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Winston S. Churchill - 1940-2010 - defender of the defenders

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Winston Spencer Churchill, the President of the United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA), has died after a two-year battle with cancer. The UK National Defence Association writes -

Winston Churchill was the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill and, like his grandfather, had pursued a career in journalism and politics. As a war correspondent he covered conflicts such as Israel’s Six Day War in 1967. He was a Conservative MP for Manchester (Stretford and later Davyhulme) from 1970 to 1997.

In an echo of his grandfather’s long and sometimes lonely fight against the follies of disarmament and appeasement in the 1930s, he became the founder-President of the United Kingdom National Defence Association in 2007. This group was formed to highlight the state of Britain’s chronically under-funded and over-stretched Armed Forces, and to bring pressure to bear on Parliament to increase the resources available for Defence of the Realm.

United Kingdom National Defence Association

The group was launched in November 2007 at the Churchill Museum in London’s Cabinet War Rooms. Alongside Mr Churchill at the launch were the founder-Patrons: the former Foreign Secretary Lord Owen, and three former Chiefs of the Defence Staff – Admiral Lord Boyce, General Lord Guthrie and Marshal of the RAF Lord Craig.

Under Mr Churchill’s leadership, the UKNDA campaigned vigorously in support of Britain’s hard-pressed Armed Forces and has played a key role in pushing defence and national security higher up the political agenda.

The UKNDA’s Chief Executive, Commander John Muxworthy, paid tribute to the Association’s President, with whom he had worked closely since the UKNDA was formed. Cdr Muxworthy said: "The death of Winston Spencer Churchill after a two-year protracted battle against cancer, bravely and doggedly fought, is a grievous loss to the UKNDA. ‘WSC’, as he used to sign himself, was our very first President. His untimely early death is a greater tragedy for the country which he served devotedly for many years.

"As President of the UKNDA, WSC was generous, hard working, proactive, and an inspirational leader. A true patriot, WSC followed in the steps of his grandfather, Sir Winston, who, in the 1930s campaigned ceaselessly for this country to rearm in the face of the ever-growing threat from Nazi Germany. Eighty years on, ‘our’ Winston has been fighting the same battle."

Shortly before his final illness, Winston Churchill wrote a powerful 'Appeal to the Nation' highlighting the parallels between the UKNDA’s mission today and his grandfather’s crusade for rearmament in the 1930s.

A pinch of prevention

We have written about the soldiers who died because they were poorly equipped by this government to fight in Iraq. We noted below the brewing threats to Falkland Islanders. How will Britain defend them if Argentina invades?

There are many aggressive nations in the world today. They can be prevented from doing harm by well-armed defenders of liberty, not by the vulnerable and unarmed.

Being adequately provisioned does not make us warmongers, but it will send a strong signal to agressors to leave less-powerful nations and peoples alone. Churchill understood that "A pinch of prevention is worth a cartload of cure" and that Britain could not send her sons and daughters into harm's way without giving them the best gear.

Ave atque Vale.

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