The Sunday Post (Inverness)

Amazing life of the soldier who ripped off his own fingers


a biography of Sir Winston Churchill, I was intrigued when it mentioned that his representa­tive to China, Carton de Wiart, had won a Victoria Cross and that he was a very interestin­g character. So please tell me more, Queries Man. – D.

Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart, VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO, to give him his full title, was indeed an interestin­g man.

Before he became Churchill’s personal representa­tive in China in 1943, he had already led an amazing life.

He had served in the Boer War, the First World War, and the Second World War.

He was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived two plane crashes and had tunnelled out of a prisoner-ofwar camp.

Describing his experience­s in the First World War, he wrote: “Frankly I enjoyed the war.”

Having previously lost an eye and a hand in battle, Carton de Wiart, as commanding officer, was seen by his men pulling the pins of grenades out with his teeth and hurling them with his one good arm during the Battle of the Somme, winning the Victoria Cross in 1916.

“For most conspicuou­s bravery, coolness and determinat­ion during severe operations of a prolonged nature,” according to his citation.

He had lost his hand the previous year, when hit by shrapnel.

Doctors refused to amputate his badly-damaged fingers, so he simply tore them off himself.

 ??  ?? Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a one-eyed, one-handed war hero
Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a one-eyed, one-handed war hero

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