World War II

The First World War has had a lasting impact not just on the history of our nation but also on the entire world. All parties involved suffered major losses both in terms of casualties and economics. One of the great turning points within history, it led to the fall of the four central powers. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles. The agreement was signed at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, between Germany and the Allies, and marked a formal end to hostilities. When the official peace settlement was signed, it imposed terms on Germany as the defeated party such as accepting responsibility (along with Austria-Hungary) for causing the war. Friday 28th June 2019 commemorates the centenary of the day the treaty was signed.
On June 6th 1944 the Allied forces launched their biggest offensive yet to finally overthrow Hitler’s army and free Europe from Nazi Germany. D-Day was a carefully planned out procedure and one of the largest military operations ever undertaken. Thousands of Allied troops stormed a 50-mile stretch of French coastline, to fight the Germans on the beaches of Normandy across 5 locations codenamed from east to west, as Utah and Omaha (U.S), Gold (British), Juno (Canadian) and Sword (British). The region was chosen for its location and also strategically as the German forces were not as strong along this particular stretch. This is because the Germans had presumed the Allies would land elsewhere and so were underprepared for the attack and unsure how to respond. Northern France was liberated two months later and by May 1945, the Second World War was officially over.
Arguably the most famous and influential Briton in history, Sir Winston Churchill is widely regarded as the greatest wartime leader of the 20th Century. Born into an aristocratic family on November 30th 1874 at Oxfordshire’s Blenheim Palace, he first became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1940, the year after war broke out. His famous ‘V’ for ‘Victory’ symbol and series of rousing speeches helped to lift the spirits of a nation during WWII. Just over a week after suffering a severe stroke, Churchill died on January 24th 1965, exactly 70 years to the day after his father's death. He was 90 years old. He was given a full state funeral and buried, at his own request, in the family plot at St Martin’s Church in Bladon, Woodstock, near to his place of birth. This year marked the 145th Anniversary of his birth.