Britain to honor Winston Churchill on new banknote; The “blood, toil, tears and sweat” quotation will be inscribed beneath a portrait photograph taken in 1941

Britain to honor Winston Churchill on new banknote

8:33am EDT

Winston Churchill on next £5 bank note

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is set to honor its revered wartime leader Winston Churchill with a banknote featuring his portrait and famous declaration “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, traveled to Churchill’s former home Chartwell in Kent, southern England on Friday to announce plans for Churchill’s image to appear on a new five-pound ($8) note to be issued in 2016.

“Sir Winston Churchill was a truly great British leader, orator and writer. Above that, he remains a hero of the entire free world,” outgoing central bank governor King told members of the Churchill family.Churchill, no stranger to the British currency after his face was emblazoned on a five shilling piece in the 1960s, joins the ranks of Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens who have all adorned banknotes in the past.

Queen Elizabeth is on one side of each of Britain’s four denominations of bank notes, while celebrated Britons take their turn for 10 to 20-year stints on the overleaf.

This will be the third change of bank note announced under King, who steps down from the Bank of England’s top job after a 10 years on July 1. He brought fellow economist Adam Smith onto the 20 pound note and the inventors of the steam engine to the 50 pound note.

The Bank of England said that while the plan was for Churchill to feature on the five-pound note, that decision had not been finalized.

The blue-green design sets Churchill, who as prime minister led the country to victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, against the backdrop of Westminster and the Nobel Prize medal which he won for literature in 1953.

The “blood, toil, tears and sweat” quotation, one of the most famous from his huge repertoire and taken from his first speech as prime minister in 1940, will be inscribed beneath a portrait photograph taken in 1941.

The current batch of notes features prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, naturalist Charles Darwin, economist Smith and Matthew Boulton and James Watt, inventors of the steam engine.

Banknotes have had historical figures on them for around 40 years but Churchill will be only the second prime minister after the Duke of Wellington to feature on a note and one of only a few individuals from the 20th century.

Churchill to Feature on Next U.K. Banknote, King Says

Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War II prime minister, will appear on the next U.K. banknote, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said.

“Sir Winston Churchill was a truly great British leader, orator and writer,” King said at an event today at Chartwell, Churchill’s former country home near Westerham in southeast England. “Above that, he remains a hero of the entire free world. His energy, courage, eloquence, wit and public service are an inspiration to us all.”

The current plan is for the new design to appear on the five-pound ($7.72) note and to be introduced into circulation in 2016, though that has yet to be confirmed, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement.

After an early career as a soldier and war correspondent, Churchill, born in 1874, first became a member of Parliament in 1901. He replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister in 1940 and helped lead the allies to victory over Nazi Germany. The words from his first speech as premier, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat,” will appear on the new note.

Today’s event takes place at a property Churchill purchased in 1922, where he pursued interests including painting and bricklaying as well as writing works which later earned him the Nobel Prize for literature in 1953. He was awarded honorary U.S. citizenship in 1963.

Churchill died Jan. 24, 1965, and was given a state funeral, the last non-royal to be so honored. Queen Elizabeth II led the mourning, making her only appearance at a service for a former prime minister until the funeral of Margaret Thatcher on April 17.

Historical Figures

The former premier’s image may replace that of Elizabeth Fry on the five-pound note. She was a social reformer who worked to improve U.K. prison conditions in the early part of the 19th century. The redesign is the Bank of England’s latest, following the introduction of steam-engine pioneers Matthew Boulton and James Watt on the 50-pound note in 2011, and economist Adam Smith on the 20-pound note in 2007.

The 10-pound note that features naturalist Charles Darwin, author of “On the Origin of Species,” was first issued in 2000. The Fry note was introduced in 2002.

The U.K. has taken steps to boost the circulation of “fivers” to increase Britons’ confidence in their ability to transact in cash. King said in 2007 a shortage of the bills left existing notes looking increasingly “soiled” as banks were reluctant to stock their cash machines with the lowest- denomination paper money.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Ryan in London at

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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