Non-Masonic Trivia - John ‘Mad Jack’ Churchill

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",

Churchill is famous for having gone through World War II armed with a bow and Scottish broadsword. He is famous for having said “In my opinion, sir, any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.” Despite his somewhat eccentric ideas about battledress, Churchill was a great success in the war, leading guerrilla style raids on the Germans. On the island of Brac when his team was killed and he ran out of ammo, Churchill stood his ground while playing lamentations on his bagpipes, which he also took into battle. Churchill survived the war after escaping from a German war camp.

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 the course of the war.

As the Pacific War was still ongoing Churchill was sent to Burma, where the largest land battles against Japan were still raging, but by the time he reached India, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been bombed, and the war abruptly ended. Churchill was said to be unhappy with the sudden end of the war, saying: "If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years."

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