The Who2 Blog

Meet ‘Mad Jack’ Churchill, the Bagpipe-Playing, Sword-Swinging Hero of WWII

A photo of Mad Jack Churchill, in army dress but sitting at desk, pen in hand

Our own Mr. Duffy sends along this report on ‘Mad Jack’ Churchill, a legendary British commando of World War II. The man certainly had his own style:

He was especially fond of raids and counterattacks, leading small groups of picked soldiers against the advancing Germans. He presented a strange, almost medieval figure at the head of his men, carrying not only his war bow and arrows, but his sword as well.
As befitted his love of things Scottish, Churchill carried the basket-hilted claymore (technically a claybeg, the true claymore being an enormous two-handed sword). Later on, asked by a general who awarded him a decoration why he carried a sword in action, Churchill is said to have answered: “In my opinion, sir, any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly dressed.”
No relation to Winston Churchill, in case you’re wondering. Mad Jack lived on to age 89, dying in 1996.


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