John Churchill’s military career speaks for itself. He has fought pretty much all over the world, from France to Burma. During his military career, he received six awards and was classified as a true war hero. However, the story takes a very dramatic turn when we look at his choice of weapons …
John Churchill was born on September 16, 1906, in Sri Lanka. After his birth, the family moved back to Surrey in England where he graduated from King William’s College and Royal Military College. After receiving his diploma, he started his military career in Burma. In 1939 he also played for the United Kingdom in the World Archery Championships in Oslo.
When the war broke out, Churchill was summoned to join British forces sent to France to fight the Germans. In the first hours the peculiarity of the soldier, who later got nicknamed ‘Mad Jack’, emerges. Churchill raided a German patrol with a bow and arrow. Which made Mad Jack the only English soldier to hit a German with the traditional “longbow”.
After his adventure in France, Churchill volunteered for the English commandos. During his time with the “special forces”, he led commandos in Norway, Italy, France, and Yugoslavia. He was known for his special appearance, in which he fought while playing on his bagpipe and throwing grenades around.
During one of his missions in Sicily, he, together with a fellow soldier and only armed with his sword, captured 42 German soldiers. For this, he received not one but even two awards from the British army.
Unfortunately, his heroic deeds eventually came to an end and his team was lured into an ambush by the Germans. A mortar exploded in his camp and everyone died or was injured. Churchill barely got away with his life because he was playing the bagpipe just outside of the camp. However, he was captured and detained in a concentration camp.
This camp proved to be no obstacle for ‘Mad Jack’ and after a few days, Churchill escaped together with one of his fellow soldiers, crawling under the fence and through an old pipe. Together they walked to the Baltic Sea on foot, after which they were picked up again by the Germans. Despite the fact that they were caught, the duo was released and after a rough 120-kilometer walk, Churchill arrived at the American troops in Italy.
Despite this story, “Mad Jack” had a lot of fight left in him and was sent to Burma again. Here he helped in the fight against the Japanese. However, the war was almost over because the two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had just been hit by nuclear bombs.
According to many fellow soldiers, Churchill was disappointed that the war was over. This is evident from the quote: “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years!”. This is also the reason why he remained active in the army and, for example, also fought for the British in Palestine and the rest of Arabia.