Portrayed by Larry Bounds
Winston Churchill, the British Bulldog, who taught us to “Never, never, never give up.”
How did Churchill rise above the personal tragedies and frustrations of his own life to rally the people of his beloved English-speaking world, when defeat seemed inescapable, to deny the oppression of Totalitarianism?
With over thirty years as a professional educator and even more as a professional magician, Larry Bounds brings his skills together from the classroom and the stage to recreate historical characters for the Chautauqua audience. His earned a BA in Theatre and a Masters in Education from The Univ. of Tennessee, and has performed in Chautauqua programs presenting Einstein, Churchill, Houdini, Disney, and others since 2002. He is a teacher of Advanced Placement and Honors English for Greenville County Schools at Wade Hampton High and has taught classes in broadcast journalism. In addition to teaching, Larry has performed since the 1970s as a professional magician appearing for eight years with Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and three years in a Kentucky theme park. He also managed magic shops in Atlanta and has taught courses in magic for two universities.
Oldest son of an English earl and American millionaire heiress, born in Blenheim Palace – the only private home in the United Kingdom officially designated as a palace, and first introduced to American society by none other than Mark Twain, Winston Churchill might not be the first person to spring to mind who would need unmatched courage to make his way successfully through life. But he did.
Churchill faced warfare with courage. As a young man, he survived rebel gunfire in Cuba, hand-to-hand combat in the Swat Valley of Afghanistan, a calvary charge against the Dervish in Sudan, and a daring, solo escape from a Boer prison camp in South Africa. In World War One he led Scottish troops in the trenches of France and fought shoulder-to-shoulder beside Lawrence of Arabia against a mob in Cairo. “You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something sometime in your life.”
Churchill faced personal dangers outside of wartime with courage. As Home Secretary he stood in the streets of London during a murderous exchange of gunfire between the police and a building full of anarchists during the Siege of Sydney Street. He survived multiple assassination attempts, and he met face-to-face with the dangerous and most-wanted Irish Republican Army leader of Sinn Fein. “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”
Churchill faced political minefields with courage. He lost his first election to Parliament but won the next one and served the people of the United Kingdom for the next 55 years. He was falsely blamed for the disastrous loss of life at the Battle of Gallipoli during the First World War, losing his cabinet post as Lord of the Admiralty, but rose again to serve as Lord of the Admiralty in the early days of the Second World War and twice as Prime Minister. He switched political parties twice only to be hailed as one of Britain’s greatest statesmen. “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
Churchill faced personal tragedies with courage. As his father fell from the heights of political success into a progressive madness and early death, he treated Churchill cruelly. His beautiful mother treated him with frequent absences and profound indifference. One of his daughters died in early childhood. Bouts with his personal “black dog” of depression at times seemed likely to destroy him, and a stroke nearly killed him at the apex of his career. “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities. . . because it is the quality that guarantees all others.”
Perhaps because of his own, often proved courage – a courage to “Never, never, never give up,” Churchill was able to rise above all the dangers and frustrations of his own life to inspire others. He lifted the spirits of his people on the verge of destruction by the Nazi war machine following Dunkirk with his declaration: “We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender.”
He traveled the world in wartime at great personal risk rallying allies to his cause calling upon the unity of all the world’s English speaking peoples and their love for individual freedom to defeat the Nazi menace and again in 1948 when he warned of the threat of the Soviet Union and that “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.”
He inspired generations around the world with his wisdom and wit. “In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet.”
- 1874 Born in the only privately owned British palace
- 1895-99 Served as military officer and press correspondent throughout the British Empire
- 1900 Escaped from a prisoner of war camp and got elected to Parliament
- 1904 Became a Cabinet member after switching to the Liberal Party
- 1911-15 Appointed First Lord of the Admiral
- 1915-16 Served as a Major commanding Scottish troops on the Western Front of WWI
- 1917-21 Returned to Cabinet as Minister of Munitions and other high offices
- 1924-29 Switched back to Conservative Party to become Minister of the Exchequer
- 1929-39 A political outcast, his “Years in the Wilderness” included world lecture tours and his warnings about Hitler
- 1939-40 First Lord of the Admiralty – “Winston’s Back!”
- 1940-45 Elected Prime Minister and forged American alliance
- 1946 Delivered “Iron Curtain” Speech coining the term
- 1951-55 Elected Prime Minister
- 1953 Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature for his written histories and speeches
- 1963 Became the only person made a US citizen by act of Congress
- 1965 Died January 24 – one million people lined his funeral route
- The price of greatness is responsibility.
- If you’re going through hell, keep going.
- Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
- I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
- A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
- We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
- I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
- It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
- An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
- The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
- Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
- There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half of them are true.
- A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
- All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.
- Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.
- Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
- Winston Churchill
His own writings include multiple-volume histories of both world wars and the English-speaking people as well as collections of his speeches, magazine articles, and personal correspondence.
- Sir Winston Churchill – His Life and His Paintings by David and Minnie Coombs. Philadelphia: Running Press (2003)
A marvelous collection of Churchill’s paintings presented parallel with the chronology of his life. It also includes his two essays on art and its importance for a productive mind.
- Warlord – The Life of Winston Churchill at War 1874-1945 by Carlo D’Este. New York: Harper (2008)
A sober, highly detailed account of Churchill’s development as a military leader.
- Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert. New York: Holt (1992)
One of the definitive biographies.
- In Search of Churchill – A Historian’s Journey by Martin Gilbert. New York: John Wiley & Sons (1994)
The author’s behind the scenes research that went into the creation of one of the most respected Churchill biographies.
- Churchill – A Biography by Roy Jenkins. London: Macmillan (2001)
Also one of the definitive biographies, witty and insightful.
- Churchill, Roosevelt & Company – Studies in Character and Statecraft by Lewis E. Lehrman. Guilford, Connecticut: Stackpole Books (2017)
Focused on WWII, this text weaves a tapestry of the successes and failures and personalities that led to the Allied victory.
- Churchill – An Illustrated Life by Brenda Ralph Lewis. New York: Metro Books (2013)
Over 200 pages of photographs chronicling Churchill’s life accompanied by illuminating text make this an easily accessible introduction to his life.
- Franklin and Churchill – An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship by Jon Meacham. New York: Random House (2004)
Uses previously undiscovered sources to provide insights into this important relationship.
- Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare – The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat by Giles Milton. New York: Picador (2016)
A truly entertaining look at some of the few who did “so much for so many.”
- Churchill & Orwell – The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks. New York: Penguin Press (2017)
Fascinating side-by-side account of two very different but curiously connected lives.