Any Historians About?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Soldier_Why, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. Soldier_Why

    Soldier_Why LE Moderator

    Stumbled upon this whilst meandering around the web. It starts off as a blog post highlighting the number of (US) politicians who are pro-war but have never actually served in the forces. Further down the comments though some muppet claims that Winston Churchill never saw action on the two-way range.

    I'm not a military historian but I was of the impression that Churchill took part in the Battle of Omdurman (or something like that) and commanded troops at the front in WW1.

    Anyone more knowledgable than me shine some light?
  2. He did indeed serve at the front.

    During his army career Churchill saw combat on the Northwest Frontier, in the Sudan and during the Second Boer War, during which he also gained fame and notoriety, as a war correspondent. He also served in the British Army on the Western Front and commanded the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers.
  3. Definately was at Omdurman.

    also I think he was captured during the Boer war and escaped with a bounty on his head.
  4. After being educated at Harrow he went to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. Churchill joined the Fourth Hussars in 1895 and saw action on the Indian north-west frontier and in the Sudan where he took part in the Battle of Omdurman (1898).

    After leaving the British Army in 1899, Churchill worked as a war correspondent for the Morning Post. While reporting the Boer War in South Africa he was taken prisoner by the Boers but made headline news when he escaped. On returning to England he wrote about his experiences in the book, London to Ladysmith (1900).

    Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty in October 1911 where he helped modernize the navy. Churchill was one of the first people to grasp the military potential of aircraft and in 1912 he set up the Royal Naval Air Service. He also established an Air Department at the Admiralty so as to make full use of this new technology. Churchill was so enthusiastic about these new developments that he took flying lessons.

    On the outbreak of war in 1914, Churchill joined the War Council. However, he was blamed for the failure at the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915 and was moved to the post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

    Unhappy about not having any power to influence the Government's war policy, he rejoined the British Army and commanded a battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front. Troops were at first uneasy and lacked confidence in him. Gradually he began to earn their respect.
  5. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

  6. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)


    He also wore a French Army helmet [WTF, that was Winnie :wink: ] ... I had a quick look for the well-known photograph without success.
  7. i believe you are referring to this.."@ Ric

    Actually this post has reminded about what my grandfather said about Churchill, he never served in a front line combat unit in his life but was in love with war, and like McCain was a a former POW and serial embellisher of the facts. He betrayed British soldiers time and time again, especially in the Middle East (Churchill’s folly). All these warmongering fantasists are Zionists.

    steph - April 9, 2008 at 4:01 pm "

    although her pic is rather good looking she cant be more wrong..
    "In 1895, Churchill travelled to Cuba to observe the Spanish fight the Cuban guerrillas; he had obtained a commission to write about the conflict from the Daily Graphic. To his delight, he came under fire for the first time on his twenty-first birthday.[25]"
    and again.. "While in the Sudan, he participated in what has been described as the last meaningful British cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898."

    there are other instances where he has been recorded as taking part in the fighting. For example in 1897 when he was posted in India on an operation in Pakistan.

    PS : not a historian but hope I helped.
  8. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Not a French Helmet but here he is

  9. Unfortunately, Rob and Steph on that site have the same approach to history as the (in)famous Denis Winter - if the primary source doesn't support their preconception, they ignore it or claim that it's valueless...
  10. Soldier_Why

    Soldier_Why LE Moderator

    Top post by DJR - someone from here I take it?
  11. Might have been :wink:

    (although I really ought to have got Bruce Gudmundsson's name right... :oops: )
  12. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Just as an aside I looked this up off another thread

    Just as a comparison Thatchers cabinet in 1982 (Falklands) v Blair's in 2003 (Iraq)

    Margaret Thatcher: Prime Minister (Married to Dennis - Major Royal - Engineers 2 x Mid's)
    William Whitelaw MC: Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for the Home Department (Army - Guards Armoured - Major )
    Geoffrey Howe: Chancellor of the Exchequer (Army -Royal Sig - Lieutenant)
    Leon Brittan: Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Francis Pym MC: Lord President of the Council (Army - 9th Lancers - Captain)
    Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone: Lord Chancellor (Army - Rifle Brigade - wounded)
    Humphrey Atkins: Lord Privy Seal (Royal Navy 1940 - 1948)
    Lord Carrington MC: Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Army - Grenadier Guards - Major)
    Peter Walker: Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    John Nott: Secretary of State for Defence (Army - Gurkha Rifles - Malaya)
    Sir Keith Joseph MID: Secretary of State for Education and Science (Army - Royal Artillery - Captain wounded - Italy)
    Norman Tebbit: Secretary of State for Employment (RAF - pilot)
    Nigel Lawson: Secretary of State for Energy (Royal Navy - National Service)
    Michael Heseltine: Secretary of State for the Environment (Army - Welsh Guards - National Service)
    Norman Fowler: Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Army 2nd Lt Essex Regiment - National Service)
    Patrick Jenkin: Secretary of State for Industry
    Baroness Young: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
    James Prior: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Army - Royal Norfolk Regiment)
    Cecil Parkinson: Paymaster-General (RAF - NCO - National Service)
    George Younger: Secretary of State for Scotland (Army - Korea)
    John Biffen: Secretary of State for Trade and President of the Board of Trade
    David Howell: Secretary of State for Transport
    Nicholas Edwards: Secretary of State for Wales

    19 years later
    Blair's Cabinet

    Tony Blair : Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Minister for the Civil Service:
    John Prescott : Deputy Prime Minister
    Gordon Brown : Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury
    The Lord Irvine of Lairg : Lord Chancellor
    Robin Cook : Lord President of the Council & Leader of the House of Commons
    The Lord Williams of Mostyn : Lord Privy Seal & Leader of the House of Lords
    Andrew Smith : Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Jack Straw : Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Univercity CCF - opted out claimed - conscientious objection". )
    David Blunkett : Secretary of State for the Home Department
    Margaret Beckett : Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
    Stephen Byers : Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
    Alan Milburn : Secretary of State for Health
    Geoff Hoon : Secretary of State for Defence (CCF - 1967 - 70)
    Alistair Darling : Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
    Estelle Morris : Secretary of State for Education and Skills
    Patricia Hewitt : Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women and Equality
    Tessa Jowell : Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
    Clare Short : Secretary of State for International Development
    John Reid : Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
    Helen Liddell : Secretary of State for Scotland
    Paul Murphy : Secretary of State for Wales
    Charles Clarke : Minister without Portfolio and Labour Party Chairman
    Hilary Armstrong : Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Government Chief Whip
    Lord Goldsmith: Attorney General

    I couldn't care less about Tory v Labour but it is interesting to see the changes in 20 years
    Who would you rather sent you off to fight some one whose been at the sharp end or some one whose Defence Minister who predicts that we woulkd be out of AFG in 3 years without firing a shot?(7 million rounds later)
  13. Some missing from the list of Tories - David Howell was a Guards officer from 1954-56

    Patrick Jenkin served with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders from 45-48

    John Biffen was in the RE

    Nicholas Edwards (now Lord Crickhowell) was a subaltern in the RWF.

    I think that Peter Walker may also have done national service. Loathe though I am to be the slightest bit fair to Blair's government of no talents, the fact that the the 1982 cabinet were all old enough to do national service - although I think Leon Brittain deferred and was at University when conscription ended - slightly skews the figures. I can't help thinking that several of the 1997 mob would have tried to find some way of avoiding their national service, though...
  14. well said that man...(arc)
  15. I thought Dennis Thatcher was a Gunner? (and got as far as Brigadier?)