a local newspaper publisher, published vitriolic rhetoric about his political status in the city, particularly from David Coupar Thomson. - I don't quite follow this.
    •  Done I don't quite follow it either or at least I do not think it greatly relevant to his life. Churchill must of recieved dozens of harsh publications (many from local sources) - why is this different I asked myself? It's also not supported by the end paragraph reference which is about his meeting going badly after 40 minutes. I've changed the paragraph so it now flows from troubles within the liberal party, to trouble campaigning, to only speaking for 40 minutes. LordHarris 11:14, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Churchill did not seek election to the Conservative Business Committee, the forerunner to the Shadow Cabinet. - explain the "Shadow Cabinet" for readers, otherwise they might be empty words
  • He further distanced himself from the party as a whole by his political views and by his friendships with press barons, financiers and people seen as unsound. - "people seen as unsound" - what does that mean?
  • Some historians have shown close parallels between Churchill's views of Marlborough as a war leader advocating firm policies surrounded by politicians and a wider public who attacked both him personally and his policies and Churchill's own stand against appeasement. - This is an awkward sentence.
    • Not done[5] This may not be enough but I have removed WW. Harland1 (t/c) 12:06, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
      • This is still awkward. How about: "Churchill presented Marlborough as a firm war leader surrounded by politicians and a public who attacked both him and his policies; historians have later seen close parallels between this portrait and Churchill's own stand against appeasement." (or something even less wordy) Awadewit | talk 04:32, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • At the time Churchill was seen as an alternative leader. As Lord Beaverbrook wrote "he has emerged as a leader of a big armaments anti-German movement in politics, hostile to the Government". - This sentence is just sitting in the middle of the section. It doesn't have much context - either explain or delete. The relationship between arms and abdication is not made well in this section as a whole - it recurs, but its exact nature is unclear.
    •  Done — Sentence removed. — DarkFalls talk 03:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  • On 4th December he met with the King and again urged delay. - Delay about what? Be explicit, since this is the first sentence in a paragraph.
  • Churchill later sought to portray himself as an isolated voice. - regarding what?
  • Apparently all of Churchill's speeches during WWII were "famous". I realize they technically are, but it becomes repetitive to hear them described as such. :)
  • The ellipses and quotation marks in the two memos regarding Dresden are confusing.
  • As his coffin passed down the Thames on the Havengore, the cranes of London's Docklands bowed in a spontaneous salute. - No they didn't - they're cranes!
    • if this is indeed vandalism, it lasted for about 4 years.... Came from this revision by an established user (for that time anyway. He got banned by arbcom). There's some sources with this too... [10] [11] [12]. The last one states that "as his coffin passed Hay’s Wharf, dockers lowered their crane jibs as a salute." — DarkFalls talk 06:19, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


  • All scholars need to be introduced by first and last name the first time they appear in the article and tagged as "historian" or "biographer" or some such. Thereafter they can be referred to by last name only.
  • I would recommend finding an excellent copy editor to go over the article again. I did some work as I was reading, but more could be done.

WP:MOS: I am no MOS guru, but this article has some MOS inconsistencies and needs some polishing. My eye caught the following problems:

  • WP:MOSQUOTE - linking inside quotations, italicizing quotations, etc.
  • WP:PUNC - inconsistent serial comma, inconsistent use of quotation marks (some double, some single), etc.
  • WP:MOS-L - This article is overlinked. There are quite a few items that must be linked already, that we must think seriously about adding to that long list. Words like "officer" and "author" in the lead do not need to be linked, for example. *Images are not supposed to be sized per WP:MOS#Images (see exceptions)
  • Inconsistent BE/AE
  • WP:DATE - linking, formatting, etc.
  • WP:DASH - ah, the dash
  • "References" are inconsistently cited
  • Primary and secondary sources need full publication information and need to be listed in a recognizable citation style (such as Chicago or MLA)

Again, I think this is a really solid article. It just needs fine-tuning to make it truly excellent. I look forward to reading it again at FAC. Awadewit | talk 05:17, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Length the problem is Churchill himself, as soldier, politician, writer, painter he did so many things and over such a long time (over 55 years in parliament) it is hard to keep a short article. Are we supposed to be authoritative and comprehensive or are we supposed to cater to the reader who wants a short article which by its nature will be incomplete and in places misleading. I propose subject to comments within 5 days to revert those edits you have deleted

taking some of the phrases above that you complain about my suggestions or comments are below

He was the main architect of the Ten Year Rule, but the major preoccupation of his tenure in the War Office was the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. - Explain the Ten Year Rule.

There is a link to the Ten Year Rule does it need to be further explained, you have said the article is too long already
I think this does need to be explained - there is no historical context for the reader - a phrase will do. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Churchill did not seek election to the Conservative Business Committee, the forerunner to the Shadow Cabinet. - explain the "Shadow Cabinet" for readers, otherwise they might be empty words
Churchill did not seek election to the Conservative Business Committee, the official leadership oof Conservative MPs
Clearer. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • He further distanced himself from the party as a whole by his political views and by his friendships with press barons, financiers and people seen as unsound. - "people seen as unsound" - what does that mean?
He further distanced himself from the party as a whole by his political views and by his friendships with press barons, financiers and people whose charectors were seen as dubious
Clearer. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Some historians have shown close parallels between Churchill's views of Marlborough as a war leader advocating firm policies surrounded by politicians and a wider public who attacked both him personally and his policies and Churchill's own stand against appeasement. - This is an awkward sentence.
Can you suggest something better
I would have revised it myself if I could have. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
How about something like Some historians have shown parallels between Churchill's views of Marlborough and his war policies, alongside those of Churchill’s own perspective on appeasement at the time. Especially since Churchill saw Marlborough as a leader advocating firm war policies which also went against public and political feelings at the time. ? LordHarris 11:29, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • At the time Churchill was seen as an alternative leader. As Lord Beaverbrook wrote "he has emerged as a leader of a big armaments anti-German movement in politics, hostile to the Government". - This sentence is just sitting in the middle of the section. It doesn't have much context - either explain or delete. The relationship between arms and abdication is not made well in this section as a whole - it recurs, but its exact nature is unclear.
At the time Churchill was seen as an alternative leader and as someone who the King might call upon to form a government should Baldwin and the Cabinet resign. As Lord Beaverbrook wrote "he has emerged as a leader of a big armaments anti-German movement in politics, hostile to the Government There isn’t a relationship. They are two different issues. The only relationship is that both involve British politics and Churchill.
The section makes it sound like there is a relationship - the two topics should be separated out in the section then and all of the material on armaments in one paragraph and all of the information on abdication in the other paragraphs. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
no, the two issues were related in that Churchill was seen as straddling both and in that sense (as Beaverbrook saw) became an alternative leader, a "King's Party" man (to use Alistair Cooke's phrases) and with a policy of big armaments. How to explain this in a short article is very difficultBacknumber1662 (talk) 09:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • On 4th December he met with the King and again urged delay. - Delay about what? Be explicit, since this is the first sentence in a paragraph.
On 4th December he met with the King and again urged delay in any decision about abdication
Clearer. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Churchill later sought to portray himself as an isolated voice. - regarding what?
Churchill later sought to portray himself as an isolated voice warning of the need to rearm against Germany.
Clearer. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
comments please Backnumber1662 (talk) 06:30, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
A shorter, not short, article on Churchill might prove necessary to accommodate slower internet connections, people who want a more general overview etcetera... A concise article does not have to be excessive in detail, nor does it have to be particularly long. I doubt it's possible (and could be problematic in size) for Wikipedia to have an article that matches the amount of detail in, for example, Churchill's memoirs... However if you want a longer article, a simple workaround to this is to create new articles such as Churchill and World War II, Churchill as a politician and others... — DarkFalls talk 06:53, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestion, might we break the text into a shortish article with 4 main subdivisions, which would then form new articles as follows
^ Churchill early life (covering his family (about which a lot more is needed there are several books on this- and Churchill himself wrote one on his father, his upbringing, and his military service)
* Churchill the politician (from entry into politics till either the rise of Hitler or World War 2)
  • Churchill the war leader
*Churchill post war
The disadvantage would be that a lot of the information flows through, (e g his family connections helping his early political career, his biography of Marlborough preparing him for war leadership, his attitude on India being the same attitude (right this time) on the Nazis). The advantage would be more information and the 'shortish article' could also deal with his writing briefly again referring the reader to the longer article on that topic.Backnumber1662 (talk) 09:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with creating new subarticles so that each area e.g. war leader can be greatly expanded. But I think we would have to be careful so this doesnt become a disambiguation page to lots of Churchill related articles!! Perhaps we could try one section e.g. early life, create the article, expand it and then come back to the Winston Churchill article and make the section more concise. If that works ok then we could follow on with other subarticles? LordHarris 11:34, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
This is an agreeable method and an efficient way to shorten the article, although I doubt the sub-articles would be considered shortish after we put detail into it. — DarkFalls talk 11:40, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I am going to have a go at creating the Churchill the politician (1901-1930s) on my sandbox please contribute.Backnumber1662 (talk) 20:03, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
There is no way in which this article is supposed to be "authoritative and comprehensive" - that is the job of a book (several books, actually). I do worry that if this article is too detailed, readers will not get to the end (see WP:SIZE). Also, I know that I said the article is too long, but that has to be balanced by explaining what is here. A good article is not one that truncates explanations or relies overmuch on wikilinks. As I stated in my opening remarks, I understand that Churchill is a very difficult figure to write about and I think that the editors have done a stunning job. The problems I found constitute a small fraction of the text, so I feel confident that they can be fixed. Awadewit | talk 07:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I wont make the changes which you have approved till we sort out the size/ splitting into separate articles issue because a lot of the detail (eg abdication) would be in the separate articles
Also your comment earlier about Churchill on Baldwin: the importance of this is that it shows how ready Churchill was to lie (there is no other word for it) to blacken his by then deceased opponent who had been the party leader. Some commentators (Cannadine, R R James) note Churchills antipathy to Baldwin and devote some analysis to it (Cannadine sets it as Churchill's belief in an aristocracy born to rule against Baldwin's (and for that matter the Chamberlains, Atlee and Bonar Law) upper middle class views (Cannadine p 2 and 47-50). This could be developed in the divided articles )Backnumber1662 (talk) 09:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Awadewit I really cannot thank you enough for such a detailed and well thought review. Although there are a lot of little problems, I am confident with effort and attention we can fix them. I will devote a lot of my time this weekend and over the week to responding to your comments. As for this debate about article size I do think there are examples where some paragraphs might be made concise, without sacrificing comprehensiveness or coverage of Churchill, especially since Churchill is the 2nd largest biography on wikipedia and the 139th biggest article of over 2 million: Special:Longpages. However as has been said, Churchill was a giant in biographical terms; IMO there are only a few dozen individuals with as much impact on world affairs (and British life) as he. I think the key aspect for this article, as Awadeit has raised, will be that of balance. To that note if anyone objects to anyone elses edits over the next few days lets keep the discussion on the talk page after the first edit before reverting? Lets get busy! LordHarris 08:35, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Agree with LordHarris. Let's keep the edit warring to a minimum and work on the task at hand. — DarkFalls talk 08:48, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
That I am not trying to edit war should be very clear from the fact that I did put my suggestions for improvements where Awadewit sought changes on the talk page. Backnumber1662 (talk) 09:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Never said you were about to edit war. It was more of a precautionary measure than anything. By the way, your changes have been done. Nice work! — DarkFalls talk 09:14, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I have split the two paragraphs about Churchill as a historian and an artist and expanded the artist paragraph. I have also removed some duplication from the 'Churchill as a historian' and 'Retirement' sections as both have extended articles on separate pages so there is no need for the same information to be on both. - This article is good, but sadly reads like a university essay in parts and the Churchill in politics 1909-39 needs to be considerably slimmed down especially when it also has its own expanded article on a separate page. User:acceber123 6th March 2008 21:46p.m GMT —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

The path to FAC

The biggest single problem with this article - and the one that requires urgently addressing - is its length. It needs to be about two-thirds its current wordage, that is, reduced to about 9,000 words of readable prose (excluding refs etc) from its present 15,000 words. The relevant MoS guide here is WP:SIZE.

I suggest the reduction is achieved by:

  1. Ruthless editing of peripheral material. (For instance, in the #Second Term section, the sub-sections on the Mau-Mau Rebellion and the Malaysian Emergency could both be cut to a single paragraph each. They both have their own articles afterall and Churchill's role can be easily summarised.)
  2. Ruthless copy-editing. (The text is in many places expansive and slightly repetitive).

Once it's more or less the right length, it can be fine-tuned. It should then sail through FAC.

--ROGER DAVIES talk 01:03, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Perhaps Tony1's help could be solicited? He is very good at reducing redundancies. :) Awadewit | talk 03:12, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Before we start the removal however, I think the idea of creating articles that allows a more detailed analysis of Churchill's life has merit. I think we need to transfer some information to those articles before we begin the removal, so no information is lost in the attempt. — DarkFalls talk 09:42, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Indeed. Proposal below. --ROGER DAVIES talk 10:26, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I've been working all morning on creating a new article Winston Churchill's later life and then making a concise version of his later life for the main article. I've been bold and gone ahead with it. I have left the original information on Winston Churchill's later life as it was, with the exception of creating a lead and removing the alcohol information. I've placed the alochol info at User:LordHarris/sandbox4 until it can be placed in the article in a correct place per review comments. I tried to be as careful as possible in creating the concise version on the main article - it still needs work but I tried my hardest! It was a real pain to reduce so much information on an article I've spent so much time on! Alas for the MOS! LordHarris 10:06, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Excellent work LordHarris. — DarkFalls talk 10:07, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • (Grrr. edit conflict) I was going to suggest a less radical approach; sandboxing the article section by section and seeing what could split out into sub-articles. For example, start by forking the whole #Second Term section into a sub-article Churchill's Second term and expanding there if necessary. The #Second Term section here could then be cut to three paragraphs. Repeat this process right through the article and it'll come down to length quite rapidly. This worked well with Hamlet, which had similar length problems. This, I see, is more or less what LordHarris has been doing. --ROGER DAVIES talk 10:26, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I have started (not got nearly as far as Lord Harris on Churchill the politician. I'm a little busy. Can I ask for help,see my sandbox
We also need a principle (or 2) on what information we are including. If we cant be comprehensive what are we including?Backnumber1662 (talk) 20:48, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I tried to shorten the article and created a subpage Churchill the politican 1900-1939 but was criticised for doing so by LightAnkh I now propose to make no changes without first placing them on a sandbox and asking for comment Backnumber1662 (talk) 21:48, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Your edits were fine and I reverted myself after I noticed that the removal was justified according to the article's talk page. See your talk page for my reply :-) LightAnkhC|MSG 22:04, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Now some one else is reverting my edit. My edit appears below. Would someone please vet it and then approve (or critique it) so that some people dont again remove it. I am simply trying to do what the concensus here is.Backnumber1662 (talk) 01:12, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Dark falls for your assistance. I've deleted my edit that was below

there are a few other issues that worry me,

  • a lot of the footnotes simply read "Gilbert", now Martin Gilbert is the official historian and that is some 6 Volumes, he has also edited Churchill's correspondence, that is even bigger, he has also written 2 short books on Churchill. Which is the reference being used? As it is no one can verify the claims
  • there are several statements that have no reference at all. In the section I have just edited I have deleted 2 of these-
  • there was at least one reference which was false (Mark Twain referring to Churchill in a dinner at the Astor Waldorf cited Cannadine The Aristocratic Adventurer- I checked that reference and finding that Canadine did not refer to this at all deleted the secion.

Can someone help by going through the references ? Backnumber1662 (talk) 19:31, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry all that I havent been active the last few days. Unfortunately I've had to retire from the wiki for personal reasons as my internet access will be limited over the next few years. So I cant contribute anymore but good luck with the WC article , I hope to see it get to FA in a few months! :) LordHarris 21:39, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


Churchill was not born or registered as Spencer-Churchill, neither was his father or remoter ancestors, he never used the designation in his lifetime, and he disliked the name. Why, oh why do people insist on giving him the name Spencer-Churchill? RodCrosby (talk) 02:56, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

If Churchill allegedly hated the "Spencer" part of his nam, then why did he initial everything "WSC"? MartinMcCann (talk) 09:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
to distinguish himself from the other, American Winston Churchill. The statesman was registered at birth as Winston Leonard Churchill (note, no Spencer anywhere.) His marriage in 1908 introduced the name Spencer as a forename. His surname was never, ever Spencer-Churchill; neither officially or in his own usage. It is just sloppy journalism to state otherwise, but unfortunately the error is multiplied everywhere. RodCrosby (talk) 13:04, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
[13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] to name a few ... I have yet to read a book that initializes him as "WC" as opposed to "WSC". His own daughter, Mary Soames, calls him "WSC" in "Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill", and I highly doubt there would be confusion between him and the American writer there. If you have proof to the contrary, prove it with reliable sources. — DarkFalls talk 03:01, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think you could argue with these sources. :: see Q 554. See Spring 1888
So it's pretty clear that Churchill's surname was never Spencer-Churchill, or even Spencer Churchill. However, he was Winston S. Churchill, or, if you like, Winston Spencer Churchill. There is a subtle, but important difference, in my view... RodCrosby (talk) 10:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Churchill disliking the name is hardly conclusive. On your first source, see "WSC to WC, 1903". It isn't what he calls himself that is important in the lead; it is his birth name that is. His ancestry was Spencer-Churchill, and he was born as Spencer-Churchill. — DarkFalls talk 10:10, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
You are factually incorrect. He was not born Spencer-Churchill, neither was his father. Why don't you check their birth certificates? You ask for proof and reliable sources, but when you receive them, you reject them! You are clearly not a scholar. RodCrosby (talk) 10:22, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't appreciate the thinly-veiled insults. Since you raised the question, you can check the birth certificates. If his own daughter addressed Winston as "Spencer Churchill", I highly doubt you could argue with that. As a further note, Churchill disliked "Spencer-Churchill. He never said that it wasn't his name. — DarkFalls talk 03:00, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a copy of his birth-certificate, although I have seen one. Nor is there one available on the internet, and there are copyright issues with the GRO. However, I have scanned the GRO national index, which is compiled from the information contained in the registers. You can see that i) Churchill was registered under the surname Churchill ii) there is no use of the name Spencer, even as a forename. RodCrosby (talk) 08:51, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm... The fact remains that "Spencer" is present in his name, as mentioned by Timrollpickering below. I know for certain that "Spencer-Churchill" was present in the surname of his brother. Clementine styles herself as "Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-Churchill" while his son is named "Randolph Frederick Edward Spencer Churchill". Although I couldn't care less about the dash (the sources for that are, to say the least, inconsistent), a death certificate might be helpful in concluding this. — DarkFalls talk 21:53, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
The death certificate states that his name was "Winston L.S. Churchill" — DarkFalls talk 22:36, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
So he was hatched, matched and despatched as Churchill, not Spencer Churchill or Spencer-Churchill. Which is all I said in the first place. There is no hyphen. Number 10 Downing Street doesn't think so either. —Preceding unsigned comment added by RodCrosby (talkcontribs) 23:10, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I thought you were arguing with the use of "Spencer" not the hyphen? The hyphens have all been removed from the article, with an exception of the ones referring to George Spencer-Churchill. — DarkFalls talk 23:33, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
...because it's his full name. He is known as "Winston Churchill" to most of the public, but the full name is always present in the lead section. A short note: "Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, like his father, used the surname Churchill in public life." should suffice in telling the reader why he is known as Churchill and not Spencer Churchill. — DarkFalls talk 05:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
...and please do not add incorrect information into the article. The Duke of Marlborough was formally known as George Spencer-Churchill, not George Churchill. — DarkFalls talk 06:03, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Who was it who said the past is another country where they do things differently? Name usages were rather more flexible in Winston's young days than now and it's not uncommon to find confusion about the exact surname for some politicians - for instance a lot of people are unsure as to where the forename/surname divider goes in Andrew Bonar Law (strictly it goes after Bonar but in practice even he used "Bonar Law" as a surname), whilst James Ramsay MacDonald was shocked himself when in his late 40s it emerged that he had been registered at birth as "James McDonald Ramsay" - in the school register he had been "MacDonald", and although both Ramsay and MacDonald were surnames "Ramsay" is often treated as a forename. Even today you still get people who use less than their full surname in public life - Anthony Wedgewood Benn started using the shortened surname "Benn" in the 1970s (prior to that he had used the full surname and had been an MP for over 20 years) and I'm not aware of his son Hilary ever using "Wedgewood Benn" outside of formal full names.

Looking at a couple of biographies of Churchill that I have to hand, Chris Wrigley's 2006 short piece uses "Spencer-Churchill" in the full names of Winston, Lord Randolph and the 7th Duke on the first page but afterwards uses "Churchill" for all the family without any comment and I can't spot anything on this in Roy Jenkins's piece (annoyingly "Winston the American" is not in the index). But it seems clear that the family surname was either "Spencer Churchill" or "Spencer-Churchill" (hyphens are often inconsistent - members of my own family differ on our usage of them) and this dated back several generations.

Spencer most definitely originates as a surname - John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough died without surving sons and his Dukedom was inherited through the female line, reaching the Spencer family (most famous for Diana, Princess of Wales). The 5th Duke changed his surname to "Spencer-Churchill" shortly after inheriting the title (a curious order as traditionally the male line name goes last in a double-barrelled surname) and successive Dukes and their family used it too. The use of just "Churchill" appears to be specific to only Lord Randolph's branch of the family - for instance "Sunny" Marlborough (Winton's cousin) was Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough and all Dukes and heirs to this day are also using the Spencer-Churchill surname.

This leaves the questions as to whether Lord Randolph and descendants formally changed the surname from "Spencer Churchill" to just "Churchill" as opposed to just using a shortened form like the (Wedgewood) Benns; and whether or not there's a hyphen in the name. On the former point I'm not aware of anyone noting a formal change in biographies and given how well both Lord Randolph and Winston are served one would expect this to have been noted. That the surname became regarded as an optional extra and that Winston was disappointed to be listed under "S" rather than "C" doesn't affect this - there is also inconsistency on how double-barrelled surnames are indexed (from recollection the DNB still indexes by the last name). On the latter this is more confused and I find it astounding that there's been no attempt to clear this up in biographies. Timrollpickering (talk) 12:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

That was L. P. Hartley; the opening sentence of The Go-Between. The correct quote is in the article. Maybe we need a go-between in this discussion.  :) -- JackofOz (talk) 23:32, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


I was wondering about the consensus of this article on the use of an infobox. Although I have basically no opinion on this, Awadewit pointed out a valid comment on its use. "Personally, I am not a fan of infoboxes. This one is a bit out of control, too, in my opinion. I think removing it would make the page look more elegant and would focus attention on the image. The information is already in the article, anyway." The main concern I have is that it's messing up the images (in 1280-1024px screens at 300px thumb) and that it's awfully repetitive within the article. But on the plus side, it is summarizing the facts well. Comments? — DarkFalls talk 04:11, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

"Statesman" first

Churchill's death certificate shows his occupation as "Statesman". At the start of the article, it would be appropriate to describe him as a "British statesman" and then go on to say he was a "noted politician..." - Ragbin (talk) 15:59, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

"a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues." - We have to try to keep the article neutral, and politician is a much better word in that regard. — DarkFalls talk 08:57, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


According to a recent poll, nearly a quarter of Britons think Winston Churchill is a fictional character. I'm not sure if this is an indictment of the education system, or a tribute to a man who accomplished so much that future generations find it difficult to believe he existed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:39, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The L-word

I apologize if I'm seen as beating a dead horse, but like others above I do think the article remains overlong and unwieldy at 11,000 words.

I'm a sincere admirer of Churchill — arguably the greatest Western political figure of the 20th century — but a quick read-through left the impression that sections dealing with his life prior to the late 1930s are disproportionately verbose and detailed. I took the liberty of adding to the first paragraph that he is "known chiefly for his leadership of Great Britian during World War II," and I believe this to be incontrovertibly true. As a non-Brit, I may underestimate the significance of his earlier life to Britons, but I think it's undeniable that his 'greatness' came about only during his uncompromising opposition to appeasement before WWII and his inspiring, if sometimes grandiloquent, leadership during the war, especially in 1940-41.

Although I admit that aspects of Churchill's earlier career are fascinating — such as his imprisonment and escape during the Boer War — they are of interest to non-British readers mainly as milestones on his way to greatness. Consequently, I suggest that the editors of this entry consider paring down the first two-thirds of the article to make it more accessible to uninitiated readers, who in many cases may include young people of the Internet age who may be ignorant of this great person's achievements.

Sca (talk) 20:37, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

No, you are right. If you asked the average Brit to say what Churchill was famous for, it would be WWII. Many people don't know he did anything else. DJ Clayworth (talk) 19:03, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
we are trying to pare it down. You can have a go too! But the very point you make -people are ignorant of what Churchill did before World War Two- is the reason this information is important in an encyclopedia.Backnumber1662 (talk) 21:43, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with this approach on principle. It's not Wikipedia's brief to concentrate on 'lesser-known' aspects of Churchill's career. It's our job to focus on the most important things, and WWII definitely counts here. Not saying we shouldn't talk about other things - just no need to neglect WWII. DJ Clayworth (talk) 16:08, 6 March 2008 (UTC)


This is a great article. I don't agree it's too long, in fact looking above I see a number of things that have been cut that are much more interesting than things that have been left in. If it's good stuff why get rid of it? I can see tightening up, but for arguably one of the most important figures of the 20th century can't we let the seams out a bit.

Anyway, what I wanted to ask was whether information about the makup of the Churchill governments could go in - or at least a clear link to the articles. Usually biogs of British Prime Ministers on Wikipedia (say Anthony Eden) have a list of ministers on and it's very, very useful. Any chance of that here? --Mr impossible (talk) 17:06, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

What appendix?

The sentence:

Churchill later quipped that he left Dundee "without an office, without a seat, without a party and without an appendix".

doesn't really make sense without providing the context that he had suffered appendicitis (or the aftermath of) during the campaign which hampered his campaigning. I am guessing mention of this fact was removed in the length-reduction process but the quote remained. Also the lead says he was Secretary of State for War and the Air during the First World War but elsewhere it says he gained these posts in 1919. (talk) 02:19, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Winwood Reade

All I want to do is complete a refrence to Winwood Read, and I can't. Please do it for me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

It's mentioned, along with the rest of Churchil's intellectual development in the 1890s, at some length in Keith Robbins "Longman Profile in Power" on him (1992). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:22, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


Hi — can you tell me if it's true that Churchill once quipped, "Great Britain and America are divided by a common language" — ? Sca (talk) 20:31, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

He did Rockybiggs (talk) 14:07, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Religous beliefs

He passed for a time through an aggressively anti-religious phase, but this eventually gave way to a more tolerant belief in the workings of some kind of divine providence.[35]

The source for this statement is a blog post from a member of the controversial Mises Institute. I looked through it, and I don't see how it could possibly correspond to this statement in this article. In fact, the blog claims:

"Without principles or scruples, Churchill as a prominent member of the Liberal party government naturally played a role in the hijacking of liberalism from its roots in individualism, laissez-faire, free trade and bourgeois morality, to its transformation into the "New Liberalism" as a proxy for socialism and the omnipotent state in Britain and in America."

-- which hardly means that the author considers Churchill to be "tolerant" of religous people. (talk) 02:23, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

The Mises Institute has printed an article about Churchill which is a complete fabrication from beginning to end. IT is entirely false. There was a debate (See archived talk page) on whether the article should be linked. The concensus was that it should not be as it was false without any information in it. The institute is a very odd organisation. As can be seen from the quote they believe that the state is omnipotent in USA, where is the evidence for this assertion. Only their fervid libertarian dreams Backnumber1662 (talk) 05:49, 12 March 2008 (UTC)


The opening of the article describes Churchill as a strategist, which links to a strange article dealing with nothing but a narrow modern commercial use of the word. (Has this been vandalised?) Perhaps the link should be to Military strategy whose content is closer to what the author presumably intended.

That said, there is doubt about whether we should praise Churchill's grasp of military strategy. There is a theme running through Churchill's career in two world wars in which he persisted in diverting military resources to the Mediterranean theatre, frequently against the advice of his commanders, and to doubtful effect. Indeed, the military interventions on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915, and Greece and Crete in 1941, all Churchill's pet projects, were all catastrophically unsuccessful and cost tens of thousands of lives. The military and naval resources tied up in the campaigns in Syria and Libya in 1940-42 made it impossible for Britain to respond effectively to the Japanese invasions of Hong Kong. Malaya, Singapore and Burma, inflicting the most humiliating defeats in her history, and re-shaping her role in the world forever. I find it surprising that nothing of this is mentioned in the article.

I am not implying that Churchill was to blame for all this, or any of it. Life is usually more complex than it appears. However, I don't think we can accept a description of Churchill as a "strategist", without a fair assessment of his legacy. Peter Bell (talk) 02:49, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I've also heard mixed things about Churchill's strategy (though it's hard to argue with success). Maybe it would be better not to use the word - statesman and leader would be a much better description, and he wasn't more of a strategist than other national leaders.
To digress, it's easy to pick mistakes out of the hundreds of critical decisions any leader makes. Suppose he had decided not to fund Ultra, or not support Russia in 1941, or destroyed the RAF trying to defend France in 1940? I've also heard it said that Churchill wasn't much better a strategist than Hitler, but Churchill's staff were always able to talk him out of his bigger mistakes. DJ Clayworth (talk) 16:04, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
user Peter Bell wrote The military and naval resources tied up in the campaigns in Syria and Libya in 1940-42 made it impossible for Britain to respond effectively to the Japanese invasions of Hong Kong. Malaya, Singapore and Burma, inflicting the most humiliating defeats in her history, and re-shaping her role in the world forever. The truth is that the defence of the Suez Canal was seen as vital to British interests. IF the canal went, then so did the whole of the Middle East including the oil reserves of Iraq and a land route was opened to India. This may not in fact have been correct but it was how the British reasoned and had reasoned before Churchill became PM (the first reinforcements Chamberlain made at the start of the war was to the Western Desert Force). The question of support for Greece is more difficult. It lost the British the chance to destroy the Italians in North Africa before Rommel entered but what was Britian to do? Abandon a new ally without any attempt to support it? I am not an expert in this and someone who is could comment Backnumber1662 (talk) 05:43, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

near death experiance

i did not think that i saw this but shouldnt something be added aobut the fact that he was hit by a taxi in New York. In 1933 December 30 he was hit by a taki he walked with a cane for the rest of his life but he survived. and that this leads to a what if type ogf history like what if he did die. Mstare88 (talk) 13:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Given that Churchill fought in the army in Southern Africa, was captured by the enemy and escaped, I'm not sure that being hit by a taxi counts as his closest brush with death. DJ Clayworth (talk) 15:56, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Churchill was also nearly killed by Afghan Tribesmen when he was with a Sikh Regiment in The Mohmand Valley. They had to fight their way out and Churchill was in the rearguard. Also he was nearly blown up by shells many a time when he was fighting in the trenches in the First World War. User:Willski72 19:12, 31 March 2008Willski72 (talk) 18:12, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Churchill's Zionism

I recently read Martin Gilbert's book Churchill and the Jews. He cites a number of sources in which Churchill refers to himself as an ardent lifelong Zionist, and goes into great detail about Churchill's long and crucial support for the foundation of the Jewish State. Maybe I'm experiencing a COI as an Israeli, but when I get time, I would be happy to add a well sourced section about Churchill's policies in Palestine as PM and his roll as one of the most important non-Jewish figures to play a part in the creation of the State of Israel. I think that his major roll in the formation of the modern middle east is extremely relevant, as it is one of the biggest aspects of his work (among others) which continues to have a huge daily impact upon our world, and yet I find very little mention of it in the article. However, I do not wish to put a lot of work into tracking down all of those sources and writing the section if it is then going to be deleted as irrelevant- hence why I'm putting it out here to get everybody's views on the idea. Please let me know what you think, thanks! Rudy Breteler (talk) 23:29, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


At the star of the section Early years in Parliament is the following:

  • A year later he won the seat following the 1900 general election. Churchill again stood for Oldham in the 1900 general election.

This should read: "He was elected to Parliament at a by-election in in 1900. Churchill again stood for Oldham in the 1900 general election." (talk) 10:25, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Actually, he wasn't elected at the by-election, which wasn't in 1900. There was only one election in Oldham in 1900, and Churchill won it. The first sentence seems once to have been a heading or something for the paragraph, and just sums up what the next few sentences say. I deleted it as redundant. -- Zsero (talk) 10:57, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

picture selection

It would seem that Churchill's most famous picture- giving the 'v' for victory outside downing street to reporters- would be a better image for this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jackmb19892 (talkcontribs) 21:37, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I recently visited WSC's burial place in the church yard at Bladon, and have a few pictures available of his grave (and the family "plot"). Would these be useful additions to the article? If so, can someone tell me how I go about adding them, as I've not added images to an article before. ColourSarge (talk) 20:48, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Images if that is of any help. G-Man ? 00:17, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Nobel prize

Some one intersted, and conserned with culture and the legacy of Wiston Churchil and his writtings. Please inclued the noble prize icon in the prodile box. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jorgecalle (talkcontribs) 06:02, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

his hobbies

i have previously read that among churchills hobbies which included painting and history he loved bricklaying and was a member of the bricklayers union Bouse23 (talk) 19:50, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

This would be a colorful fact if true. I'd like to see a citation that indicated this. In the meantime I'd recommend caution in introducing uncited statements into this article. Tjarrett (talk) 01:37, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
It's quite well known that he enjoyed laying bricks but not sure if he was a member of the union. He built part of the wall around the garden at Chartwell. Ssee here and here for some pictures. --DavidCane (talk) 12:50, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I can't remember where I read it but I think he applied to join but was refused membership. Timrollpickering (talk) 13:00, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
It's all discussed in detail pp169-171 of Churchill & Chartwell by Stefan Buczacki -,M1 I don't really have time to write all that up, but if someone else cares to...James of Putney (talk) 09:34, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Churchill's speech impediment

Several original quotes at my site - very convincing that Churchill stuttered. I've added that link to the Churchill section.

Thanks Keith Sharp Toronto May 2, 2008

Keith1952 (talk) 09:00, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Keith1952 (talkcontribs) 19:50, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Since you reference them in mentioning the list, may I direct your attention to the Churchill Centre's rebuttal of the stuttering claim. Without forcing the point, I wonder whether the sources cited are quite as authoritative as one might wish and, more to the point, how much they were based on original research. All too often, as this article has seen -- q.v., Tonypandy -- a single source is referenced by many others, each reinforcing themselves. The and reference to your site can be left by a simple change to the tone of the language.Czrisher (talk) 21:39, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Further to the above, I notice the article suggests churchill may have suffered from cluttering. Leaving aside that I had never heard of this before, the article essentially only cites one source for this, from the guy who seems to have invented it. I have lately been reading Jenkins book about Churchill, which so far hasn't mentioned speech impediments at all. It has certainly mentioned the quality of his speeches, which seems to go against the suggestion of muddled speaking which would be associated with what is described in the wiki article about cluttering. From having heard some of his speeches, I can perhaps see why some people might argue he had some sort of impediment. However, there seems to be at least disagreement on stammering and very little at all about cluttering to merit mentioning what is essentially a novel idea. Sandpiper (talk) 01:34, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

The 'cluttering' discussion indeed appears to be a novel idea with thin evidence. It would be appropriate to remove it. Keith Sharp Toronto Keith1952 (talk) 12:29, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Lest an edit-war erupt, I come here. It strikes me that including Keith1952's statement that WSC's contemporaries confirmed the stuttering diagnosis in the footnotes, rather than in the main text is appropriate. The body shows what the suggestion was, the notes the source of those allegations, n'est-ce que pas? Perhaps a third party would choose to weigh in on this matter? Czrisher (talk) 20:45, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 14 January 2009 (UTC) 

Europe's soft underbelly

Shouldn't there be a brief mention of Churchill's alternate invasion plan after Normandy, i.e. diverting troops heading for southern France to the Balkans? Asav (talk) 17:01, 30 May 2008 (UTC)


Oh dear. Havn't read the article yet, but already there have been a couple of sentences about cluttering and a couple about a disproved charge of buggery. At the risk of repeating myself, and noting that some sources are claimed to have mentioned this, I have been working through a several hundred page modern biography which did not feel either point was sufficiently important to mention. These may be sensational points, but are they sufficiently important for a short description such as this? Particularly when both are right at the start of an article which quite a few people may give up reading shortly after establishing he was a politician prone to speech impediments and accusations of buggery? Sandpiper (talk) 01:51, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I think you make a good point, Sandpiper. I've looked at the source given and do not think it appropriate. Apparently the account doesn't come from a biography, but rather an interview with a biographer. Moreover, the wording in our article is not faithful to what was said. Churchill won a libel suit on this. We are an encyclopedia, not a tabloid. I'm removing the statement until someone can: a) prove that this is notable, 2) source it appropriately, and, c) word it correctly. We do not want Wikipedia to be the main source on the Internet for an inaccurate statement of this nature. Sunray (talk) 02:40, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
I am in complete agreement that it should be removed. Its barely covered, if at all in any of the Churchill biographies. However I am in favour of keeping the mention of the speech impediments, albeit making the section more concise? LordHarris 17:34, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
The case as I understand it was this WSC and his messmates in the Queen's Own Hussars had a fellow subaltern who they did not think suitable. He then accused WSC of having made indiscreet actions of the "Oscar Wilde type." Churchill then sued this person for defamation for the amount of 100,000 sterling. He settled for 500 sterling.
WSC also apparently once told Max Aitken that he had "went to bed with a man once," but his biographers, as well as Beaverbrook himself seems to have believed that the remark was a joke in poor taste. V. Joe (talk) 16:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

war correspondent

The article implies he chased around the world looking for wars so he could report them and earn money. According to Jenkins, who even gets mentioned as source in that para, he chased after wars because he had a driving ambition to be important and rightly figured that to be noticed you have to take part in things. He set out to be a ruler, though it sounds like he also rather enjoyed war (though disapproved of slaughter unlike a number of his contemporaries). His war correspondence also made him famous, which was probably at least as important to his career as was the money gained from it. Similarly, the article quotes Deeds as arguing Churchill became a batallion commander at the front because they had alcohol available. Jenkins explains this was because he was at that point in his career jobless, having got himself fired from the admiralty for the dardinels debacle. He therefore politically needed to be a hero, and one way to do it was to become a field commander. His correspondence with his wife shows the two of them discussing the political advantages of his field position, contrasted against the not insignificant risk of being killed. He returned to government at the earliest opportunity, with another little sticker for his CV. He seems to have enjoyed the curious position as being both an army officer and a MP, that he could pick and choose and swap between the two jobs as he pleased. Sandpiper (talk) 02:19, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

first lord of the admiralty

The article does not explain that as first lord of the admiralty he had command of naval forces, not army ones. Thus he used naval troops and naval funding for his own pet projects when it might more reasonably have been army resources used. The navy and army were significantly in competition rather than cooperation. In part, the Dardanells disaster had a contribution from inter-force rivalry and failure to cooperate over a joint operation which was Churchills (naval) project. It also suffered because he failed to agree with his own admirals. He became chancellor of the dutchy of lancaster after demotion from the admiralty because it also allowed him to remain part of the war cabinet. However, when it became apparent he would be forced out of the war cabinet he resigned from the government also. Sandpiper (talk) 02:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

"During the war he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli caused his departure from government" ?? (talk) 18:27, 2 January 2009 (UTC)C

machine guns

After a bit of research I see that the very first version of this page contained the claim that Churchill advocated the use of machine guns against striking miners. I find this somewhat un-credible, though it has persisted through the article for years. Sources anyone, or should it be deleted? I have seen comments that machine guns were set up at pits, but that is not the same thing. Sandpiper (talk) 22:52, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

See Tonypandy section of the article. Far from perfect or extensive, but suggestive. Also, Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time, in which "tonypandy" is used as shorthand for commonly known facts that are inaccurate.Czrisher (talk) 20:59, 16 June 2008 (UTC)


This article has spawned some sub articles, but still has massive chunks here going over the same ground. That might be ok, but I see the two alternate versions are starting to diverge noticeably. I would suggest anyone thinking of amending this article should check the supposed longer version first, and consider amending that as the primary version of this page. The sections here listed as having 'main articles' elsewhere should be summaries of those main articles. Sandpiper (talk) 22:59, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


Substantial parts of this discussion seem to be missing. Archive 2 ends with an entry from 29 August 2005, and Archive 3 starts with an entry on 1 October 2007. Two years of discussions are are not on the present talk page and are not archived. Was there a glitch somewhere in the archiving? Kablammo (talk) 13:43, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Looks like the archives have been incorrectly named and that is what is causing the problem. Keith D (talk) 16:18, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the fix. Regards, Kablammo (talk) 16:34, 29 May 2008 (UTC)