World Coins

Winston Churchill served his nation in its time of greatest need

Editor's note: The following is the third of a six-part Coin World series about collecting the medals, coins and paper money honoring Winston Churchill, prepared by Michele Orzano for the March 2015 monthly edition of Coin World.

Though he led the nation for the first few months of World War II, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned early in 1940.

Churchill then became British prime minister, his most public political role to date.

On June 18, 1940, in an address to the House of Commons, Churchill explained his strategy for the war, two weeks after thousands of British and Allied forces were evacuated from France at the end of the Battle of Dunkirk:

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’ ”

He would serve as prime minister through 1945 and again, when his political party returned to power, from 1951 to 1955.

After leaving office in 1945, Churchill was minister of Defence (equivalent to U.S. Defense secretary).

His life as prime minister during World War II was not all closed-door, top secret meetings. Churchill would often view the remains of buildings that had been destroyed during one of the many German bombing raids.

He had plenty to see, considering Germany bombed London — day and night — for 11 weeks straight in 1940. Following that stretch of bombing, German bombers conducted dozens and dozens of sorties on London as well as other British cities from Sept. 7, 1940, to May 11, 1941.

Churchill also visited munitions and other factories involved in Britain’s war effort. In acknowledging cheers from workers in factories he would often twirl his bowler hat atop his walking cane.

Keep reading our series about Winston Churchill's numismatic legacy:

The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill

An abundance of coins and medals depict Sir Winston Churchill in war and peace

Post-war coin and medal issues pay tribute to Winston Churchill in his final years

Medallic items are more abundant than coins and notes honoring Sir Winston Churchill

In 2016 Great Britain will honor Churchill on £5 notes, the nation's first polymer notes

More from

Israel's largest-ever gold hoard discovery reported at ancient harbor

Philadelphia Mint strikes silver American Eagle bullion coins for first time since series' 1986 debut

Ronald Reagan to be recognized on Presidential dollar, Nancy Reagan on First Spouse gold $10 coin in 2016 

Record price paid for Enhanced Uncirculated 2014-D Native American $1 coin labeled 'Missing Edge Lettering'

Mint to issue another Reverse Proof coin

Please sign in or join to share your thoughts on this story.

Keep up with all of's news and insights by 
signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

Community Comments