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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Churchill's identification document as an Honorary Citizen of the United States

Sir Winston 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,[1] 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.[2]

Throughout his life, Churchill also accumulated other honours and awards. He was awarded 37 other orders and medals between 1885 and 1963. Of the orders, decorations and medals Churchill received, 20 were awarded by Great Britain, 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, Great Britain, France, and Belgium. The greater number of awards were given in recognition of his service as a minister of the British government.

A full list of his awards are contained in the book The Orders, Decorations and Medals of Sir Winston Churchill by Douglas Russell.[3]


Honorary citizen

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.[4]

Proposed dukedom

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. Far more amazing, though, was one title that was considered, namely Duke of London;[5] that capital has never been used in a peerage title.[6]

What form his dukedom would have in fact taken cannot be known: although Churchill initially considered the proffered dukedom, he eventually declined it under persuasion by his son Randolph, who wished to pursue a political career. (This would have been difficult for the heir to the peerage, since, at that time, there was no procedure for disclaiming a title, and, upon inheriting it, he would immediately have lost his place in the House of Commons.)[7] Since then, only British royals have been made dukes.[8] Randolph was to die only three years after his father, so the dukedom would have had little time to impact upon his career. Randolph's oldest son Winston did serve as an MP from 1970 until 1997, by which time provision existed for disclaiming a peerage.

Other honours

Churchill in his air commodore's uniform at the Tehran Conference

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.[8]

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 as the "Greatest Hussar of all time".

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.[8] He was also appointed Grand Seigneur of the Hudson's Bay Company in December 1955.

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".[9]

He was Chancellor of the University of Bristol as well as in 1959, Father of the House, the MP with the longest continuous service.[10]

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.[11]

In 1961 the Chartered Institute of Building [12] named Churchill as an Honorary Fellow for his services and passion for the construction industry.

In 1964, Civitan International presented Churchill its first World Citizenship Award for service to the world community.[13]

Churchill was also appointed a Kentucky Colonel.[14][15]

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 $AU4.3 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 criterion.


USS Winston S. Churchill

The Sir Winston Churchill Range in the Canadian Rockies was named in his honour.

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.[16]

On 10 March 2001, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill 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.[17]

He appears on the 1965 British crown coin, the first commoner to be placed on British coins.[18]

Pol Roger champagne's Cuvée Winston Churchill is named after him.

The Churchill tank, or Infantry Tank Mk IV; was a British Second World War tank named after Churchill, who was Prime Minister at the time of its design.[19]

The Julieta (7" × 47), a size of cigar, is also commonly known as a Churchill.

Shortly after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Newsweek reported on 21 February 2009 that the British press had responded negatively after the White House sent back to the British Embassy a bust of Winston Churchill that had occupied a cherished spot in the Oval Office during President George W. Bush's incumbency. Intended as a symbol of transatlantic solidarity, the bust was on loan from Queen Elizabeth II following the September 11 attacks on the United States of America. A bust of Abraham Lincoln—Obama's historical hero—now sits in its place.


Churchill has been included in numerous polls, mostly connected with greatness, a notable one of which is a BBC survey of January 2000, which 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.[20]

Buildings, highways and statues in his honour

A statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square

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, erected 1976. 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); and one in Nathan Phillips Square outside of Toronto City Hall, Ontario (1977), and Jean Cardot beside the Petit Palais in Paris (1998).[21] After he 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 memorialized 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 memorialized in streets, parks, and neighborhoods 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.[22]

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.

At least four American high schools carry his name; these are located in Potomac, Maryland; Livonia, Michigan; Eugene, Oregon and San Antonio, Texas.

The City of Edmonton, Canada, has 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.

A large dock in the Port of Antwerp was named after him by Queen Elizabeth II at a ceremony in 1966.

Náměstí W. Churchilla (Winston Churchill Square) is located behind The Main Train Station in Prague, Czech Republic.

Winston Churchill Boulevard in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada is also named in his honour.

In Gibraltar the main road connecting the border with Spain and the airport to the city centre is called Winston Churchill Avenue.

List of honours


Foreign Honours

{Although some references report Churchill was awarded the French Legion of Honour it is not listed among his honors at the Churchill Centre.}


Political/Honorary/Literature/Military/Science honours

Lineage Societies

Military/Civil Medal ribbons


  1. ^ Picknett, et al., p. 252.
  2. ^ Gould, Peter (2005-04-08). "Europe | Holding history's largest funeral". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  3. ^ The Orders, Decorations and Medals of Sir Winston Churchill - The Churchill Centre
  4. ^ Microsoft Word - 07fam1170.doc
  5. ^ Rasor, Eugene L. Winston S. Churchill, 1874-1965: a comprehensive historiography and annotated bibliography, p. 205. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000. ISBN 978-0-313-30546-7.
  6. ^ Gideon Hill. "The Richest Man in Horseracing" (PDF). The Baker Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-04-10.  
  7. ^ Statesmanship - The Churchill Centre
  8. ^ a b c The Orders, Decorations and Medals of Sir Winston Churchill by Douglas Russell
  9. ^ "Literature 1953". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  10. ^ "Winston Churchill hero file". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  11. ^ "Internationaler Karlspreis zu Aachen - Detail". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  12. ^ "Chartered Institute of Building - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  13. ^ Armbrester, Margaret E. (1992). The Civitan Story. Birmingham, AL: Ebsco Media. pp. 96–97.  
  14. ^ "Colonels web site". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  15. ^ "Kentucky: Secretary of State - Kentucky Colonels". 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ "Home - USS W.S. Churchill". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  18. ^ "1965 Churchill Crown". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  19. ^ Chris Shillito. "The Churchill Tank". Retrieved 2009-08-09.  
  20. ^ BBC - Great Britons.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Churchill College : Churchill Archives Centre". 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-08-09.  


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