LONDON -- Sir Winston Churchill is dead.
Churchill died shortly after 8 a.m. today 10 days after he suffered a stroke, it was announced officially. He was 90.
Sir Winston's secretary released the announcement signed by the statesman's physician, Lord Moran.
"Shortly after eight this morning, Sunday, Jan. 24th, Sir Winston Churchill died at his London home. (Signed) Moran."
The old warrior's last illness began with a cold that confined him to his bed at his Georgian home at No. 28 Hyde Park Gate. A circulatory weakness developed, and he suffered a cerebral thrombosis, or stroke. From then until the inevitable end only his stalwart spirit sustained him.
Gradually weakening, he slipped painlessly toward death. Because of his age, his doctors decided against trying to move him from his bedroom to a hospital.
Announcement of Sir Winston's death eight weeks after his 90th birthday was made at 8:36 a.m.
Death came to the greatest commoner in English history as he lay in his room on the ground floor of No. 28 Hyde Park Gate in the capital where he rallied the forces of freedom during World War II.
With him at his bedside when the end came were his faithful wife, Clementine, 79, his son, Randolph, daughters, Sarah and Mrs. Mary Soames, and grandchildren.
Lord Moran, Churchill's long-time friend and physician, also was at his side.
A state funeral was certain for this giant of a man who twice served Britain as prime minister and rallied her people to their "finest hour" when the armies of Adolf Hitler were sweeping across Europe to the English Channel.
Funeral services are expected to be held in St. Paul's Cathedral, last resting place of Britain's military immortals. But under present plans he will be buried in a simple parish church in accordance with his wish to be near his father and his American-born mother.
Before the funeral he is expected to lie in state in London's Westminster Hall, now a part of the Houses of Parliament in which Sir Winston served for 62 years.
Until police closed off the dead end street leading to the Churchill home, Londoners by the thousands had paused for a look at the house where the old statesman was dying. It was there that the public had glimpsed him for the last time.
The occasion was the eve of his 90th birthday last Nov. 29. Nearly a thousand persons stood in the cold and drizzle on that day to sing "Happy Birthday to You" while Sir Winston made a brief appearance at a window. Although he had to be helped from his chair by a nurse and Lady Churchill, he seemed well and happy then and waved a greeting to the crowd.
Shortly after the news of his death was announced, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) immediately began playing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, whose opening notes formed the Morse Code letter V-for-Victory during the war.
After news of Churchill's death reached the small crowd at the entrance to Hyde Park Gate they stood around in small groups in a light drizzle chatting quietly with each other.
Lord Moran had reported last night: "The deterioration of Sir Winston's condition is more marked." The report was the 19th medical bulletin since the 90-year-old wartime prime minister suffered a stroke on Jan. 15.
Medical sources said the report indicated further weakening of Churchill's circulatory system which was first reported last Wednesday when his condition was at a "very low ebb."
The change for the worse apparently occurred Friday afternoon or evening.
Sir Winston had been in a coma almost since he was stricken. Competent medical sources said he had been given a nutrient by tubes, intravenously or otherwise.
Tomorrow, if Sir Winston were alive, would have been a day of remembrance in the red brick house in Hyde Park Gate.
It is the 70th anniversary of the death of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, whose brilliant political career, was cut off at 46.