Sir Winston Churchill was born into the respected family of the Dukes of Marlborough. His mother Jeanette, was an attractive American-born British socialite and a member of the well known Spencer family. Winston had a military background, having graduated from Sandhurst, the British Royal Military Academy. Upon graduating he served in the Army between 1805 and 1900 and again between 1915 and 1916. As a British military officer, he saw action in India, the Anglo–Sudan War, and the Second South African Boer War. Leaving the army as a major in 1899, he became a war correspondent covering the Boer War in the Natal Colony, during which time he wrote books about his experiences. Churchill was captured and treated as a prisoner of war. Churchill had only been a prisoner for four weeks before he escaped, prying open some of the flooring he crawled out under the building and ran through some of the neighborhoods back alleys and streets. On the evening of December 12, 1899, he jumped over a wall to a neighboring property, made his way to railroad tracks and caught a freight train heading north to Lourenco Marques, the capital of Portuguese Mozambique, which is located on the Indian Ocean and freedom.
For the following years, he held many political and cabinet positions including the First Lord of the Admiralty. During the First World War Churchill resumed his active army service, for a short period of time, as the commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. After the war he returned to his political career as a Conservative Member of Parliament, serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer where in 1925, he returned the pound sterling to the gold standard. This move was considered a factor to the deflationary pressure on the British Pound Sterling, during the depression.
During the 1930’s Churchill was one of the first to warn about the increasing, ruthless strength of Nazi Germany and campaigned for a speedy military rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty for a second time, and in May of 1940, Churchill became the Prime Minister after Neville Chamberlain’s resignation. An inspirational leader during the difficult days of 1940–1941, he led Britain until victory had been secured. In 1955 Churchill suffered a serious of strokes. Stepping down as Prime Minister he however remained a Member of Parliament until 1964. In 1965, upon his death at ninety years of age, Queen Elizabeth II granted him a state funeral, which was one of the largest gatherings of representatives and statesmen in history.