Churchill Crescent and Tower (also Winston Avenue, Prestwick)
Winston Spencer Churchill's association with Ayr began during the First World War when for several months he commanded the 6th Battalion of the local regiment, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, on the Western Front. During the Second World War the regiment's headquarters in Ayr was named the Churchill Barracks in honour of his leadership as Prime Minister, and in 1947 he received the freedom of the Burgh of Ayr in the Town Hall.
Throughout his life Churchill was a champion of the British Empire, and it is a matter of record that he made many derogatory remarks about African and Asian peoples in justification of white supremacy. However, he condemned Nazi anti-Semitism. He has been particularly condemned for his conduct during the Great Bengal Famine of 1943, when between two and three million died from starvation or related diseases. The Japanese occupation of Burma cut off an important source of rice, and existing food stocks were destroyed or removed to deny them to the expected Japanese invasion of India. Priority for remaining stocks was given to the military and war workers, and general disruption and mis-management resulted in little being available to the poorer levels of society. Appeals were made to the British War Cabinet, headed by Churchill, to send food aid to India, but this was refused during the worst of the famine. It was claimed that neither food nor the shipping needed to transport it could be spared due to the German submarine blockade of Britain and the requirements of the war fronts. There has been much debate over the extent to which the famine resulted from unavoidable wartime circumstances, or from a deliberate British political decision to put Indian civilians at the bottom of the priority list.