Winston Churchill

Born: November 30, 1874
Died: January 24, 1965

Occupation: Politician, Army Officer, Historian, Writer, Artist, Politician, and Prime Minister

Challenges overcome: Speech Impairment

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

Born on the 30th November in 1874 in Oxfordshire, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill went on to become an army officer, historian, writer, artist, politician, prime minister and noble peace prize winner. He is considered to be the greatest Briton, and the greatest war leader of the 20th Century.

Struggling to gain the attention he wanted from his parents, Winston didn’t do brilliantly at school, and was sent to Sandhurst as an army cadet as his father didn’t believe he would be successful in law or politics. He took to Sandhurst well and gained his commission as a cavalry officer in the 4th Hussairs in 1895 and was dispatched as a war reporter to Cuba. It was there he developed a taste for Havana cigars and siestas, two habits he kept for the rest of his life.

In 1899, Winston Churchill was captured in South Africa during the Boeing War, but managed to escape, with stories of his escape gaining him fame back home in England. With his newfound fame, Winston Churchill was able to further his political ambitions and ran for general election for MP in Oldham in 1900. He delivered his first speech in Parliament in 1901, and overcame his lisp through thorough preparation. Moving to the Liberal Party from the Conservatives in 1904, Winston became the youngest Cabinet Minister since 1866, and laid the foundations for the Welfare State.

In 1911, he became First Lord of the Admiralty. At the beginning of the first world war, Winston Churchill had some devastating loses to Germany and was forced to resign in disgrace in 1915. He dipped back into politics after this, becoming Conservative MP for Epping and receiving the post of Chancellor (his father’s old position) in 1924. He was kicked out of office again in 1929.

When Britain went to war in 1939, Winston Churchill was recalled to his old post of First Lord of Admiralty. When Chamberlain resigned as PM, Winston Churchill took his place and was also designated as Minister of Defence taking on the responsibility for the war effort. In 1945, Britain won the war and Winston Churchill finished his time as Prime Minister. He did continue on as the head of the Conservative Party, and in 1951 led them to victory again by becoming Prime Minster once more. He resigned as PM in 1955, but continued as an MP until 1964. He died in Janurary 1965, and was buried in Oxfordshire, close to where he was born. His funeral was televised across the world, and the streets were lined with silent crowds who wished to pay their respects.

Over the course of his life, Winston Churchill received 37 medals, orders and decorations. These included; Companion of Honour (1922), The Queen’s South Africa Medal (1901), and high honours from The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, France, Luxemburg and Belgium. He received honorary doctorates in law from Havard and Rocherster Universities in the US, McGill University in Canada and an honoarary doctorate in philophosy from the University of Copenhagaen. Winston also received the Nobel Peace Prize for literarture in 1953 ‘for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values’ . He also became the first person to be an honorary citizen of the United States in 1963, and the first Briton to have a United States warship named after him.

Challenges Overcome

Churchill suffered from a Speech Impairment for all of his life. It is debated whether it was a stutter or a stammer, but most resources believe he had a lisp, struggled to pronounce ‘s’, and had a stutter when trying to avoid saying words that began with ‘s’. His speech problems did not stop him from becoming a great public speaker as he refused to give up and always rose up for a challenge.

Disability Definitions

Speech and Language Impairment

Speech and language impairment are basic categories that might be drawn in issues of communication involve hearing, speech, language, and fluency.

A speech impairment is characterised by difficulty in articulation of words. Examples include stuttering or problems producing particular sounds. Articulation refers to the sounds, syllables, and phonology produced by the individual. Voice, however, may refer to the characteristics of the sounds produced specifically, the pitch, quality, and intensity of the sound. Often, fluency will also be considered a category under speech, encompassing the characteristics of rhythm, rate, and emphasis of the sound produced.

A language impairment is a specific impairment in understanding and sharing thoughts and ideas, i.e. a disorder that involves the processing of linguistic information. Problems that may be experienced can involve the form of language, including grammar, morphology, syntax; and the functional aspects of language, including semantics and pragmatics.


Speech and language impairment. (2015, March 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:33, May 20, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Speech_and_language_impairment&oldid=654413208

Download our Library List for further reading on many of the disabilities featured in this site

Information sources:

Please click on the information links below to find out more.

http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/32413?docPos=3Please note that you will require library subscription or a library card to access the content on this site.

Paul Addison, ‘Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874–1965)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2014 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/32413, accessed 18 March 2015] – Please note that you will require library subscription or a library card to access the content on this site.


Image source: Wikcommons

Explore other characters...