Winston at the Front: From Parliament to Plugstreet, 1916 - Lee Pollock

This lecture was delivered at the National World War I Museum and Memorial's Symposium -- 1916 | Total War -- which was held in Kansas City, Mo. November 4-5, 2016. 

When Great Britain entered the First World War in August 1914, Winston Churchill stood at the apex of power as First Lord of the Admiralty, civilian head of the world’s greatest navy and a key strategist in the nation’s military planning. Barely a year later, stripped of office, condemned for and haunted by the failure of the Dardanelles campaign, he crossed the English Channel to serve in an army battalion on active duty at the front.

1916 was a pivotal year in the life of the man who, in a later world war, would lead Britain to victory against an even more menacing German opponent. It was a time of excitement and adventure, discouragement and redemption and a renewed self-confidence in the role he would play as he continued “walking with destiny” the remainder of his life.

Lee Pollock is Executive Director and a Trustee of The International Churchill Society, a history member organization with offices in Chicago, Washington and London. He assumed his current position in October 2010, after having served as a Member of the Society’s Board of Trustees since 2009. A native of Montreal, Canada, Lee graduated from McGill University in 1971 with Honors in Political Science and Economics and subsequently received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. He has spoken about the life and times of Winston Churchill to audiences throughout the United States, Canada and Britain. Among his subjects have been: Winston Churchill: Secrets of Leadership; Franklin and Winston: The Friendship that Saved the World; At Churchill’s Table: Dining and Diplomacy with History’s Greatest Leaders; Churchill and the Jews: Zionism, Holocaust and the Making of the Middle East; and Churchill and the Civil War. Lee lives in Chicago with his wife Jill Gosden. They have two children.