Winston Churchill is hot news again thanks to Gary Oldman’s stunning portrayal of him in the acclaimed movie ‘Darkest Hour’. Churchill is rightly famed for his role as Great Britain’s Prime Minister in World War Two, and his courage and brilliance as a wartime leader undoubtedly saved the world as we know it. That much is well known, of course, and will never be forgotten, but there was so much more to this legendary gentleman.
Churchill The Soldier
When Adolf Hitler’s troops marched into Poland on 1st September 1939, Europe and the world beyond were facing an unprecedented threat. A leader like no other was needed to oppose this rising evil, and Winston Churchill was the man who stepped up to the plate. At the outbreak of war, Neville Chamberlain was Prime Minister and Churchill was a mere parliamentary backbencher, but as Britain declared war on Chamber he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. In 1940 Chamberlain resigned, Churchill succeeded him, and the rest is indeed history.
The reason Churchill succeeded where Chamberlain failed is that he himself was a military man, so fighting men and senior officers alike listened to him. He had become a Second Lieutenant in the Fourth Hussars in 1895 and led his men in India and Sudan, including serving with distinction at the ferocious Battle of Omdurman. His experience of war changed his life forever and gave him the expertise our country so badly needed more than 40 years later.
Churchill The Writer
Winston Churchill achieved outstanding success in both the military and political fields, but less well known is the fact that he also gained the greatest prize of all in the world of literature. In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, ostensibly for his series of books called ‘The Second World War’ published between 1948 and the year of his award. His books sold well, but they aren’t the real reason for his award. The Nobel committee admitted as much by stating that the prize was also for his ‘brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values’. It may seem odd then that the Nobel Prize for Literature was his reward for winning the second world war, but it would have been politically difficult at the time for the Nobel panel to give him the Peace Prize he surely deserved.
Churchill The Bon Viveur
As ‘Darkest Hour’ shows, Winston Churchill pushed himself to the very edge of mental and physical endurance during the war. Already in his mid-sixties when war was declared, in 1941 as Germany seemed to be gaining the upper hand, he suffered a heart attack. Even then, Churchill refused to give up or slow down, and sleep became almost an alien concept to him. Things were not always so dark for Churchill however, and he was also known as a bon viveur who loved jokes, beautiful women, and loved the taste of whisky and brandy. It was his deep-seated humour that allowed him to progress through his, and our, darkest days.
Churchill The Fashion Icon
More than half a century after his death, Churchill remains an instantly recognisable figure with a cigar seemingly ever clutched in his hand. His immaculate waistcoats, bow ties and top hat show that fashion and style were always important to him, and his military years had drummed into him the importance of smartness. He knew that to perform your best you had to look your best, and that’s a maxim that is at the very heart of The Modern Gentleman philosophy. From skincare to bodycare, haircare and more, we believe that second best is never an option.