Two rivals of greatness. Pictured here, in dapper high-class early 20th century British clothes, top hat and all, Lloyd George strolls alongside a young Churchill. This picture would display two of the most influential and biggest British politicians of the 20th century combining forces in the early 20th century. Their legacy together would span across 70 years, two world wars and an increasingly temperamental British political system.
Documented as bitter political rivals, Lloyd George and Churchill actually had a strong friendship bond over the years, so much so that Churchill was the only person outside the Lloyd George family to call ‘David’. Their relationship blossomed in the beginning from their shared interest in radical social reforms at the start of the 1900s. Paving the way as radicals back then, this pair demonstrated a desire to change British social policy and implement more radical left leaning policies. These would include the opposition to the Boer War and opposition to the Education Act of 1902.
As a result of their radical and progressive politics of the time, combined with their history of involvement in armed forces, these two men both interacted with each other a lot and at the same time climbed the political ladder quickly. It would be 1908 when Lloyd George would become the Chancellor, his first major role before gaining a considerable reputation as Minister of Munitions. His performance in both of these roles would lead him to become Liberal leader and Prime Minister of Britain. He would lead the Allies and Britain to eventual victory over Germany in the First World War. His legacy of progressive politics would go even further when pressure amounted to his implementation of the Representation of the People Act in 1918, providing all men and women over 30 with the vote and he would suffer the Independence of Ireland during his reign. He would lead the liberals until 1922 and again from 1926 to 31 providing a voice of radical nature throughout. His final act would be a true passing of the baton onto Churchill whereby he pressured Chamberlain enough into resignation, allowing the path to be paved for Churchill to take up the mantle during wartime and go on to win the Second World War against the Nazis. Perhaps the biggest flaunt of friendship between the two. Churchill would later reciprocate the act by offering Lloyd George a position as Munitions Minister.
It seems a young Churchill was impressionable to Lloyd George’s Liberal ways. It would lead Churchill to champion various social reforms which were deemed radical at the time. Their friendship would lead to his first major roles as Home Secretary and First Lord of Admiralty. These roles would reflect his military background. Under the new Liberal leader, mentor and his friend, Churchill would be promoted to Minister of Munitions during the First World War by Lloyd George. A role he excelled in. The two would become friends through their closeness at work, despite their increasingly diverging opinions. Indeed in 1924, Churchill would switch parties and become a Conservative MP, leaving his liberal ideologies behind. This move would allow him to again climb the political ladder, and ultimately lend himself to becoming the leader of the Conservative party. With the help of Lloyd George the two combined with other politicians to put pressure on Chamberlain to resign which ultimately granted Churchill a chance to prove himself as leader. And lead he did. Taking on the Nazis, Churchill led the British and Allies to victory over the Axis forces.
The two would continue to communicate right till war neared its end and Lloyd George’s death. This picture depicts how closely these two worked together as friends, but ended up being very politically different in their approach. It is noted by numerous historians that both of these men used each other to advance their own way up the political pole, yet it remains that they were quite obviously friends outside the political ring.