Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965)
What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. 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.’
—House of Commons, 18 June 1940, following the collapse of France. Many thought Britain would follow.
The remembrance of history changes: once in a while it is worth re-setting the clock!
30th January 1965.
At the time, Churchill’s funeral was the largest state funeral in world history, with representatives from 112 nations.