Friday, March 08, 2013
The extraordinary war of 'Mad Jack' Churchill, the soldier armed with a longbow, arrows, broadsword and bagpipes
As the nickname suggests, British soldier "Mad Jack" Churchill was a nutcase, striding to war armed with a longbow, arrows, a broadsword and bagpipes – the Second World War that is, not Agincourt.
And, despite Commando raids in Norway and Sicily, fighting with partisans in Yugoslavia, being captured and flown to Berlin for interrogation, escaping from a concentration camp, not to mention a very close shave with the SS, this amazing eccentric survived into old age.
Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Jack" Churchill, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar said "any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly armed".
He was pretty good with a bow, too, shooting for Britain at the 1939 World Archery Championships in Oslo, Norway. Indeed, he is believed to have been the only British soldier to have felled an enemy with a longbow during World War Two – hardly surprising!
"Mad Jack" died on March 8, 1996, aged 89.