Churchill war ministry

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Winston Churchill, Prime Minister during World War II.

The Churchill war ministry was a Conservative-led coalition government in the United Kingdom, which lasted for most of World War II. It was led by Winston Churchill, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Formed in 1940, within a year of the war's outbreak, it lasted until 23 May 1945, shortly after the defeat of Germany, when Churchill resigned and an election was called.

The war ministry was followed by the Churchill caretaker ministry which in turn lasted until 26 July 1945 when the results of the general election brought Labour into government, led by Clement Attlee.

War Cabinet

1940 − 1945

Red indicates a member of the Labour Party, whilst blue indicates a member of the Conservative Party. Grey indicates an independent.

For a list of changes to the composition of the ministry, see here.

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
First Lord of the Treasury
Minister of Defence
  Winston Churchill May 1940 May 1945 Conservative
Deputy Prime Minister   Clement Attlee February 1942 May 1945 Labour
Lord President of the Council   Neville Chamberlain May 1940 October 1940 Conservative
  Sir John Anderson October 1940 September 1943 National
  Clement Attlee September 1943 May 1945 Labour
Lord Privy Seal   Clement Attlee May 1940 February 1942 Labour
  Sir Stafford Cripps February 1942 October 19421 Labour
Chancellor of the Exchequer   Sir Kingsley Wood October 1940 February 19422 Conservative
  Sir John Anderson September 1943 May 1945 National
Foreign Secretary   The Viscount Halifax May 1940 December 1940 Conservative
  Anthony Eden December 1940 May 1945 Conservative
Home Secretary   Herbert Morrison October 1942 May 1945 Labour
Minister of Aircraft Production   The Lord Beaverbrook August 1940 May 19411 Conservative
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs   Clement Attlee February 1942 September 19431 Labour
Minister of Labour and National Service   Ernest Bevin October 1940 May 1945 Labour
Minister-Resident for the Middle East   Oliver Lyttelton February 1942 March 1942 Conservative
  Richard Casey March 1942 January 1944 National
  The Lord Moyne January 1944 November 19441 Conservative
Minister without Portfolio   Arthur Greenwood May 1940 February 1942 Labour
Minister of Reconstruction   The Lord Woolton November 1943 May 1945 Conservative
Minister of State   The Lord Beaverbrook May 1941 June 1941 Conservative
Minister of Supply   The Lord Beaverbrook June 1941 February 1942 Conservative
Minister of War Production   The Lord Beaverbrook February 1942 February 1942 Conservative
  Oliver Lyttelton March 1942 May 1945 Conservative


List of Ministers

Members of the War Cabinet are in bold face.

Office Name Party Dates Notes
Prime Minister,
Minister of Defence and First Lord of the Treasury
Winston Churchill Conservative 10 May 1940 Member of War Cabinet; also Leader of the House of Commons 1940-1942
Lord Chancellor Viscount Simon Liberal National 12 May 1940  
Lord President of the Council Neville Chamberlain Conservative 11 May 1940 Member of War Cabinet. Died in November 1940.
Sir John Anderson Independent 3 October 1940 Member of War Cabinet
Clement Attlee Labour 24 September 1943 Member of War Cabinet
Lord Privy Seal Clement Attlee Labour 11 May 1940 Member of War Cabinet; also Deputy Leader of the House of Commons
Stafford Cripps Labour 19 February 1942 Member of War Cabinet; also Leader of the House of Commons
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 22 November 1942 also Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 24 September 1943 Member of War Cabinet
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Kingsley Wood Conservative 12 May 1940 In War Cabinet from 3 October 1940 – 19 February 1942
Sir John Anderson National 24 September 1943  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury David Margesson Conservative 17 May 1940 – 22 December 1940 Jointly
Sir Charles Edwards Labour 17 May 1940 – 12 March 1942 Jointly
James Stuart Conservative 14 January 1941 – 23 May 1945 Jointly
William Whiteley Labour 12 March 1942 – 23 May 1945 Jointly
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Harry Crookshank Conservative 15 May 1940  
Ralph Assheton Conservative 7 February 1943  
Osbert Peake Conservative 29 October 1944  
Lords of the Treasury Stephen Furness Liberal National 12 May 1940 – 18 May 1940  
James Stuart Conservative 12 May 1940 – 14 January 1941  
Patrick Munro Conservative 12 May 1940 – 13 March 1942  
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn Conservative 12 May 1940 – 26 June 1940  
William Whytehead Boulton Conservative 12 May 1940 – 13 March 1942  
Wilfred Paling Labour 18 May 1940 – 8 February 1941  
James Thomas Conservative 26 June 1940 – 25 September 1943  
Thomas Dugdale Conservative 8 February 1941 – 23 February 1942  
William Murdoch Adamson Labour 1 March 1941 – 2 October 1944  
Arthur Young Conservative 23 February 1942 – 3 July 1944  
John McEwen Conservative 13 March 1942 – 6 December 1944  
Leslie Pym Conservative 13 March 1942 – 23 May 1945  
Alec Beechman Liberal National 25 September 1943 – 23 May 1945  
Cedric Drewe Conservative 3 July 1944 – 23 May 1945  
William John Labour 2 October 1944 – 23 May 1945  
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn Conservative 6 December 1944 – 23 May 1945  
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Viscount Halifax Conservative 11 May 1940 also Leader of the House of Lords from 3 October 1940; Member of War Cabinet
Anthony Eden Conservative 22 December 1940 Member of War Cabinet; also Leader of the House of Commons 1942-1945
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs R. A. Butler Conservative 15 May 1940  
Richard Law Conservative 20 July 1941  
George Henry Hall Labour 25 September 1943  
Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Home Security Sir John Anderson National 12 May 1940  
Herbert Morrison Labour 2 October 1940 In War Cabinet from 22 November 1942
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department Osbert Peake Conservative 15 May 1940  
The Earl of Munster Conservative 31 October 1944  
Parliamentary Secretary for the Home Department William Mabane Liberal National 15 May 1940 – 3 June 1942  
Ellen Wilkinson Labour 8 October 1940 – 23 May 1945  
First Lord of the Admiralty A. V. Alexander Labour 11 May 1940  
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty Sir Victor Warrender, Bt Conservative 17 May 1940 Lord Bruntisfield
Civil Lord of the Admiralty Sir Austin Hudson, Bt Conservative 15 May 1940  
Richard Pilkington Conservative 4 March 1942  
Financial Secretary to the Admiralty George Hall Labour 4 February 1942  
James Thomas Conservative 1943  
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Robert Hudson Conservative 14 May 1940  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries The Lord Moyne Conservative 15 May 1940 – 8 February 1941  
Tom Williams Labour 15 May 1940 – 23 May 1945  
The Duke of Norfolk Conservative 8 February 1941 – 23 May 1945  
Secretary of State for Air Sir Archibald Sinclair, Bt Liberal 11 May 1940  
Under-Secretary of State for Air Harold Balfour Conservative 15 May 1940 – 21 November 1944  
The Lord Sherwood Liberal 20 July 1941 – 23 May 1945  
Rupert Brabner Conservative 21 November 1944 – 27 March 1945  
Quintin Hogg Conservative 12 April 1945 – 23 May 1945  
Minister of Aircraft Production The Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 14 May 1940 In War Cabinet from 2 August 1940 – 1 May 1941
John Moore-Brabazon Conservative 1 May 1941  
John Llewellin Conservative 22 February 1942  
Sir Stafford Cripps Labour 22 November 1942  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Aircraft Production John Llewellin Conservative 15 May 1940  
Frederick Montague Labour 1 May 1941  
Ben Smith Labour 4 March 1942  
Alan Lennox-Boyd Conservative 11 November 1943  
Minister of Civil Aviation The Viscount Swinton Conservative 8 October 1944 New office
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Civil Aviation Robert Perkins Conservative 22 March 1945  
Secretary of State for the Colonies The Lord Lloyd Conservative 12 May 1940 also Leader of the House of Lords from 22 December 1940
The Lord Moyne Conservative 8 February 1941 also Leader of the House of Lords
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 22 February 1942 also Leader of the House of Lords
Oliver Stanley Conservative 22 November 1942  
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies George Hall Labour 15 May 1940  
Harold Macmillan Conservative 4 February 1942  
The Duke of Devonshire Conservative 1 January 1943  
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs The Viscount Caldecote Conservative 14 May 1940 also Leader of the House of Lords
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 3 October 1940  
Clement Attlee Labour 19 February 1942 Member of War Cabinet
Viscount Cranborne Conservative 24 September 1943 also Leader of the House of Lords
Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Geoffrey Shakespeare Liberal National 15 May 1940  
Paul Emrys-Evans Conservative 4 March 1942  
Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton Labour 15 May 1940  
Viscount Wolmer Conservative 22 February 1942  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Warfare Dingle Foot Liberal 17 May 1940  
President of the Board of Education Herwald Ramsbotham Conservative 14 May 1940  
Rab Butler Conservative 20 July 1941 Renamed Minister of Education 3 August 1944
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education James Chuter Ede Labour 15 May 1940  
Minister of Food The Lord Woolton Conservative 13 May 1940  
John Llewellin Conservative 11 November 1943  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Food Robert Boothby Conservative 15 May 1940  
Gwilym Lloyd-George Liberal 22 October 1940  
William Mabane Liberal National 3 June 1942  
Minister of Fuel and Power Gwilym Lloyd-George Liberal 3 June 1942 New office
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fuel and Power Geoffrey Lloyd Conservative 3 June 1942 – 23 May 1945  
Tom Smith Labour 3 June 1942 – 23 May 1945  
Minister of Health Malcolm MacDonald National Labour 13 May 1940  
Ernest Brown Liberal National 8 February 1941  
Henry Willink Conservative 11 November 1943  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health Florence Horsbrugh Conservative 15 May 1940  
Secretary of State for India and Burma Leo Amery Conservative 13 May 1940  
Parliamentary Secretary for India and Burma The Duke of Devonshire Conservative 17 May 1940  
The Earl of Munster Conservative 1 January 1943  
The Earl of Listowel Labour 31 October 1944  
Minister of Information Duff Cooper Conservative 12 May 1940 Attended War Cabinet from 28 May 1940
Brendan Bracken Conservative 20 July 1941  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Information Harold Nicolson National Labour 17 May 1940
Ernest Thurtle Labour 20 July 1941  
Minister of Labour and National Service Ernest Bevin Labour 13 May 1940 In War Cabinet from 3 October 1940
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour Ralph Assheton Conservative 15 May 1940 – 4 February 1942  
George Tomlinson Labour 8 February 1941 – 23 May 1945  
Malcolm McCorquodale Conservative 4 February 1942 – 23 May 1945  
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Lord Hankey Independent 14 May 1940  
Duff Cooper Conservative 20 July 1941  
Ernest Brown Liberal National 11 November 1943  
Minister Resident North-West Africa Harold Macmillan Conservative 30 December 1942  
Minister Resident Middle East Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 19 February 1942 Member of War Cabinet
Richard Casey Independent 19 March 1942 Member of War Cabinet until 23 December 1943. Not a British MP
The Lord Moyne Conservative 28 January 1944  
Sir Edward Grigg Conservative 21 November 1944  
Deputy Minister of State The Lord Moyne Conservative 27 August 1942 – 28 January 1944
Minister Resident, Washington John Llewellin Conservative 22 November 1942  
Ben Smith Labour 11 November 1943  
Minister Resident West Africa The Viscount Swinton Conservative 8 June 1942  
Harold Balfour Conservative 21 November 1944  
Minister without Portfolio Arthur Greenwood Labour 11 May 1940 – 22 February 1942 Member of War Cabinet
Sir William Jowitt Labour 30 December 1942 – 8 October 1944  
Paymaster General Viscount Cranborne Conservative 15 May 1940 Office vacant 3 October 1940
The Lord Hankey Independent 20 July 1941  
Sir William Jowitt Labour 4 March 1942  
The Lord Cherwell Conservative 30 December 1942  
Minister for Pensions Sir Walter Womersley Conservative 15 May 1940  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Pensions Ellen Wilkinson Labour 17 May 1940  
The Lord Tryon Conservative 8 October 1940  
Wilfred Paling Labour 8 February 1941  
Postmaster-General William Morrison Conservative 15 May 1940  
Harry Crookshank Conservative 7 February 1943  
Assistant Postmaster-General Charles Waterhouse Conservative 17 May 1940  
Allan Chapman Conservative 1 March 1941  
Robert Grimston Conservative 4 March 1942  
Minister of Reconstruction The Lord Woolton Conservative 11 November 1943 Member of War Cabinet
Secretary of State for Scotland Ernest Brown Liberal National 14 May 1940  
Tom Johnston Labour 8 February 1941  
Under-Secretary of State for Scotland Joseph Westwood Labour 17 May 1940 – 23 May 1945  
Henry Wedderburn Conservative 8 February 1941 – 4 March 1942  
Allan Chapman Conservative 4 March 1942 – 23 May 1945  
Minister of Shipping Ronald Cross Conservative 14 May 1940 Merged into Minister of War Transport 1 May 1941
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Shipping Sir Arthur Salter Independent 15 May 1940  
Minister of Social Insurance Sir William Jowitt Labour 8 October 1944 Renamed Minister of National Insurance 17 November 1944
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Insurance Charles Peat Conservative 22 March 1945  
Minister of State The Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 1 May 1941 Member of War Cabinet
Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 29 June 1941 Member of War Cabinet. Office vacant from 12 March 1942
Minister of Supply Herbert Morrison Labour 12 May 1940  
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 3 October 1940  
The Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 29 June 1941 Member of War Cabinet
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 4 February 1942  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Supply Harold Macmillan Conservative 15 May 1940 – 4 February 1942  
Wyndham Raymond Portal, 1st Viscount Portal Conservative 4 September 1940 – 22 February 1942  
Ralph Assheton Conservative 4 February 1942 – 7 February 1943  
Charles Peat Conservative 4 March 1942 – 22 March 1945  
Duncan Sandys Conservative 7 February 1943 – 21 November 1944  
John Wilmot Labour 21 November 1944 – 23 May 1945  
James de Rothschild Liberal 22 March 1945 – 23 May 1945  
Minister of Town and Country Planning William Morrison Conservative 30 December 1942 Minister designate until 7 February 1943
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Town and Country Planning Henry Strauss Conservative 30 December 1942  
Arthur Jenkins Labour 22 March 1945  
President of the Board of Trade Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 12 May 1940  
Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 3 October 1940  
Sir Andrew Rae Duncan Conservative 29 June 1941  
John Llewellin Conservative 4 February 1942  
Hugh Dalton Labour 22 February 1942  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade Gwilym Lloyd-George Liberal 15 May 1940 Also Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Food from 22 October 1940
Charles Waterhouse Conservative 8 February 1941  
Secretary for Overseas Trade Harcourt Johnstone Liberal 15 May 1940  
Secretary for Mines David Grenfell Labour 15 May 1940  
Secretary for Petroleum Geoffrey Lloyd Conservative 15 May 1940 – 3 June 1942 Combined into Minister for Fuel and Power
Minister of Transport Sir John Reith National 14 May 1940  
John Moore-Brabazon Conservative 3 October 1940 became Minister of War Transport 1 May 1941
Minister of War Production The Lord Beaverbrook Conservative 4 February 1942 Office vacant 19 February 1942
Oliver Lyttelton Conservative 12 March 1942 Post retitled Minister of Production upon appointment
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Production George Garro-Jones Labour 10 September 1942  
Secretary of State for War Anthony Eden Conservative 11 May 1940  
David Margesson Conservative 22 December 1940  
Sir P. J. Grigg National 22 February 1942  
Under-Secretary of State for War Sir Henry Page Croft Conservative 17 May 1940 – 23 May 1945 Lord Croft
Sir Edward Grigg Conservative 17 May 1940 – 4 March 1942  
Arthur Henderson Labour 4 March 1942 – 7 February 1943  
Financial Secretary to the War Office Richard Law Conservative 17 May 1940  
Duncan Sandys Conservative 20 July 1941  
Arthur Henderson Labour 7 February 1943  
Minister of War Transport The Lord Leathers Conservative 1 May 1941  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of War Transport Frederick Montague Labour 18 May 1940 – 1 May 1941
John Llewellin Conservative 1 May 1941 – 4 February 1942  
Sir Arthur Salter Independent 29 June 1941 – 4 February 1942  
First Commissioner of Works The Lord Tryon Conservative 18 May 1940  
Sir John Reith National 3 October 1940 Minister of Works and Buildings, and 1st Commissioner. Later Lord Reith
The Lord Portal Conservative 22 February 1942 Renamed Minister of Works and Planning from 11 February 1942, and Minister of Works from February 1943
Duncan Sandys Conservative 21 November 1944  
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Works George Hicks Labour 19 November 1940 – 23 May 1945  
Henry Strauss Conservative 4 March 1942 – 30 December 1942  
Attorney General Sir Donald Somervell Conservative 15 May 1940  
Solicitor General Sir William Jowitt Labour 15 May 1940  
Sir David Maxwell Fyfe Conservative 4 March 1942  
Lord Advocate Thomas Cooper Conservative 15 May 1940  
James Reid Conservative 5 June 1941  
Solicitor General for Scotland James Reid Conservative 15 May 1940  
David King Murray Conservative 5 June 1941 Knighted
Treasurer of the Household Robert Grimston Conservative 17 May 1940  
Sir James Edmondson Conservative 12 March 1942  
Comptroller of the Household William Whiteley Labour 17 May 1940  
William John Labour 12 March 1942  
George Mathers Labour 2 October 1944  
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Sir James Edmondson Conservative 17 May 1940  
William Whytehead Boulton Conservative 12 March 1942  
Arthur Young Conservative 13 July 1944  
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Lord Snell Labour 31 May 1940 – 21 April 1944  
The Earl Fortescue Conservative 22 March 1945  
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Lord Templemore Conservative 31 May 1940  
Lords in Waiting The Earl Fortescue Conservative 31 May 1940 – 22 March 1945  
The Viscount Clifden Liberal 31 May 1940 – 23 May 1945  
The Lord Alness Liberal National 31 May 1940 – 23 May 1945  
The Marquess of Normanby Conservative 22 March 1945 – 23 May 1945

Changes

References

  1. ^ a b c d Successor not in cabinet.
  2. ^ Left the war cabinet but remained chancellor.
Preceded by
Chamberlain War Ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1940–1945
Succeeded by
Churchill Caretaker Ministry







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