Our founding story

"What is the use of living, if it not be to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?” - Sir Winston Churchill

The Churchill Fellowship was set up after the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, as a national memorial to his achievements as a leader. 

It exists as an educational programme offering research opportunities overseas for all UK citizens. Fellows' findings on a myriad of practical topics are freely available on our website, as a resource for communities and professions throughout the UK.

Plans for the Fellowship were developed over many years before Sir Winston's death, with the approval of himself and his family. In 1965 a nationwide appeal was launched, with donations large and small received at banks, post offices, by post and door-to-door. This outpouring of support represented a nation's tribute to a hugely respected Prime Minister.

The resulting endowment has allowed us to award Churchill Fellowships ever since. In recent years, we have expanded the number of Fellows through donations and grants from individuals and institutions. Since 1965 we have awarded 5,800 Fellows, creating a network of experts and expertise in every sector and region of the UK.

More about Sir Winston

  • Browse the collected papers in the Churchill Archive in Cambridge.
  • Visit the Churchill War Rooms in London, the wartime bunker used by Churchill and his cabinet. 
  • Visit Churchill's home, Chartwell, in Kent. 
  • Today there is controversy about aspects of Sir Winston’s life. You can read our statement here.