Trevor Hayley


Funeral and Life Memorial Celebrant

A Caring Presence for you and your family so you can Celebrate a Life

Servicing Greater Adelaide, Fleurieu, South Coast and Adelaide Hills Regions of South Australia



Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA

Legacy #2

A beautiful picture, captured at a snapshot in time.

There was no Winston without Clementine, and no Clementine with Winston. A love story enduring for 57 years, through some of the most tumultous times in World History. It was a partnership which brought five children into the world, Diana, the first in 1909, Randolph in 1911, Sarah in 1914 , Marigold in 1918, but who later died in 1921, and Mary in 1921.

His forthrightness was well known; a quality needed when he guided Britian, as Prime Minister, through the Second World War. It was this quote from him, that has inspired these thoughts today.

“I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

It was after the abdication of  King-Emperor Edward VIII, for love, in December 1936, to be succeeded by King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II), in which Churchill became Prime Minister. With the abdication, Britian had endured a constiutional, ethical, moral, royal and religious crisis. The added declaration of war in September 1939, was unprecendented, and Churchill’s forthrightness and tenacity was to become both legendary and world saving.

If it was not for Churchill’s leadership, the outcome of the Second World War may have been rather different, but when confronted with a regime intent on wielding absolute power, he, and Britian, had no choice.

You are not just thrust into such volatile times, as Britan’s Prime Minister, no less, without years of preparation. Here are the highlights leading up until he took the mantle in 1940, and beyond:

    1. 1900-1906 Member of Parliament for Oldham (Greater Manchester)
    2. 1906-1908 Member of Parliament for Manchester North West
    3. 1908-1910 President for the Board of Trade
    4. 1910-1911 Home Secretary
    5. 1911-1915 First Lord of the Admiralty
    6.  1917-1919 Minister of Munitions (World War 1)
    7. 1919-1921 Secretary of State for War / Secretary of State for Air
    8. 1921-1922 Secretary of State for the Colonies
    9. 1924-1929 Chancellor of the Exchequer
    10. 1939-1940 First Lord of the Admiralty (again)
    11. 1940-1945 Prime Minister of the Unitied Kingdom
    12. 1945-1951 Leader of the Opposition
    13. 1951-1955 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (again)
    14. 1951-1952 Minister of Defence
    15. 1959-1964 Father of the House of Commons

The last role was predominately ceremonial in nature, as he retired from active parliamentary roles after his second Prime Ministership in 1955. He was awarded the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the most senior UK Order of Knighthood, only outranked by the Victoria Cross and George Cross, by Queen Elizabeth II, after retirement, making him Sir Winston Churchill from that time onwards.

As well as his political career, he was a prolific writer;  biographies, memoirs (including the twelve volume ‘The Second World War’ and the four volume ‘A history of the English-Speaking Peoples’), histories, and various press articles, culminating in being awarded a Noble Prize in Literature in 1953. He was also an accomplished amatuer artist, completing hundreds of paintings, which are on show and in private collections to this very day.

Much can be, and has been said, about the, “Greatest Prime Minister of the 19th Century” (Roy Jenkins), but for me it all comes back to the photo above. Greatness, truly becomes greatness, when one rises to the challenges, often not at ones’ own choosing, like both the First and Second World Wars, and leads not only his nation, but the world to a better place, with his beloved Clementine, as they walked side by side.

There is no room for greatness at the time, as attributes of tenacity and principled character are critical; the hallmarks of a great leader. There was no-one else capable of achieving what Winston Churchill did; he was the man needed for the time, and rise to the challenge, he did.

Greatness is assessed later.

The world owes much to Winston Churchill, and for that, he, together with Clementine, has left an enduring legacy, burned into the pages of history.

The commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional. 

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Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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