Lagura: Valiant soldier, fierce debater

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AS A soldier of the British Empire, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill distinguished himself in gallantry and leadership while serving in Cuba, India, Sudan and France.

Moving into politics the young Churchill saw the danger of Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement in regards to the threat of Nazi Germany. Already then Churchill saw the need to protect England through “blood, sweat and tears.”

It was when London was being bombarded by waves of German Luftwaffe planes, that Churchill, invited to address Oxford’s new graduates, removed his trademark bowler’s hat and banging the table in front of him, said, “Ladies and gentlemen, never give up!” Then banging the table once again, he shouted, “Never give up!” And for the third time, slamming the table with the cane, he shouted, “Never give up!” thereby leaving the audience dumbfounded.

Once he became Britain’s Prime Minister, he skillfully and wisely dodged the rather popular political move to favor Germany. In politics at home, he surprisingly opposed women’s right to vote. Once he remarked, “Women have to make the world safe for men after men have made the world unsafe for women.”

His bitter enemy was Lady Nancy Astor, the first female parliamentarian. In a fierce exchange of insults, Lady Astor said, “Mr. Prime Minister, in the next masquerade ball, all you have to do is to come, sober!”

In another heated argument, Lady Astor shouted, “Mr. Churchill, if you were my husband, I would poison your tea!” Without any hesitation Churchill immediately shot back, “Ma’am, if you were my wife, I would drink it.”

Churchill is remembered as a loyal son of England, a bitter foe to rivals but a good and loving father and friend to his family. The world recognized in him a brave, brilliant and honest leader.

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