2015 £5 coin marks 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death

Statesman become first nonroyal to appear twice on coins of United Kingdom
By , Coin World
Published : 11/08/14
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Fifty years after he died, Sir Winston Churchill is returning to British coinage.

Named the "Greatest Briton" of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill will be honored on a 2015 £5 coin marking his Jan. 24, 1965, death.

The leader, known for his fierce admonition to “never give in,” already appears on the crown coin issued in 1965. Churchill is the first statesman (nonmonarch) to appear on two coins of the United Kingdom, according to the Royal Mint.

The new coin features a reverse designed by Mark Richards, who captures an image of the former prime minister that is instantly recognizable. The obverse carries the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, which is being replaced in 2015 with a new design on other British coins.

The coin was launched Nov. 5.

The edge lettering of the 2015 coin reads: NEVER FLINCH, NEVER WEARY, NEVER DESPAIR.

The quote is taken from a March 1, 1955, speech Churchill made before the House of Commons, the last great speech he made in that body.

Churchill was best known for his service as the United Kingdom’s prime minister during World War II, but before that he was a soldier, war correspondent, statesman, author and, of course, politician. His oratorical skills and wit are legendary, and Churchill is widely regarded as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. Churchill also popularized the Cold War term “Iron Curtain,” at a 1946 speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and he became the first honorary citizen of the United States by act of Congress. 

In a statement from the Royal Mint, Richards says: “I wanted to capture something of Winston Churchill’s intensity, to create an active portrait, a sense of the man that you may have come away with had you met him. I thought the portrait created for the memorial coin in 1965 by Oscar Nemon couldn’t be bettered, so though I much admired it, I wanted to start afresh. I decided to create an image that is larger than the field of the coin — because this was a larger than life man, there was so much more to him than can ever be captured in one portrait.” 

1965 commemorative coin

The obverse of the 1965 circulating copper-nickel crown issued upon his death features the Mary Gillick effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse, which is generally considered as unflattering, features a bust of Churchill facing right, with the single word CHURCHILL.

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