Who was CHS’s Namesake, Winston Churchill?

Nine Nuggets of Truth about British Prime Minister

By Emily Wang and Balbina Yang

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill is the namesake of CHS, yet many students are unaware of the holiday Winston Churchill Day April 9.

Churchill became the first of eight people to be bestowed the title of honorary citizen of the United States on April 9, 1963.

Yet, do CHS students really know much about this man, other than the fact that our school is named after him?

According to junior Enoch Li, he had no idea that Winston Churchill Day existed, and only knows that Churchill was the British Prime Minister during World War II.

Here is the key list of things you probably did not know, but should know about Winston Churchill.  

  1. Fact or Lisp?

Churchill was known to have a lateral lisp, in which air escapes over the sides of the tongue and can lead to “wet” or “slushy” sounding speech due to the sound of saliva. After years of practice and special dentures, he could firmly state that his speech impediment was not a hindrance. According to The Churchill Centre and Museum, the majority of records show his impediment was a lateral lisp, while Churchill’s stutter is a myth.

  1. Totally Lit in Literature

Churchill won a Nobel Prize in 1953 for Literature, not for one specific piece but “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values,” according to the Nobel Organization.

  1. Beaches and Beer

According to BBC America, after giving his popular 1940 “We shall fight on the beaches” speech to the House of Commons in 1940, Churchill reportedly remarked to a colleague, “And we’ll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that’s bloody well all we’ve got!”

  1. Ermahgerd

“OMG” was first used 100 years ago in a 1917 letter from Lord John Fisher, the retired head of the British Navy in World War I, to Churchill. Fisher helpfully defined OMG as “Oh! My God”, but he neglected to explain the meaning of the phrase following it, “Shower it on the Admiralty”.

  1. “I Will Survive!”

When Churchill was held POW in South Africa during the Boer War as a newspaper correspondent, he escaped and made a 300 — mile journey from Pretoria, South Africa to Mozambique, by jumping freight trains at night and hiding during the day.

  1. “I’m Yelling Timberrrr!”

During the 1911 Siege of Sidney Street, Churchill once ordered the fire brigade to allow the house in which two robbers were trapped to burn down, killing the two men inside. He thought it would be better to “let the house burn down rather than spend good British lives in rescuing those ferocious rascals.”

  1. Au Naturel

According to winstonchurchill.org, On visit to the White House in 1941, Churchill allegedly told President Franklin Roosevelt, “the Prime Minister of Great Britain has nothing to hide from the President of the United States,” though it was more likely he said “You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to hide,” after Roosevelt went to Churchill’s room and caught him naked.

  1. 21st Lancers

At age 23, Churchill rode with the light cavalry regiment, the 21st Lancers, who made the last important cavalry charge in British history at the Battle of Omdurman in Sudan in 1898. The regiment suffered heavy casualties, and Churchill only managed to survive due to the fact he was armed with a pistol rather than a sword because of an old shoulder injury.

  1. A Brainy Quote-r

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”