Winston Churchill's War

Winston Churchill believed he was 'destined' to become Prime Minister

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on 30 November 1874 in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Blenheim Palace is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough and the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The same year as the first impressionist art exhibition. This was a fitting coincidence for a man who would later develop a passion for painting. A passion shared by another key 20th-century figure; a figure he's life and actions would become intertwined with Churchill's own - Adolf Hitler.

Winston Churchill was born into the English aristocracy. He was an extraordinary mixture of English aristocrat and American tycoon. His father, Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill, was the son of the Duke of Marlborough. His mother, Jennie Jerome Churchill, was the daughter of Leonard Jerome - a titan of American finance. A speculator who won and lost fortunes all the time. Thus making Churchill a strange mixture of an immensely distinguished English family and an American gambler. Churchill's father, Lord Randolph Henry Spencer Churchill, was inattentive and largely emotional absent - despite young Winston's many childhood pleas in letters from boarding school.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill had an unconventional career in the British Army. He possessed a strong sense of self beyond the institution. He considered himself a man destined for bigger things. At age 21, he was telling people that he was destined to become Prime Minister. His self-confidence matched only by his tenacity and determination to work hard. He read. He studied. He prepared and educated himself for a political career. He was determined to be a success in parliament. Winston Churchill also longed for battle and adventure. During the World War, he sought out opportunities to journey as close to the front line as he could. In the 1890s, Churchill worked as a war correspondent. (S1,E1)