Sir Winston Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (1874-1965)
Statesman, Wartime Leader, Distinguished Author, Artist and Historian
Winston Churchill has been closely associated with Westerham since he bought nearby Chartwell House in September 1922 for use as his country residence.
In June 1953, when he was 78, Churchill suffered a stroke at 10 Downing Street. News of this was kept from the public and from Parliament, who were told that Churchill was suffering from exhaustion. He went to Chartwell to recuperate from the effects of the stroke which had affected his speech and ability to walk. Sadly he never fully recovered and this led to his resignation as Prime Minister in 1955.
Thereafter he became more actively involved in village life and can been seen in the photo below opening the 1955 Westerham Carnival; the statue of General Wolfe on the village green is clearly visible in the background.
After leaving the premiership, Churchill spent less time in parliament until he stood down at the 1964 General Election. As a mere “back-bencher,” Churchill spent most of his retirement at Chartwell.
Churchill was also a distinguished author, artist and historian. He is renowned for his watercolours and painted dozens of paintings, many of which are now on show in the studio at Chartwell.
In 1965 a statue of Churchill was erected on the village green. It was sculpted by Oscar Nemon (born 1906-died 1985) and stands on a base of Yugoslavian stone, the gift of Marshal Tito.
Back to Local Historical Figures