Author Topic: "Mad Jack Churchill  (Read 6979 times)

Offline george.theshed197

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"Mad Jack Churchill
« on: January 01, 2013, 09:58:45 AM »
Nice to see the mention of him in this morning's papers. A Great Character indeed.
George.

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2013, 02:59:55 PM »
George. What if we don't read the same newspaper as yourself?
What was the mention please.

PS. I had to go back and check - I found it on the internet to begin with then realised it was originally as themonsstar has said - The Daily Mail'
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 06:54:20 PM by george.theshed197 »
Robert

Offline themonsstar

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2013, 03:12:03 PM »
The Daily Mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2255533/The-amazing-story-Mad-Jack-hero-took-Nazis-bow-arrow-later-professional-bagpipe-player.html

The story is about how Findmypast.co.uk  Have only just found out about Mad Jack Churchill, they should have look on here 1st

The amazing story of Mad Jack, the hero who took on the Nazis with a bow and arrow (and later became a professional bagpipe player)
Commando leader said soldiers without a sword was 'improperly armed'
Led his men carrying a bow and arrow and playing the bagpipes
Earned two Distinguished Service Orders and a Military Cross during war
His story recovered by researchers from website findmypast.co.uk
By IAN DRURY

He was nicknamed Mad Jack by his men during the Second World War.

After coming face to face with Lieutenant Colonel John Churchill, the Germans probably had a similar, if less affectionate, moniker for the eccentric officer.

Rather than wield a sub-machine gun in battle, the commando leader inspired his comrades by storming beaches armed with a bow and arrow and two-handed sword, dressed in a kilt and playing a set of bagpipes.


Brave: Lieutenant Colonel John 'Mad Jack' Churchill believed 'any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly armed'

He enhanced his reputation by capturing 42 German prisoners with only his broadsword and later escaping from one of the most daunting Nazi jails before the end of the war.

The colourful officer’s bravery – he is the only soldier in the war credited with killing enemy troops with arrows – earned him a chestful of gallantry medals, including two Distinguished Service Orders and a Military Cross. But even though his career was one of the most remarkable in the history of the Army, his story is not widely known.

His story has been put together from reports in local newspapers which have been placed online for the first time.


Hot shot: Jack Churchill represented Britain at the 1939 World Archery Championships (pictured)

Born in Surrey in 1906, he was educated on the Isle of Man and at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He joined  the 2nd Battalion the Manchester Regiment in 1926.

He later left the Army to become a professional bagpipe player and appeared in films. He was also a highly skilled bowman, representing Britain in the World Archery Championships in 1939. At the outbreak of war he was recalled to the Army.

Carrying an English longbow and American Indian arrows on to the battlefield, Lt Col Churchill’s fearlessness under fire became his hallmark.

He often said that ‘any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly armed’. An account in the Dundee Evening Telegraph from May 1945 described his deadly attack against Germans hiding in bushes during the retreat to Dunkirk five years earlier.

‘He was on patrol when some Germans were detected in a thicket about 200 yards away,’ said the report. ‘He shot two arrows into the thicket. There were some strange noises and no answering fire.’

He was also in the thick of the action with his bagpipes while leading  2 Commando through Sicily, to Messina and the landings at Salerno, Italy.


Mad Jack escaped the Sagan prison before being captured again and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, in Germany (pictured)

Alongside a corporal named Ruffell, he took 42 German prisoners and captured a mortar post using only his sword, taking one guard as a human shield and then creeping between sentry posts and forcing the soldiers to surrender.

Mad Jack was finally captured in an attack on the island of Brac, off the then Yugoslavia, when, as bombs exploded around him, he continued to play his bagpipes until he was knocked unconscious.

He later escaped from the Sagan prison but was recaptured and interned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp until being released by the German army.

Debra Chatfield, a family historian from findmypast.co.uk, said: ‘His story is amazing.’




Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2013, 05:06:25 PM »
Quite correct.  We have a great deal of information on Jack Churchill here in the Forum...and of course his friend Rex King-Clark wrote the spendid little booklet published in 1997.

It's interesting that his story keeps coming up. The public find it fascinating and the museum has only recently had an enquiry regarding the possiblity of a Canadian company making a film about him.  A man of many talents. 

Robert

Offline artyhughes

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 07:06:27 PM »
I am right I believe in assuming that Mad Jack Churchill was at one time Colonel of the Regiment,about 1948/49

timberman

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2013, 08:15:20 PM »
Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Jack" Churchill, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar (16 September 1906 – 8 March 1996), nicknamed Fighting Jack Churchill and Mad Jack, was a British soldier who fought throughout World War II armed with a longbow, arrows, and a Scottish broadsword. He is known for the motto "any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly armed."

Early life

Born in Hong Kong to English parents and educated at King William's College on the Isle of Man, Churchill graduated from Sandhurst in 1926 and served in Burma with the Manchester Regiment. He left the army in 1936 and worked as a newspaper editor. He used his archery and bagpipe talents to play a small role in the film The Thief of Bagdad.

Second World War

Churchill resumed his commission after Poland was invaded. In May 1940 Churchill and his unit, the Manchester Regiment, ambushed a German patrol near L'Epinette, France. Churchill gave the signal to attack by cutting down the enemy Feldwebel (sergeant) with his barbed arrows, becoming the only British soldier known to have felled an enemy with a longbow in WWII. After fighting at Dunkirk, he volunteered for the Commandos.


Later life

In 1946 Twentieth Century Fox was making Ivanhoe with Churchill’s old rowing companion Robert Taylor. The studio hired Churchill to appear as an archer, shooting from the walls of Warwick Castle.

After World War II ended, Churchill qualified as a parachutist, transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders, and later ended up in Palestine as second-in-command of 1st Battalion, the Highland Light Infantry. In the spring of 1948, just before the end of the British mandate in the region, Churchill became involved in another conflict. Along with twelve of his soldiers, he attempted to assist the Hadassah medical convoy that came under attack by hundreds of Arabs.[10] Following the massacre, he coordinated the evacuation of 700 Jewish doctors, students and patients from the Hadassah hospital on the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

In later years, Churchill served as an instructor at the land-air warfare school in Australia, where he became a passionate devotee of the surfboard. Back in England, he was the first man to ride the River Severn’s five-foot tidal bore and designed his own board. In retirement, however, his eccentricity continued. He startled train conductors and passengers by throwing his attaché case out of the train window each day on the ride home. He later explained that he was tossing his case into his own back garden so he wouldn’t have to carry it from the station.[10]

He finally retired from the army in 1959, with two awards of the Distinguished Service Order, and died in Surrey in 1996.

timberman

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2013, 09:02:12 PM »
Well worth a read :)

http://www.wwiihistorymagazine.com/2005/july/col-profiles.html

Not sure but I think there is a photo of him and his brother holding the colours?

It was his brother
Major General T. B. L. Churchill who became Col. of the Manchester Regiment
and it was him that asked Bell to write the History of the Manchester Regiment
1st and 2nd Battalions 1922-1948

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 08:59:01 AM »
Hi there Yosser.
Not quite right, have a look at the photograph of the Sgt's Mess 1958 Bi-Centenary Parade at Warley Barracks - it was T.B.L. (his brother) who was Colonel of the Regiment.
All the best for 2013 to Jean and yourself.
George.

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 11:35:38 AM »
Major-General Tom Churchill, brother to Jack, was also a commando leader and in his book 'Commando Crusade' there are many descriptions of times, both social and fighting, which he shared with his brother during WWII. 

Rex K-C's book Free For a Blast also includes much about his friendship and adventures with Jack.  Both well worth reading.
Robert

Offline harribobs

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 11:15:31 PM »
what an amazing man...

i think we need a volunteer mto write a proper biography and get it on the site

 ;D
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: "Mad Jack Churchill
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 11:57:12 AM »
As the publisher and copyright holder of RKCs book on Mad Jack I will be happy to agree to a volunteer typing up or copying Jack Churchill.  Unlimited Boldness for use on the forum.  I certainly do not intend a reprint.
Robert