Winston Churchill was elected as Epping Division’s MP in 1924, which incorporated both areas, and served Woodford Division from 1937.
Prior to this his career was in decline. Churchill had been a Liberal MP for more than 20 years and had held five cabinet posts, however the public’s opinion of him had been damaged by events such as the disastrous First World War campaign in Dardanelles, Turkey, which happened under his watch as First Lord of the Admiralty.
In 1924, Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin agreed that Winston Churchill, who had broken with the Liberals, could stand as an Independent Constitutionalist in Epping, with Conservative support.
Winston Churchill was helped by Woodford Urban District Council’s chairman Alfred James Hawkey, the namesake of Sir James Hawkey Hall, in Broomhill Road, Woodford Green, and won the seat with 19,843 votes. This Conservative victory led to him being appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The politician’s representation of the Woodford area remained a constant through the highs and lows of his career for the next 40 years.
In May 1936, he spoke in approval of the Wanstead and Woodford District Council’s application to become a borough..
He was elected as Prime Minister in 1940 and in his new role as wartime Prime Minister Churchill was unable to visit his constituency but his wife Clementine did. Clementine Churchill would report back to her husband on the efforts and concerns of his constituents.
At the request of Churchill, Churchill Week took place in Woodford which made thousands of pounds for the war effort, and a further fundraiser for the war effort namely Churchill Tank Week also took place in Woodford resulting in a collection of £265,108 being raised which was the cost of 13 tanks, the original target had been £100,000.
The constituency took part in national Salute the Soldier Week in 1944, as the Allies’ momentum increased. Wanstead and Woodford joined in with five other districts.
Following the end of the war, a general election was held and Churchill lost to Clement Atlee who was the MP for Walthamstow West. Winston Churchill was however re-elected again from 1951 until 1955, when he resigned, due to ill health. However he continued to serve his constituency until 1964 – when he was 89.