Infamous for leading the British nation through the darkest days of the 20th Century and convincing Britons to resist invasion, Sir Winston Churchill is a memorable figure that all students should learn about. His rousing speeches and emphatic leadership galvanised the war effort driving Britain to eventual victory when all appeared to be lost.
Named the Greatest Britain in a 2002 BBC Poll, Churchill is a prominent figure in British and World History making him a very important character when learning about British politics and World War II. 50 years after his death, Churchill’s legacy lives on and the celebration of the anniversary of his death has been designed to engage and inspire future generations. Over the course of a year, Churchill related activity will take place all around the world to commemorate his achievements, highlight his vibrant existing legacy and promote a range of educational opportunities to bring his life and work to new audiences. The programme of commemorative events will include an exhibition at London’s Science Museum, the unveiling of the newly restored 34051 Winston Churchill locomotive at the National Railway Museum in York and a website dedicated to his colourful life.
To mark the anniversary of his death a remembrance service took place last week at the Houses of Parliament, followed by a procession of small boats passing down the Thames, led by Havengore, the vessel that carried Sir Winston’s body down the Thames in 1965. At the ceremony Prime Minister David Cameron laid a wreath in memory of the World War II leader describing him as a “great leader and great Briton” whose “words and actions reverberate through our national life today”.
Central to British ideology, Churchill and his achievements deserve appreciation and students can find this on a school trip to London. Specifically they can visit the Churchill War Rooms at the Imperial War Museum and explore the historic rooms Churchill and his war cabinet once used as their secret headquarters during World War II. Here they can discover the stories of those who worked underground as London was being bombed above them, and also find out more about the life and legacy of Winston Churchill in the interactive Churchill Museum.
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