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Winston Churchill born on Nov 30 1874 at Blenheim Palace the famous palace near Oxford built by the nation for John Churchill 1st duke of Marlborough the great soldier Blenheim named after Marlboroughs grandest victory 1704 meant much to Winston Churchill In the grounds there he became engaged to his future wife Clementine Ogilvy Hozier b 1885 He later wrote his historical masterpiece The Life and Times of John Churchill Duke of Marlborough with the archives of Blenheim behind him English on his fathers side American on his mothers Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill embodied and expressed the double vitality and the national qualities of both peoples His names testify to the richness of his historic inheritance Winston after the Royalist family with whom the Churchills married before the English Civil War Leonard after his remarkable grandfather Leonard Jerome of New York Spencer the married name of a daughter of the 1st duke of Marlborough from whom the family descended Churchill the family name of the 1st duke which his descendents resumed after the Battle of Waterloo All these strands come together in a career that had no parallel in British history for richness range length and achievement Churchill took a leading part in laying the foundations of the welfare state in Britain in preparing the Royal Navy for World War I and in settling the political boundaries in the Middle East after the war In WORLD WAR II emerged as the leader of the united British nation and Commonwealth to resist the German domination of Europe as an inspirer of the resistance among free peoples and as a prime architect of victory In this and in the struggle against communism afterward he made himself an indispensable link between the British and American peoples for he foresaw that the best defense for the free world was the coming together of the English-speaking peoples Profoundly historically minded he also had prophetic foresight British-American unity was the
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