Green Room

UK £5 note to feature Churchill

posted at 9:44 am on April 26, 2013 by

Seventy years after saving his country and western Europe from Nazi domination, and fifty years after the 20th century’s arguably most towering and influential figure shuffled off this mortal coil, the UK will finally put Winston Churchill’s picture on their currency.   In 2016, the Churchill £5 note will replace the note currently featuring Elizabeth Fry:

churchill-5pound

 

Sir Winston Churchill will feature on the new design of a banknote which will enter circulation in 2016, the Bank of England has announced.

The wartime leader’s image is planned to feature on the reverse of the new £5 note, together with one of his most celebrated quotations.

Churchill was chosen owing to his place as “a hero of the entire free world”, said Bank governor Sir Mervyn King.

The current face of the £5 note is social reformer Elizabeth Fry.

Frankly, the question should be … “what took them so long?” While Churchill remains a controversial figure, there is no doubt that he shaped the 20th century — for better or worse — more than any other individual.  He led his nation to unexpected defiance of Hitler and the Nazis after the appeasement he had long opposed finally collapsed, holding out for a long two years until Japan finally provoked the United States to join him against the onslaught of totalitarianism and barbarism.

Heck, maybe we should consider putting Churchill on our currency.

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Churchill was a ginger. Your bank notes will have no soul!!1!!

I’m surprised the left isn’t rioting. :)

Blake on April 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Well, excellent. I’m happy to see it finally happen!

Bob's Kid on April 26, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Heck, maybe we should consider putting Churchill on our currency.

Well, we did make Churchill an honorary U.S. citizen…

JimLennon on April 26, 2013 at 10:11 AM

I’m surprised the left isn’t rioting. :)

Blake on April 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Someone needs to propose putting Thatcher on the 10.

JimLennon on April 26, 2013 at 10:12 AM

These days I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were Elton John.

Akzed on April 26, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Someone needs to propose putting Thatcher on the 10.

JimLennon on April 26, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I’m curious to know what the economic effects of that would be.

Would the haters spend £10 notes more freely in order to get rid of them quickly, or less freely on account of keeping them out of sight? Or would it just be a rush to Internet banking for everything?

YiZhangZhe on April 26, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Nice to hear, but can you explain the comment about him changing the worlkd “for better or worse”? That sounds like the damnation-by-faint-praise that Thatcher got recently from the lefties. I expect better from HotAir.

contrarian on April 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

I’m about halfway through the third volume of Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965. It is epic beyond belief. If I had my druthers I’d put a different version of Churchill on every variant of British currency such that if you bound them up into a flip book the resulting animation would show him smashing Hitler in the face with a whiskey bottle while FDR equivocated in the background.

JeremiahJohnson on April 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Great Britain declared war on Germany when Germany invaded and occupied Poland.

Hitler declared war on the US because we were helping Great Britain’s war effort.

How come when Russia invaded and occupied Poland, the US and UK did not declare war on Russia?

I always wondered about that.

Akzed on April 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

We declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor. Hitler/Mussolini were forced to declare war on the US because the Axis powers had a treaty to defend each other.

Blake on April 26, 2013 at 11:10 AM

JeremiahJohnson on April 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM

LOL!

I *love* that his picture is replacing Fry’s. Sad that they didn’t pick his “never surrender” quote, though. Of course, that’s just not in the English character anymore, it seems. (Except, maybe, in the Falklands.)

GWB on April 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM

What? Not Obama??

What are those limeys thinking?

PD Quig on April 26, 2013 at 11:20 AM

1940 At least he British had Somalia on their side.

forest on April 26, 2013 at 11:31 AM

contrarian on April 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Churchill was an imperialist; he wasn’t terribly popular with the Irish or the Indians, for example. Churchill also had a hand in the post-Versailles mess in the Middle East. He specifically opposed any sort of autonomous homeland for the Kurds, and participated in the WWI British policies that led to the partitions all over the region. He also got more blame than he deserved for Gallipoli.

Few people of Churchill’s import are all good or all bad. If you read more about 20th-century history, you’d get a much better sense of the man, warts and all. Anyone cognizant of that history would have no trouble with the “for better or worse” description I used.

Ed Morrissey on April 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM

contrarian on April 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

I’d recommend two books on the post-Versailles issues: A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin, and A Shattered Peace by David Adelman. I interviewed Adelman a few years ago, but I can’t find the link at the moment. Fromkin’s speaks more directly about Churchill’s influence.

Just FYI, Churchill is one of my most-admired historical figures.

Ed Morrissey on April 26, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Elizabeth Fry? That is kind of like having Carry Nation on the $20 bill. (Then again, the United States did put Susan B. Anthony on a $1 coin.)

No Truce With Kings on April 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Use the picture where he’s smoking a cigar, and we’ve got a deal.

CurtZHP on April 26, 2013 at 12:24 PM

…guess JugEars will never want any UK money then?

KOOLAID2 on April 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

“Who’s Churchill? Is he as amazing as Obama?!?” – Most people under 20…

So sad how very few people recognize how important a figure he truly was…every time I go to London I love to tour the War Rooms, always cool.

nextgen_repub on April 26, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Also, anytime I see a story like this I shudder picturing who from the current era will end up being placed on currency years from now…

nextgen_repub on April 26, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Also, anytime I see a story like this I shudder picturing who from the current era will end up being placed on currency years from now…

nextgen_repub on April 26, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Don’t worry too much about that. By the time our current crop of losers are due to come up in the rotation, governments will have long since done away with paper currency. Far easier for them to control our purchases and limit our mobility with a purely electronic monetary system.

Gingotts on April 26, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I’d take almost anyone on the $10 bill than Hamilton (including Aaron Burr). If they wanted to put Churchill on it I’d be all for it.

alchemist19 on April 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Maybe we could put Churchill on our $2 bill with his famous V for Victory sign…

Ed Morrissey on April 26, 2013 at 7:40 PM

We already named a destroyer for him:
USS Churchill (DDG-81)
Commisioned 2001.

DJ Elliott on April 26, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Heck, maybe we should consider putting Churchill on our currency.

It would be better than our sadly inevitable Obama $3 bill.

trigon on April 26, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I’m thinking of the classic photo of Churchill with a cigar gripped between his teeth and he’s holding a Thompson with the 50 round drum. Drive the libs utterly berserk

jaywemm on April 26, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Winston Churchill, with all of his epic foibles and frailties, was the single most important figure of the Twentieth Century. He was exactly the right man in exactly the right place at exactly the right moment. Against all odds he held Britain together and alone, with nothing but eloquence, until The United States and the Soviet Union joined the fight.
Look back and remember how desperately isolated the British truly were in the spring of 1940, with the entire continent of Europe, from the Arctic to the Mediterranean in the hands of the German war machine, and the incalculable vastness of the USSR allied with Germany as well, and his own Foreign Secretary secretly trying to broker a deal with Hitler, then listen to his speech to Parliament that June.
Winston Churchill not only led Britain to it’s “Finest Hour” but the entire Western World as well. This small gesture is so overdue and so pathetically inadequate, they should be ashamed of themselves.

Lew on April 26, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Seventy years after saving his country and western Europe from Nazi domination, and fifty years after the 20th century’s arguably most towering and influential figure shuffled off this mortal coil, the UK will finally put Winston Churchill’s picture on their currency. In 2016, the Churchill £5 note will replace the note currently featuring Elizabeth Fry:

I agree with some posters here that Lady Thatcher should be on another British bank note. But if it took them 50 years to honor a great man like Churchill, Thatcher might have to wait awhile.

Exit question–when will Ronald Reagan be the face of one of our Federal Reserve Notes? Sometime before Hussein the First is on the trillion-dollar bill?

Steve Z on April 26, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Few people of Churchill’s import are all good or all bad. If you read more about 20th-century history, you’d get a much better sense of the man, warts and all. Anyone cognizant of that history would have no trouble with the “for better or worse” description I used.

Ed Morrissey on April 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas.

I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.

–Winston Churchill

Churchill was a man of his time.

Of course, what do we think of the men of our time?

Revenant on April 26, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Akzed on April 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

The invasion of Poland happened after Neville Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier sold out Czechoslovak in return for Hitler stopping his expansionism. It was Stalin’s first strike.

I’d take almost anyone on the $10 bill than Hamilton (including Aaron Burr). If they wanted to put Churchill on it I’d be all for it.

alchemist19 on April 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM

What have you got against Hamilton?

Slowburn on April 27, 2013 at 3:37 AM

Few people of Churchill’s import are all good or all bad. If you read more about 20th-century history, you’d get a much better sense of the man, warts and all. Anyone cognizant of that history would have no trouble with the “for better or worse” description I used.

Ed Morrissey on April 26, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Following Thatcher’s death there was a huge amount of anti British rhetoric on the site.
I am not talking those comments aimed at those who were being disrespectful by celebrating her death,i mean the different views here on her policies and legacy
If there had been more reading about this, then poster’s might of understood the response to Maggie
I voted for Thatcher, but i can give good reason’s why she cause’s negative views here in the U.K

I agree with some posters here that Lady Thatcher should be on another British bank note
Steve Z on April 26, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Why are you so obsessed with the U.K that you should even have an opinion on who we put on our currency.Why even care?

I’m surprised the left isn’t rioting.

Blake on April 26, 2013 at 9:46

Churchills image was voted to be used on the £5 note. Also it isn’t a right/left issue

mags on April 27, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Heck, maybe we should consider putting Churchill on our currency.

Ed, you’d do well to remember that Sir Winstons Mother, Lady Randolph Churchill aka Jennie (nee Jerome)was an American born in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, NYC.

It would be an enduring acknowledgement of Churchill’s important role at a time when the planet needed a person of his moxie and brains.

DevilsPrinciple on April 28, 2013 at 8:20 AM