On May 13, 1940…

Mercury One






…Winston Churchill delivered his first speech to the UK Parliament’s House of Commons after he was offered the King’s commission as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, thereby succeeding Neville Chamberlain. The speech has become known as the Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat speech, a reference to the line in the speech: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil,tears, and sweat.”

The line is thought to be a structural reference to Giuseppe Garibaldi’s rally to Roman revolutionaries (Churchill, in his younger days, had considered writing a biography of Garibaldi) and the words themselves, a rendition of a phrase that has been echoed throughout history and can be traced all the way back to Cicero. The speech built up to the infamous battle-cry towards victory: “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs — Victory in spite of all terror — Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.”

On April 26, 2013, the Bank of England announced a re-design of the 5 pound note for 2016 onward, that will feature a portrait of Churchill and the phrase “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat,” beneath it.



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