Motivational Posters: Winston Churchill Edition (Part I)

by Brett & Kate McKay on September 30, 2009 · 54 comments

in A Man's Life, Motivational Posters


As a writer, an historian, an officer in the British army, an artist, a consummate statesman, and a man who understood the pleasures of a fine cigar and a handsome suit, Winston Churchill was one of the world’s last true renaissance men. High on the list of his many notable talents was his gift for moving and eloquent oratory. His mastery of words gave him equal skill in rousing a nation to action and putting a brainless cad in his place.

Churchill once said:

“It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.”

Of course, he himself became one of the most quotable men in history. So much so, that it was an impossible task to narrow down his incredible quotes to just one post. So we’ve broken this edition of our motivational poster series into two parts. Part II will be posted in the future.

For now, enjoy this first installment. Whether you’re educated or not, reading his quotes will light a fire under your bum and put a few more hairs on your chest.




















Check out all the motivational posters from AoM: 
Theodore Roosevelt Edition
George S. Patton Edition
Ernest Hemingway Edition
Winston Churchill Edition (Part I)
Winston Churchill Edition (Part II)
Black History Month Edition
Bear Bryant Edition
Founding Fathers Edition
Band of Brothers Edition
Business Posters from the 1920s and 1930s

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leif September 30, 2009 at 10:23 pm

You can always learn something from Churchill’s quotes. One of my favorite quotes is the one for Fortitude. Another one is “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

2 Perry Clease September 30, 2009 at 10:33 pm

He is one of my heroes and he really was one, several times over. He had some faults, he made some mistakes, but great people have great faults.

3 Shane October 1, 2009 at 12:59 am

Gotta love that guy. Thanks for this, it’s always a pleasure to read some good Churchill quotes.

4 Yavor October 1, 2009 at 4:03 am

If you are going through hell, keep going… ==> this was my favorite for a long time..

5 Murchada October 1, 2009 at 7:41 am

One tough old bastard! That guy lived and breathed conflict. How come Western world leaders today are such pussies?

I hadn’t seen his wife before. You’d think a man of that stature could have landed a beauty. Oh well, to each his own.

Here’s my Churchill shirt, for anyone who needs to remind the world that this man kicked ass:

6 Michael October 1, 2009 at 8:57 am

Churchill was one in a million, but why did you Brit’s vote him out as soon as he gave you victory in WWII?

7 Nazmain naat October 1, 2009 at 9:20 am

yes persons like him comes once in a century.

8 library_goon October 1, 2009 at 9:43 am

One of my favorites from Churchill: ‘Keep buggering on.’ I have that on my bulletin board as a reminder.

9 Loris October 1, 2009 at 9:55 am

@ Murchada,
It’s often difficult to see the ashes of beauty in the face of an old lady. But she must have had charm and a great mind as a young woman to ensnare such a man. And I praise the older generation of men who did not put away the wives who had stood by them and raised their children while they rose to power. Political wives are often too expendable and interchangeable these days.

10 Bob Iger October 1, 2009 at 10:09 am

Even though his role in history is debated by some, I think Churchill is the prime example of an excellent oratory and I admire him for that. Great to see these motovational posters here!

11 The Innkeeper October 1, 2009 at 10:13 am

Churchill was one in a million, but why did you Brit’s vote him out as soon as he gave you victory in WWII?

I’m not a Brit, but for the most part Great Britain had become a fundamentally different place after WWII than it was before. One of the things that made Churchill great was his ability to recognize that Great Britain not only was changing, but had to change – the Empire could not stand as it had and the Conservative Party he lead was going to become obsolete. (The Labour movement had been a minority government before, but with the election of Clement Atlee the British government took on a radical new post-war direction which became the “post-war consensus”.)

I’m also struck by our (and I mean this as a nation) fascination with Churchill while often downplaying the other partner in the duo of “Franklin and Winston”.

“Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

12 Grant October 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

Thanks for the inspiring Churchill quotes. As for the one on courage, though he may have said it, he was not the first. It’s a direct quotation from Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics.


13 Matthew Bate October 1, 2009 at 10:26 am

“Churchill was one in a million, but why did you Brit’s vote him out as soon as he gave you victory in WWII?”

In 1945, the socialist Labour Party offered a welfare state, featuring universal unemployment benefit, a state pension and …. drumroll ….. healthcare free at the point of use!

Despite many problems, we could not imagine life without these now.

We did give Churchill another crack at being PM after that though.

14 Murchada October 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Loris, that’s true. Beauty fades.

I’m not sure what you mean by political wives being expendable. Most world leaders that I’m aware of have divorced and gotten a new woman. The only person who comes to mind might be Bersculoni of Italy.

15 Eddie October 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm

“Most world leaders that I’m aware of have divorced and gotten a new woman. The only person who comes to mind might be Bersculoni of Italy.”

Is that the definition of expendable?

16 k2000k October 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Winston Churchill is one of the men I respect the most and wish more of our leaders in the US would emulate him. You Englishmen were profoundly blessed to have a man such as him at the helm of Great Britain during those dark years of World War II.

17 Loris October 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Murchada, I’m not thinking of presidential wives. I’m thinking of Congressional on down to local levels, etc, because there are a lot more of those to look at. John McCain divorced his first wife, who had stood by him through Vietnam. Rudy Giuliani is thrice married. And so on.

18 Dave Z October 1, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I agree with most things I read on AoM, but I cannot abide by this. I understand that a majority of people love Winston Churchill, but at the very least he was a vindictive man who needlessly slaughtered 300,000 people. Think about that for one moment: 10 times the number of people killed on 9/11. This number was gleaned from the saturation bombing of Dresden, Germany which had no military signifigance whatsoever and was historicaly known to be a haven for artists and craftsmen. He knew that the city was unprotected and went forward with the bombing campaign. In addition, he was a known anti-semite, claiming that “Jews were behind world revolutions everywhere.”

Of course, I do not expect anyone to believe me or simply take my word for it. I would suggest that you do some research on Churchill and come to your own conclusion. Many men deserve our attention and respect. Winston churchill is not one of them.

19 Jim F. October 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm

You present one side of the debate as if they were conclusive facts that are not in dispute. But what you say is very much in dispute. I have in fact done much research on this subject and come to completely different conclusions on just about every one of your points. What you have presented is one way of looking at the issue. It’s the same thing with the atomic bomb-you can say that Truman was a needless murderer or you can say he was a wise leader, all depending on your point of view. What deserves respect is being able to see both sides of a question; history is rarely black and white.

20 Sir Lancelot October 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm

“he was a known anti-semite”

Would that be the same Churchill who described himself as a Zionist?

21 Ken October 2, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Just read Pat Buchanan’s new work, “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War.” It puts what we’ve all learned in a different light. A must read for anyone entralled with Churchill and the lost greatness of Britain.

22 Luke - AspiringGentleman October 5, 2009 at 1:49 am

Great posters. That is one man who looks incredibly natural with a cigar in his mouth.

23 Julian October 5, 2009 at 8:10 pm

He certainly was the right man in the right place at the right time. And his ability to sum things up in such succinct and quotable ways is something I aspire to, but I still generally ending up waffling…

24 mutuelle October 7, 2009 at 11:20 am

The picture are beautiful and the post is great

25 John October 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Great job on these, very enjoyable.

A pedantic critique: The “Respect” poster seems to be mis-interpretive. That organ-ginder quote is about taking care in selecting the right audience or timing for a particular argument or discussion – e.g. you’ll hardly be able to persuade an employee to your side of a disagreement against the company if his boss is sitting there next to him. It is *not* advice about being respectful to a superior by not speaking to his underlings instead of him.

26 Brett McKay October 7, 2009 at 10:36 pm


From whence are drawing your authoritative interpretation for the monkey grinder quote? Without context, the quote can sensibly be interpreted either way. If you know the speech from where it it is derived, please share it.

27 Drew October 8, 2009 at 6:27 am

“I agree with most things I read on AoM, but I cannot abide by this. I understand that a majority of people love Winston Churchill, but at the very least he was a vindictive man who needlessly slaughtered 300,000 people.”

Outdated propaganda. The latest figures put the death toll at Dresden at between 20,000 and 40,000. Which was comparable to many other Allied bombing efforts at the time. Furthermore there is no real evidence that Churchill was in any way anti-semitic.

28 Mary W October 8, 2009 at 11:16 am

Dave Z, my sympathies lie more with Germany’s millions of victims, including the innocent people of Belgium, the Netherlands, etc. etc. who did not want to submit to German rule. First the Kaiser, then the Fuhrer — Germany caused untold misery during the first half of the 20th century by invading virtually all of its neighbors.

Be grateful that you’re still allowed to speak English.

I remember taking time out from a slumber party at a friend’s house to watch Churchill’s funeral parade. It was quite a switch for bunch of giggly 12-year-old girls, but even we were wise enough to know that someone of great importance had passed into history.

29 The Pathetic Earthling October 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm

My favorite Churchill anecdote:

One day, Mr Churchill came into the House of Commons men’s room to find Clement Atlee, the Labor Leader, at the first urinal. Church stormed off to the further one down the row do to his own business. “Feeling a little standoff-ish today, Winston?”

“That’s right, Clement. Every time you see something big, you want to nationalize it.”

30 Mike Tee October 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

The Moderation one is incorrect. Churchill was something of a drinker…

31 Richard Langworth October 14, 2009 at 3:03 pm

The inspiring quotes would be more inspiring if they were accurate. Quite a few are misquoted, and five or six are words Churchill never said. Nice posters, though…

32 islam Nasheed November 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Churchill one of the great man in mankind history.

33 bollywood songs November 15, 2009 at 12:51 pm

a lovely man and my ideal.

34 Asif Zardari November 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Churchill inspires me very much.

35 Neal November 17, 2009 at 11:23 am

“I agree with most things I read on AoM, but I cannot abide by this. I understand that a majority of people love Winston Churchill, but at the very least he was a vindictive man who needlessly slaughtered 300,000 people. Think about that for one moment: 10 times the number of people killed on 9/11.”

Dave, if you want people to pay attention to you, proofread what you write. The number of people killed on 9/11 was about 3,000. 3,000 x 10 is 30,000, not 300,000. There may be legitmate reasons to criticize Churchill, but there’s no reason to discuss them if you can’t get your facts straight.

36 Islam Ali Mohammad November 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm

is it true that he killed so many people??? i never listen it before.

37 Jeff January 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Is there a way I can get a high quality file of these posters? I want to print them out on a 11 1/2″ x 15 1/4″ photo quality print and frame in a picture frame in my foyer.


38 Jason January 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

Wow! Beautiful and amazing stuff :) Thanks so much for sharing these Brett and Kate. Did you create them as well? I’m super impressed! Churchill is definitely a master of succinctness :D

39 Sergio February 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

Churchill rox!

40 sourabh paliwal February 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm

beautiful thoughts many things we can learn out of this…it was very interesting really i loved that………………..

41 sheath dress March 29, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Wow, this pictures are beautiful.

42 anon April 10, 2010 at 8:27 am

Churchill was a good leader for Britain at the time.
He was also vindictive as all fuck. From the Dresden bombing to being a proponent of gassing colonials like the Arabs.
There’s also the memo where he says how we’d need numbers showing it’s profitable before drenching german cities in poison gas.

43 jojo June 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

he got a state funeral god bless him

44 Anne June 27, 2010 at 9:06 pm

You left out his best zinger, the famous response to a woman who accused him of being drunk: “And you, madam, are ugly. In the morning, I’ll be sober.”

45 Jeremy June 28, 2010 at 7:18 am

After reading some of the above comments, I wanted to direct peoples’ attention to the following links. Dave and anon (Posting something negative under the name of “anon” makes me think of the line in “Ben Hur” when the Roman makes a disparaging remark about Arabs while surrounded by about 50 of his friends – the Arab smiles and says, simply, “Bravely spoken.”), especially, may be interested in checking the page for the Churchill Center out. ( It debunks myths, deals with misquotes and is a great source of information.

46 Jeremy June 28, 2010 at 7:20 am

Also, a question – why, when you post something about a figure of history, does it seem invariably that those people come crawling out of the woodwork to point out negatives, as though they were the sum total of who the person was? Do you, the reader, have negative points about you? I know I do. Those bad points do not negate any good that I have done, or try to do, any more than they do yours – why should it be so for figures of history? For myself, I feel it stems from a sense of jealousy – as though we have to knock them down and say “They weren’t so good.” In my humble opinion, all it does is demonstrate our own lack of self-worth and class when we engage in it.

47 Jeremy June 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm

And Dave Z – the Dresden myth has indeed been disputed and dis-proven. Dresden was, according to records, one of the targets chosen by “Bomber” Harris as being of strategic importance for one reason or another.

This deserves the same amount of respect as the idea that he abused alcohol or was saved from drowning by Alexander Fleming: none.

48 Leonidas July 8, 2010 at 10:51 am

One of my favorites was a response to, I believe, being asked how he maintains his vitality. His response was quick and as always brilliant (I may be paraphrasing as I am reciting from memory):

“Economy of effort! Never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lay down.”

Also for those who are interested if you go to and search for Wiinston Churchill in the audio section you will find around 100 of his speeches free of charge. I put them on my Mp3 player as I’m a bit of an enthusiast of great speakers.

49 TomH July 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

We have knocked all the great men down, we put them on pedestals only to smash tehm with the wonderful gift of retrospection. He was a man of his time and nothing detractors say can take that away. Unfortunately men of this calibre are have been neutered by the rise of political correctness.

50 robert robinson October 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm

“I can think of no other instance in history
where the future of the world depended
on the courage of one man” Joseph Stalin

speaking of Churchill at Yalta

51 Edward September 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

On December 30 1941, with the Allies engaged in battle with the Axis powers, Winston Churchill said this to the Canadian Parliament: “We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.” One of my favorite Churchill quotes.

52 deChelca September 30, 2013 at 11:19 am

Winston Churchill had a hundred quotes I love. The man was a master writer. One of his quotes I liked so much I had it inked along my upper arm:
“For Without Victory There Can Be No Survival.”

53 Brett G. September 30, 2013 at 8:04 pm

@Brett McKay
I’d have to agree with John on this one. Referring to someone as an “organ grinder” is not respectful: it’s derogatory. This quote does seem to warn against trying to sway the feelings of an underling when his superior is present, but out of practicality, not respect.

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