Author Topic: Captain Jack Churchill  (Read 5821 times)

liverpool annie

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Captain Jack Churchill
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:17:57 PM »

I read this ... is this true ??  :o

On May 27 1940 Captain Jack Churchill of the Manchester Regiment killed a German soldier with a bow and arrow - the arrow struck the German in the chest killing him

I also found this .... what do you guys know about him ??

In 1940, some of the German commanders who were overseeing the push into France began to receive seemingly random reports of soldiers having been killed with broad-head arrows or hacked with a English Claymore. Effective enough weapons it would seem, but archaic even in that day and age. They likely could have guessed the bowman was an English soldier, but they couldn’t have appreciated these as the calling card of the rabid eccentric, Captain Jack Churchill.

More details on the wartime exploits of Captain Jack Churchill …

‘He became so good with the bow that he shot for Britain at the world championships in Oslo in 1939. By then, however, the long ugly shadows of war were stretching across Europe. As the German Army smashed into Poland, Churchill returned to the British Army and the Manchester Regiment, and was shipped off to France. “I was,” he said later, “back in my red coat - the country having got into a jam in my absence.”‘

‘One of his brother officers, an old friend, saw him about that time chugging across the Flanders plain on a small motorcycle, his bow tied to the frame, arrows sticking out of one of the panniers on the back, a German officer’s cap hanging on the headlight. “Ah!” said Churchill, spotting his friend, “Hullo Clark! Got anything to drink?” Once Churchill had dismounted, his friend noticed dried blood smeared across one ear and asked Churchill about the injury. German machine gun, said Churchill casually. His men had shouted at him to run but, he said, he was simply too tired.‘

‘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 Severn River’s five-foot tidal bore and designed his own board.’

liverpool annie

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Re: Captain Jack Churchill
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 06:27:18 PM »

I guess it must be true ........

The Bowmen of England wrote:

Captain Jack Churchill of the Manchester Regiment was a member of the British team competeing in the World Archery Campionships in Oslo. He was a member of the BEF, and took his bows & arrows (a hundred-pound yew bow and 2 steel bows, with hunting arrows) with him. He steel bows were broken when the lorry they were in backed into a wall.

His regiment took over a sectio of the Maginot Line in December 1939, and one day while on patrol in no-man's land he got to within 50-80 yards of the German lines and fired two arrows at them. Apparently there was some 'consternation' amongst the Germans at this. As a side note, the arrows cost 10s 6d each, and the War Office would not refund him!

On the 27th May (2 days after being slighly wounded) he was in the loft of a small granery in L'Epinette (near Bethune), and spotted 5 Germans sheltering below. He instructed 2 soldiers to open rapid fire on the Germans, but only after he had shot an arrow at the German in the centre of the group. His arrow struck him in the left side of the chest, killing him. After the (sucessful) ambush, he tried to retrieve his arrow, but as it was a hunting arrow with a barbed head it got stuck (which they are supposed to do!) and he only succeeded in breaking the shaft. Machine-gun fire dissuaded any further action.

Sheet 21 of the War Diary of the 4th Infantry Brigade says:

"One of the most reassuring sights of the embarkation [at Dunkirk] was the sight of Captain Churchill passing down the beach with his bows and arrows! His actions in the Saar with his arrows are known to many and his disappointment at not having had the chance to keep in practice had tried him sorely. His high example and his great work with his machine guns were a great help to the 4th Infantry Brigade."

"The Bowmen of England" by Donald Featherstone

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Captain Jack Churchill
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 10:20:41 AM »
For the full story read 'Jack Churchill - Unlimited Boldness' by his close friend Lieut Colonel Rex KIng-Clark.  Sadly now out of print.

Lieut Colonel Jack was an old boy of Kingwilliam's College, Isle of Man.  He died peacefully at his home on 8th March 1996 aged 89.  His brother Tom was also a Manchester and became a Major General and Colonel of The Regiment.

As Rex KC said in his little book -'We could do with more like Jack Churchill - my friend - but, perhaps, not too many more'.

liverpool annie

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Re: Captain Jack Churchill
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 03:30:58 PM »

Thanks Robert ! ..... He was quite a man .... hard to keep up with I should imagine !!  :D


Offline Wendi

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Re: Captain Jack Churchill
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 05:49:37 PM »
Sounds like he had all the credentials of a true Brit  ;D

Wendi  :)
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

Offline harribobs

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Re: Captain Jack Churchill
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2009, 11:16:15 AM »

As Rex KC said in his little book -'We could do with more like Jack Churchill - my friend - but, perhaps, not too many more'.

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