Written by Aryan Pratap Singh, a grade 8 student
Lieutenant Colonel John Churchill had a motto: “Any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.” He was referring to the Scottish broadsword that he fought with during battle. And before you ask who was this crazy man, he was a British army officer who fought during World War II. While everyone else was firing bullets and tank shells “Mad Jack’’ Churchill was using a 16th century Scottish broadsword. In addition to the sword, he also used a longbow. And played bagpipes even during battle.
Churchill was born in 1906 in Hong Kong and lived there until 1917. Churchill probably got his lust for adventure during this time as he would explore the rural areas around the city for hours at stretch.
He entered the Royal Military College in Sandhurst, England, and graduated in 1926, moving to Burma with the Manchester Regiment. While in Burma, he rode his motorcycle up and down the entire country, exploring what it had to offer. He also learned to play the bagpipes. In 1936, his sense of adventure became too great and he left the army moving to Nairobi, Kenya. While in Nairobi , he worked as a newspaper editor and a model. He also competed in the military bagpiping competition — taking second place and in the World Archery Championships in Oslo, Norway.
Churchill’s adventurous spirit was put on hold in 1939 at the start of World War II. After Germany invaded Poland, he resumed his post in the British Army. He earned the title of the only soldier to have killed an enemy with a bow during WW2 when during a battle, he shot a German soldier with an arrow.
After serving in France, Churchill volunteered for the Commandos, a special forces division dedicated to carrying out raids against occupied areas of Europe. Churchill led the Commandos across Europe, while armed with his longbow, bagpipes, and broadsword. At one point when he was marching through Sicily, with only his sword he and another soldier managed to capture 42 German soldiers. For his service with the division, Mad Jack Churchill was awarded the Military Cross.
During a raid in Austria, Churchill’s team was ambushed by the Germans who killed or captured his entire squad. Churchill somehow, managed to escape death, though he was captured and sent to one of the notorious concentration camps in Austria.
Just days after being captured, Churchill and another soldier crawled under the fence and an abandoned drain to escape the camp. They managed to make it almost all the way to the Baltic coast on foot before being captured again. Even after this setback, he soon escaped. After his second escape, Churchill walked 93 miles to Verona, Italy, to be picked up by American troops.
Despite being captured twice, Churchill remained in the army and in 1944, just months after being reunited with Allied forces, he was sent to Burma, to participate in the land battles against Japan. However, by the time he arrived, the war had ended. Churchill, disappointed by the sudden end of the war exclaimed: “If it wasn’t for those Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years!”
Written by Aryan Pratap Singh.
Aryan is a grade 7 student in Modern School, New Delhi. He is a keen writer and his current interests are World War II, warships and fighter planes, world leaders, mobile video games, Greek and Egyptian mythology.
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